I have been told several times by quilters who have watched my videos that I should use a pin cushion rather than fumble around to pick up a pin from a small plastic box. I knew they were right but most of the pin cushions that I looked at seemed too small to me. I wanted a pin cushion small enough so that it wouldn’t be in the way but large enough so that I could load plenty of pins on it and not have them too close together. So here it is. This pin cushion is about 5.1/2″ across and 1.1/2″ high.
To make this patchwork pin cushion you will need nine 2.1/2″ squares each of light and dark fabric, two large buttons and some toy stuffing.
Making the patchwork pin cushion
Lay the squares out in three rows of three to make a nine patch unit. Make two of these.
The two nine patchunits are 6.1/2″ square and a side plate just fits nicely across them. Lay the two squares with sides together and draw round the plate. Cut the circle shape.
Sew a 1/4″ seam around the edge of the circle leaving a gap of about 4″ open so that you can turn the pin cushion right side out. Back stitch at each end of the seam so that it doesn’t come apart when you are pushing the stuffing in. Turn right side out.
Push stuffing into the pin cushion through the gap. You want the pin cushion to be fairly tightly stuffed so that your pins slide in and out easily. I used normal kapok toy stuffing.
Pin the gap closed and slipstitch to close the gap. You could probably use the pin cushion at that stage, but a button in the middle does give it a more finished look and makes it more stable. Choose two fairly large buttons – one for each side.
Cut a length of thread about 20″ long and pull both ends together so that you are using double thickness thread. Begin with two stitches to secure the end of the thread and then sew the buttons on. I actually found that this was the most difficult part. It’s easiest with a fairly long needle. Push the needle through a hole in the top button and then down through the pin cushion to come out through a hole in the other button. Push the needle back up through the other hole in the button to come out through the corresponding hole in the top button. Do this for several stitches, pulling the thread as tight as you can each time so that the buttons are pushed down into the pin cushion. Secure the end of the thread with a couple of stitches underneath one of the buttons. Your pin cushion is ready to load with pins and use.