"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." -Dr. Seuss


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pretty Patchwork Pincushions

Remember this post?

Well, I finally got around to putting that tutorial together... so here goes!

I do things my way, not necessarily the best or the right way... but it works. Hopefully this will give you an idea on how it's done, and you can find your own best way to make them!

First, you will need:
6 charm squares or fabric scraps
4 buttons
matching embroidery thread
embroidery needle
compass or bowl
sewing machine
rotary cutter

Start by picking out your charm squares or fabric scraps (make sure they coordinate). I love the Heather Bailey Nicey Jane collection, so I used some charm squares from a charm pack I had... can't wait to share what I'm doing with the rest of them! Arrange the prints in the order you want them... I tried to make sure I didn't have my florals together.

Set those aside. Take your compass and set it to whatever radius you want your circle to have. A 2-3 inch radius works best (4-6 inch diameter). If you do not have a compass, just trace a bowl! Cut out your circle.

Fold your circle in half, then fold the half circle into thirds. Tape it together. This is your template!

Start with your first piece of fabric. Fold it in half and place the middle of the arc of the template on the fold of your fabric.

Cut around the template, following the lines out to the fold of the fabric. DO NOT cut around the arc! Hint: Make sure you do not slice any of the template off... you don't want your pieces getting smaller as you go!

Once you have gotten all of your pieces cut, pin the first two pieces with the right sides together, and run them through your machine. I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance, but it really doesn't matter as long as you are consistent.

Now, take the template and put the point facing the unsewn point of the diamond, centering the arc over the sewn point of the diamond. Trace the arc so that the ends of the arc are on the seam. Sew over the arc you have traced.

Continue adding your pieces on this way until you have all of your pieces sewn together. On the joining seam, leave 1 inch at the bottom unsewn for turning and stuffing. Turn... and stuff! Make sure you stuff it full enough so that the pins won't slip out if your pincushion gets turned upside down.

Once you have gotten it stuffed, stitch up the opening. Thread your embroidery needle and stitch through the middle, covering each seam. Sew your buttons onto the middle. These are so great, because they are super cute, and hide all those stitches and knots from the embroidery thread... and adding them to the top AND bottom means you can use either side!

Voila! You're finished, and you have a cute new pincushion to use for yourself or give to a friend!


  1. Thank you for this fantastic tutorial!
    I've tried many times to do this kind of pincushion but your way is the best!
    Thanks thanks thanks and sorry for my bad english, but I'm italian!
    Have a nice day!

  2. Thanks Ashley, I to am from a small SC town. I also love hazelnut anything and coffee. But I am a fanatic about pincushions. thanks for the tutorial.