Nov 21 10

Pincushion Tutorial Revisited


I got some requests to re-post my old pincushion tutorial, so here it is.  Do you know any quilter who doesn’t get sucked in by tiny pinscushions?!  I sure don’t, and they make quick, easy, and inexpensive gifts.  Here goes!

These are my newest additions to my family of pincushions. I am a soft touch for bright color and tiny things, so these easily got me sucked in. If it is colorful, tiny, and functional, then a pincushion has passed the test and gained entrance to my highly exclusive “pincushion club!” I try not to have favorites, but my new fav is pictured below:


And I really love the detail of the stitching on things as tiny as this:


They are quick and easy to make. First you fuse some tiny shape to your background piece, (I used wonder under and it is soft enough for me to push a pin through). I folded my pieces in half to get a rough idea of where to fuse my small color shape:


For some of these, I wanted my fused shape to kind of stand out, so for these, I did some free motion embroidery around the outer edges of the applique while it was still just a top. This one’s an example of that move:


Oh, how I just swoon for that combo of purple, orange, and gold! Next, I spray baste them onto a thin batting as below:


And then I do my free motion quilting all over the background. For the one’s where I wanted my fused area to pop out a bit, I then stitched around the outer edges with invisible thread. Once all the quilting’s done, you start cutting them in half so that you can “shuffle the deck” and mix the colors of your tops and bottoms:


(Some of these are cut and some are not). Once you’ve sewn them together, you can appreciate that little bit of extra zip you get from having more than one color, and you have a variety of quilting designs as well:



I stuffed them with this material below. They are miniscule pieces of a weighted  synthetic stuffingand they are just perfect for stuffing pincushions.  You can find them here.


And here are all the new recruits, ready for their first assignment:


But of course, they will never replace the mother of all pincushions…


…the arm of our sofa!!


  1. Michele Says:

    Gorgeous inspiration!

  2. Kelly Jackson Says:

    Stabbed in the heart???? Ouchie….anything but that….please avoid the heart the next time!


  3. joan Says:

    Hi Patsy. They’re all adorable. For years, I too used the arm of our sofa as my largest pin cushion. I now have a leather sofa, so I can’t do that anymore. You never fail to inspire me. Thanks. Joan

  4. Mary Kooi Says:

    Your pin cushions are so colorful and fun! I use soft leather for the back and put on elastic wedding garders for a wrist band on my pin cushions. That way I can put the pin cushion on my left wrist and have them available without searching for where I left my pins.

    Your Blog is fantastic! I have spent hours learning from you. Happy Birthday. THANKS! Mary