April 22, 2021

Tiny Treasures - Pipkin

 Looking for clever ways to use the embroidery designs from my Tiny Treasures book?
How about making a thimble pipkin (pip)?  
The large one measures 3 1/2" x 5" 
and the smaller one measures 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" (shown below)

*The thimble pip has three sides and is fully lined. It's 
made using a process similar to English paper piecing.

SUPPLIES: (per pip)
• embroidery background fabric -
 8" x 18" each exterior and lining fabrics
• Valdani 12wt pearl cotton (colors listed in the book)
• cording -  ties 14"  /  decorative trim 16"
The cording used in the samples was created using 6 strands of DMC floss
lightweight batting 5" x 12"
• glue (household like Elmers)
• firm material to make the forms - 10" x 12"
I used plastic from a plastic file folder.  A milk jug or clamshell plastic (like fruit comes in) works well too.  The other option is to use card stock like a cereal box.
Print the template page HERE
  The large and the small pip both have two sizes to trace - the outside and the lining of each. The smaller templates are for the lining sections.
Trace the templates onto the firm material you will be using for the forms and cut them out. 
You will need 3 of each size(outside and lining) per pip. 

Spread a layer of glue on one side of the 3 larger pieces.
Glue the batting to these pieces, let them dry then cut the batting to the same size as the plastic. 

The larger template can fit a combination of embroidery designs or a single design, it's up to you!  I wanted to show you how you can take parts of a couple different designs to come up with a new design.  The larger design uses part of design #1 and #19 from the Tiny Treasures book.
This was stitched on Moda Mochi Linen unbleached.

The first thing you need to do is cut a piece of embroidery background fabric 6" x 8"

Trace the larger template using a NON-permanent marking tool.  I like to use the Pilot FriXion pen which disappears with the heat of an iron.
I folded the fabric in half both lengthwise and crosswise to find the center.  I traced the #19 scissors design to the center. Then I  used my best 2nd-grade printing and added my initials about 1/2" tall on either side of the scissors. Finally, I added a #1 wreath section to each side.  
Stitch up the designs following the directions in the Tiny Treasures book. 
 I decided to stitch my initials in the Valdani Black Sea color.

When the embroidery is complete, press the piece from the wrong side.
Using a lightbox or a window place the finished embroidery on top of the batting covered large template, centered.  Use a little glue to hold the fabric to the batting.

Cut the fabric leaving about 1/2" - 3/4" extra all around.  Trim across the points a bit, but not too close. Clip the outer edges keeping them well away from the template.

Using a glue stick, fold the extra fabric to the back of the template and hold it in place with binding clips until it dries.

Repeat with all 3 sides of the exterior.

Next, glue the smaller template pieces to the wrong side of the lining fabric - just enough to hold the two together.  Cut out the fabric leaving 1/4" extra fabric all the way around.  Clip and trim like you did for the exterior pieces.  Using a glue stick, fold the fabric to the backside of the templates.  Hold in place with binding clips until it's dried.

Now it's time to line the exterior pieces with the lining pieces.

Add a drop of glue and binding clips to hold the exterior and lining pieces together.
Stitch the lining to the exterior.
Repeat with all three sections.

Now it's time to sew the three sections together!  This can be a bit tricky, but very doable.
Start by sewing the bottom of the front piece to one side of the bottom section.
It's a good idea to double up your thread as you will be pulling this tight.

Continue by sewing the other side of the bottom section to the back section.
The final seams will be going up from the bottom section 1/2" toward the top.  Secure this seam quite well. (See the photo below)

Next, we'll add the cording to give the pip a nice finished look.

I made this cording using a Kreinik Customer Corder and a matching DMC floss.
I made a video tutorial for making the cording that might be helpful.  You can find the video here -

Start by slipping one of the knotted ends of the cording to the inside of the pip at the edge of the opening and stitch it in place. Using 1 strand of the floss, whipstitch the cording over the seam line.  Go around one side of the bottom and up the other side.  Fold the cording over onto itself
leaving a 1/4" past the opening.  Tuck this folded end to the inside of the pip and stitch in place.  Whipstitch the cording back over itself on this short side until you get to the bottom and then continue covering the other bottom seam.

Make two knots 1/2" apart at the center of the cording that will be used for the ties.  Cut between the knots to form two pieces of cording, knots at both ends (see last photos).
Place one end of a tie to the top, front of the pip, centered.  Hand stitch this knotted end to the front of the pip securely.  I sewed mine in place taking my stitches right through the knot.
Repeat with the other tie on the back of the pip. 

Originally, these little pips were created to hold thimbles.  I made this one a bit large so it can hold a couple balls of my Valdani thread. 
Pinch the sides together to open it up.  Pretty clever!

When I made the smaller pip I used the cardboard from a cereal box and it worked just as well as the plastic.

I decided to use a decorative stitch to sew the sections together instead of covering the seams with cording.  

1. Take a stitch on the side furthest from you.

2. Take a stitch through the side closest to you, straight across, and bring the needle through the same hole as the previous stitch on the opposite side.

3. Before you pull this stitch tight, thread the needle through the loop.

4. Move along 1/16" and take another stitch on the opposite side.

I also wanted to add a fun stitch to the top edge of the front of the pip.

1. I started with a small stitch perpendicular to the top edge.

2. Before you pull the stitch tight, thread the needle through the loop.
Make the next stitch right next to the previous one.  
This created a lovely little "beaded" look on the edge.  

I still used cording to create the tie. This picture shows the length I made with the two knots close to the middle.  I snipped between the knots to create two pieces of cording.  These were stitched on the small pip the same way as the larger pip.

I hope you enjoyed this project and will give it a try!

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Happy Stitching!


  1. yes I saw it and I immediately printed it to do it so beautiful

  2. Absolutely adorable and gorgeous! Thanks so much and will make one as soon as possible!

  3. Thank you so much. Have never heard of a “pip”
    Almost reminds me of those little rubber coin purses that would open when you squeezed the ends. I guess I am dating myself, huh?☺️

  4. This little pip looks fun and I will give it a try soon.

  5. Too adorable! I need to make a couple of these. Thanks for posting.

  6. Too adorable! I need to make a couple of these. Thanks for posting.


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