Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Aurifil Artisan Challenge :: Leather Pincushions

A new year as an Aurifil Artisan means a new calendar of thread-use challenges; and besides sharing an unboxing of our welcome pack, we were asked to use any of those new threads in a project to share. As it ended up, I used four new threads, chosen primarily for their colors. But considering they were in varying weights, it was a good opportunity to mix and match with them.

photo by Lindsey Jeske

The threads I used were:
  • 50wt 2225 [Salmon]
  • 40wt 6722 [Sea Biscuit], 1135 [Pale Yellow]
  • 12wt acrylic-wool blend 8530 [Puce Magenta Pink]

photo by Lindsey Jeske

It all started when I was given several partial rolls of leather a few weeks ago. I mean a lot of leather. It felt lightweight enough to machine-stitch on, but I'd yet to give it a try. And of course, I'd been mulling over what in the world to make with it. Then I remembered the leather pincushion I'd been gifted by Hillary Goodwin @entropyalwayswins a few years ago (similar to this one), and it dawned on me that I should try something similar. [Hillary and Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter also wrote a tutorial for an Easter Egg version if you'd like to see theirs.]

Happily, all the thread weights I used worked beautifully. I used 50wt in the bobbin when stitching with the 50wt thread; 40wt when stitching with the 40wt and 12wt. The focus fabrics were a variety of substrates - woven, quilting cotton, and linen - and all were either double-layered, or backed with a layer of linen. 

A size 90 needle was already in my machine, and stitched just fine on this weight of leather, though I did stitch a little slower than normal. I began and ended with a 1.5 stitch length, stitching about 3.0 for the majority of the stitching. 

I was really happy to see that all the threads performed so well. If color wasn't a consideration, I think I'd select a 40wt for piecing with this leather in future projects, it being slightly thicker/heavier than the 50wt. I'm still mulling over what else to make with my leather stash, so if you have ideas, let me know!


  1. Your stitching on the leather looks good. that is a challenge isn't it? What to do with leather? right now all I can think of is different size bags, they are useful and leather is long lasting.

  2. Such a clever use of leather and your Aurifil thread samples! Did you need to use a special sewing machine foot to sew with leather? Usually, a Teflon base works best. Do you have such a foot? Or perhaps you used tissue paper so the foot would slide across it? Love the little "maker make" lettering too. Machine or hand embroidered? You sure know how to make good use of what's been given to you. Good job!

  3. @sustainabletextiledesign just made a bag with some leather scraps, if you need some inspiration. I love your pincushions, they are so neat and precise! The Maker Maker one is my favorite - I think.