I started with this tute by A_Patchwork_Orange which is a great tute and has a much prettier final product than mine ishttp://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=102581.0
but I added more pics to this tute so those of us who are not so used to directions could have more visuals, as the first one I tried to do was incredibly hard to piece together and boggled my brain a bit until I had done it once!
so here is where I will start - since this is going to be image heavy all the pics are going to be clickable links
you will need:
*fabric - one or two colors, not much of either - about half a fat quarter of each unless you want to cut out particular objects in the material
*stuffing material (I used poly fill)
*thread or embroidery floss
*needle (sewing machine optional)
*6 buttons or beads
after cutting out the pattern that A_Patchwork_Orange gave us
which is a football shape about 1 to 1.5 inches at the widest by about 2 to 2.5 inches at the longest you want to cut out 36 pieces to put together.
group them into sets of three:
they are going to be put together into 12 little three dimensional pieces that will look like this:
this is how that is done (this is one part where I was so darn confused because I needed it in my hand to see how it was done, so bear with me on the many pictures)
I used two strands of embroidery floss throughout the entire process. If you are machine stitching, you can use regular sewing thread and then use embroidery floss only if you want to do the border on the pieces.
first - place two of the football shapes right side of the fabric together and baste them up one edge. I hand sew, so I basted but if you use a machine you can stitch fairly tight so as to eliminate most of the hand sewing later.
do NOT cut the thread
turn the two pieces and then match in the third piece of the trio so that it is right side of the fabric up against the right side of one of the first two
and stitch it along the edge - do NOT cut the thread!
then you want to turn it again, match up the two sides of the pieces that haven't been stitched together and go about halfway up that side - do NOT cut the thread if you are hand stitching, DO if using a machine
from the top you should have the three pieces matched together in a shape that looks like this
once you have it stitched about halfway up that last of the three sides, invert it so it is right side out
stuff it with some poly fill or whatever you like for stuffing
make it a bit loose, but not so loose that it goes flat
then you match up the edges of the open bit, turn the edges under so that you can close up the last of that seam
stitch it up with a simple whip stitch or whatever you are comfortable doing that will hold.
note - when I put the little piece together I made sure that this part was going to be on the edge of the football shape that was from putting the contrasting color material together as that is going to end up on the inside of your final product so if you don't want to handstitch around the whole thing and your basting or machine sewing is good for holding the pieces together you will be done making your little piece now and you can skip ahead a bit.
if you hand basted or want to do the decorative stitching, you can continue around all the sides with the whipstitch around the edges to reinforce the basted stitching
tie a knot at the end, and then instead of cutting it off, poke your needle through the piece and cut it off on the other side so when the piece relaxes, the end is tucked inside it.
do that 12 times.
now you have 12 pieces that look like that football shaped three sided three dimensional piece. or else you did something wrong and need to go back and figure out what happened (like I did a couple of times...)
so - next step is to stitch two of the pieces together, on the pointy end - make a knot in your thread and then attach one piece
to the next piece
tie a knot and run the thread through the piece again before cutting the end so the end is buried like that
then attach a third piece
tie off that knot and then you want to attach the free ends of to each other like the one in the front of this picture
continue to do that until you have made four sections that are groups of three
this is where I got lost again so I hope that all the pics in this next section are helpful
now you want to attach one of the tri-ads to another one at only one point
make sure you are double checking to make sure that the hand stitching isn't showing on the outer parts if you machine stitched, and that your pretty bits are on the outside
you then attach another pair of triads together
and then you fit the two pairs together but make sure that when you stitch it together you are going to end up with a ball and not a long piece that won't fit together
then stitch the last of the points together
so that finally you have a ball
like a dork I forgot to take a picture with the beads I added to it, so you will have to imagine it with something hiding all the little flaws on the points.
Hope this was a helpful post to someone
ps - the finished pincushion is in a lower post on the thread, here:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=233957.msg2557716#msg2557716
thanks for adding that jloveg!