TUTORIAL: Lucky Star Pincushion

Here is a quiltalong bonus:  Lucky Star Pincushion.  Instead of being a very large star, like the Super Stars Quilt, it is a very small star.  But, lucky you, it isn’t hard to put together.   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described stars as the “forget-me-nots of the angels.”  Let an angel in your life know you haven’t forgotten them.  Make them a little star-shaped remembrance giftie today.

As a double bonus, this tutorial makes two pincushions, so you will have a matched set:  one to keep and one to give away.

LUCKY STAR PINCUSHION

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Finished Size:  4-inches square

1/4″  quilters seam allowance throughout

MATERIALS

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8 pairs of colored 2″ squares (16 pieces in all)

8 background 2″ squares

8 background 1-1/2″ squares

2 4-1/2″ squares (back of pincushion)

stuffing or filling

4 small buttons

CONSTRUCTION

1. Sort your squares.  One pile should have one each of the colored squares.  One pile should have one each of the colored squares and the 2″ background squares.  One pile should be the 1-1/2″ background squares.

2. Create half-square triangles out of the 2″ squares.  From pile one, you want to match two colored squares together.  You will have four pairs.  Consider a little which colors will be next to each other, but don’t worry too much.  On this one, I paired warmer colors to cooler colors.  From pile two, pair each colored square to a background square. You will have eight pairs.  The third pile should just wait for now. 

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If you don’t have a favorite method for half-square triangles, consider this tutorial.

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3. Square up.  It is no one’s favorite thing to do, but it really makes a difference.  Each half-square triangle unit should measure 1-1/2″ when you are done.

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4. Lay out two faux-lemoyne star patterns.  They don’t have to be the same, but will be similar.

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5. Assemble.  Make sure to iron your seam allowances either open or nesting, as you prefer.  I use nesting.

6.  Match each finished star to a 4-1/2″ backing square, right sides together.  Sew around, leaving a small opening on one side.  I made the opening just smaller than where the points of the stars touch the edge.  It seemed to make it a bit less prone to pull apart during the turning.

7. Turn, pressing corners out.  I like to iron down at this phase.

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8.  Stuff or fill the pincushion with your favorite substance.  I used polylfil for these.  Crushed walnut shells work well also.  Stitch the opening using a ladder or other invisible stitch.

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9. Notice, my points are not perfect.  Yours very well may be.  Good for you!  But, since mine aren’t, and I like tufted pincushions anyway, I put a small button front and back to cover those less-than-perfect spots, and to give the pincushion some dimension.

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10.  Ta-dah!  Finished pincushion.  Really, finished pincushionS.  How nice to get two for just about the same work as one.  Who are you going to give your second one to?

NOTE:  In retrospect, I might modify this pattern somewhat to  include a 1″ sashing around the front block.  That way the star points wouldn’t get lost in the curve of the filled pincushion.  If you do that, your sashing would need to be 2 pieces 4-1/2″ x 1″ and two pieces 5-1/2″ x 1″. Your backing squares would be 5-1/2″.  As soon as I have one finished that looks like this, I will put it up to share.  Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “TUTORIAL: Lucky Star Pincushion

  1. I love the walnut shells. I have to make a pincushion for Christmas for a swap partner, and I have a feeling this could be the one.

  2. “The Forget-me=nots of the angels”-now that I have to remember! I also like the walnut shells,I hope they’re easier to find than when I bought mine a handful of years ago Move completed-I’m so pooped out I’m playing on the machine tnstead of unpacking. I have no doubt it will be there tomorrow!.

  3. you know the old adage that great minds think alike??!!

    i have a few 5 inch charms left from my cuttings for making the large stars. i had thought of, and actually started, cutting them into (4) 2 1/2 in squares and making some smaller stars. i thought they would be FANTASTIC as cornerstones in some sashing for the larger stars. thought of calling it “big dipper, little dipper” LOL

  4. can hardly wait to do this..i have some of the squares already cut in my extensive “collection” of squares…I love it and I love the points ‘lost in the curves’…thank you for the idea and the tutorial… you always come up with such good ideas…

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