Monday, December 13, 2010

Pin Cushion Madness

I wanted to make my QUILTY friends a
"little something" for Christmas.

Decided a quilter can never have enough
Pin Cushions.

I searched the web for a free pattern
and couldn't believe all the possibilities.

Here are the 2 sites that I used for inspiration.
Both have excellent tutorials
with lots of photos.
Of course, I made a few minor changes.

Creative Kismet


I made 2 sizes.

Instead of cutting 8 separate wedges I pieced a 4 patch.
4-4" squares for small 6" circle.
4-5" squares for large 8" circle.

Then,using my circle template, cut out my circles.
A few of the pin cushions have a solid piece for the back.
Others the 4 patch.

What is this?
My filler.
Ground English Walnut Shells.
I read about it on several sites.
Alex Anderson uses this in her pin cushions.
Makes them "weighty" and helps keep needles sharp.
I found this large bag for $9.99 at my local pet store.
Enough to fill more pin cushions than I can make!

I also used this long needle.
Left over from the 80's (used for doll sculpture).
Don't even ask.

I used 7/8"covered buttons for the top.
And a regular button for the bottom.
Chained stitched around the seam
with 6 strands of matching floss.
A little extra detail.

This one is made from an old linen dish towel
that was stained beyond use.

And wool.
I used iron on interfacing for backing the wool & linen
to keep the filling from seeping out.
And found the perfect button in my button jar.
I knew I saved all those strays for a reason!

In this season of "giving"
I'd like to send one of my dear blog readers
a few "seasoned" cookbooks and a pin cushion.
Just leave a comment.
I'll draw a name on Saturday.
Or two.
I have enough crushed walnut filling
that's for sure!

Warm holiday wishes.


  1. Wow...this was a great post! Love the dotty pincushion! Thanks for the tutorial and the info on where to get ground walnut shells. I have never seen them in the store and now I know where to look! Fingers crossed on the pincushion and cookbooks.

  2. They are adorable! And yes, us quilters have several! I use all of mine too. I have never seen such a big bag of shells though. I buy mine in the quilt shop, but not nearly as cost effective though!

  3. Karen - You find the best ideas! The pincushions are so cute. I'm going to start using the ground walnut shells in my pincushions too. Thanks for the info. Hope I win your drawing. Happy Holidays!

    PamE. - Las Vegas

  4. I have to agree with Ruth. What is cheerier than red and white polka dots and cherries. A winning combination! Add a cook book and you have a give away anyone would love! Sign me up!

  5. I have to agree with Ruth. What is cheerier than red and white polka dots and cherries. A winning combination! Add a cook book and you have a give away anyone would love! Sign me up!

  6. Wow these pincushions are marvelous - thanks for the tutorial. I really love the walnut shell idea. Hope I am lucky as I sure would love one of these - thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, I need to make a new pin cushion!

  8. What quilter wouldn't love to bake cookies? Would love either or both under my tree! Happy Holidays

  9. The pincushions are adorable! I had never heard of using ground walnut shells - what a fantastic idea. Thanks for hosting the drawing. Here's hoping I might win!

    Have a happy holiday!


  10. I love your pincushions!! Thank you for showing a picture of the walnut shells used for stuffing. I keep reading about it on blogs but have no idea what to look for. I'm thrilled to finally know. Would love to win your giveaway!

  11. I've never heard of using crushed walnuts for stuffing so thanks for sharing that and thank you for the giveaway! Happy Holidays -amy

  12. first, love to answer when you come to my blog Karen..but I you are a noreply...however....I linked here, became a new follower and what a delightful these cushions and the idea of going to the pet store today to find me some filler...thanks ever sew much for that piece of tidbit...and to answer your question...write me back...I will tell you...wink... blessings madame samm at cogeco dot com

  13. Thank you so much for listing the information about the walnut shells. I've seen lots of posts about using that for stuffing pincushions but never knew where to find it.

    Our guild is currently doing a needlebook swap. . . so I have been scouring the internet for patterns for that. . . .but you have inspired me to try pincushions.

    I think that I will wait until 2011 though. . .just a wee bit too busy at this point.

  14. Those pin cushions are adorable! You stuff them so evenly....I am impressed!

  15. Hope I'm not too late to comment. I love your blog -- so much inspiration! I just love those pincushions -- maybe I can yet squeeze in an afternoon to complete one -- what a great gift!

  16. Love the pin cushions! Always looking for a little gift idea for my fellow quilting-girlfriends!


Thanks for taking the time to comment!