Pincushions from Scraps

It takes just a few fabric bits and buttons to make tiny pin pillows. Give one away, use one to accent your sewing room, or tuck one in your on-the-go sewing kit.


What you'll need:
  • Scraps of light, medium, and dark prints, plaids, and stripes
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Two 1-inch-diameter assorted buttons (for the Square-in-a-Square block)
  • Six 1/2-inch-diameter assorted buttons (for the Flying Geese block)

The Square-in-a-Square pincushion is 3 inches square, and the Flying Geese pattern is 3-1/2x7 inches.

Measurements include 1/4-inch seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut pieces in the following order.

From one light plaid, cut:
  1. Two 1-1/2-inch squares, cutting each in half diagonally to make four small triangles total
From assorted medium prints, cut:
  • One 3-1/2-inch square
  • One 2-inch square
From one dark print, cut:
  • Two 2-1/2-inch squares, cutting each in half diagonally to make four large triangles total
  1. Sew light plaid small triangles to opposite edges of medium print 2-inch square (Diagram 1). Press seams toward triangles. Add light plaid small triangles to remaining edges of square to make block center. Press seams toward triangles. The block center should be2-3/4-inch square including seam allowances.
  2. Sew dark print large triangles to opposite edges of block center (Diagram 2). Press seams toward large triangles. Add dark print large triangles to remaining edges to make a Square-in-a-Square block; press seams as before. The block should be 3-1/2 inches square including seam allowances.
  3. Layer Square-in-a-Square block and medium print 3-1/2-inch square right sides together; stitch around all edges, leaving a 2-inch opening along one edge for turning. Turn pincushion to right side. Stuff with fiberfill. Slip-stitch opening closed.
  4. Center a 1-inch-diameter button on pincushion top and a second button on the bottom. Taking long stitches through the center of pincushion, sew buttons firmly in place.

Measurements include 1/4-inch seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut pieces in the following order.

From assorted light, medium, and dark prints, plaids, or stripes, cut:
  • One 4x7-1/2-inch rectangle
  • Four 2-1/4x4-inch rectangles
  • Eight 2-1/4-inch squares (four sets of two matching pieces)
  1. With a pencil, draw a diagonal line on wrong side of each light, medium, or dark print 2-1/4-inch square. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw the lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under the squares.)
  2. Align a marked 2-1/4-inch square with one end of a light, medium, or dark print 2-1/4x4-inch rectangle (Diagram 3; note placement of marked line). Stitch on marked line; trim excess fabric, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press open attached triangle.
  3. In same manner, sew a matching 2-1/4-inch square to opposite end of rectangle (Diagram 3; again note placement of marked line). Trim and press as before to make a Flying Geese unit.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make four Flying Geese units total.
  5. Referring to Diagram 4, join Flying Geese units in a vertical row to make a Flying Geese block. Press seams in one direction. The block should be 4x7-1/2 inches including seam allowances.
  6. Layer Flying Geese block and light, medium, or dark print 4x7-1/2-inch rectangle right sides together; join around all edges, leaving a 2-inch opening along one edge for turning. Turn pincushion to right side. Stuff with fiberfill. Slip-stitch opening closed.
  7. Center three 1/2-inch-diameter buttons on pincushion top and three on the bottom. Taking long stitches through pincushion, sew buttons firmly in place.

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