July 2021 Stitch-a-long: Biscornu Pincushion from Giuliana Ricama

For our July stitch-a-long on Facebook we are working on a biscornu pincushion courtesy of embroidery magazine Giuliana Ricama. Here’s more about this month’s stitch-a-long from admin Kate Gaunt:

We have a great new project for July — courtesy of the embroidery magazine, Giuliana Ricama. Giuliana Ricama is an Italian publication that recently launched an English-language edition. You can learn more about Giuliana Ricama magazine (and subscribe) here.

Our project is a biscornu pincushion. According to Wikipedia, a “biscornu is a small, octagonal, stuffed ornamental pincushion. It is usually made out of Aida cloth or linen, sewn from two square sheets of cloth in such a way that each corner of one square is hemmed to the middle of a side of the opposite square.” Our project uses 30-ct linen, but similar counts (28-32) will also work and other counts will work if the threads are modified. This project is not recommended for Aida cloth due to the pattern of the stitching.

Download: Biscornu Pincushion from Giuliana Ricama Magazine

I couldn’t wait to start stitching the project and I have a few notes that may be helpful:

1. The specified linen is a 30-ct linen in US measurements. 12 threads per cm = 30 threads per inch.

2. The cut size of the linen is 8″ x 16″ in US measurements. 20 cm = 8 inches. You could also use two squares, 8″ each, as long as they are squares of the same fabric.

3. I stitched my project with the EGA brand colors that we’ve been using for our creativity series. You can find info on the EGA brand colors here.

4. Please don’t skip the “over 4 under 4” basting to determine the center of your project. It’s essential to making sure everything is squared up.

5. I stitched my project on stretcher bars instead of the recommended hoop. Either works fine.

6. I had trouble following the text version of the instructions and opted to follow the chart. I started in the center of the chart instead of the recommended outline followed by the chart stitching. I’ll upload photos of the first quarter of my stitching. I think you’ll be able to count the individual threads and that should prove helpful reassurance that you’re stitching “in the right spot.”

7. If you’d like to stitch with the linen as specified in the project, I ordered some from Needle in a Haystack that is the same. A “fat eighth” is sufficient to stitch this project. You can find the linen here.

Have fun with this project and show off your creations! Thanks again to Giuliana Ricama magazine for sharing this project with EGA.

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