Picture Frame To Pincushion

This frame has been setting around for a while, wanting to become something.

So, I took all this.

And created this.

It can be used vertically, or…

horizontally, if you take the stand part off the back.

It isn’t difficult. Search “pincushion from a picture frame” and you will find all sorts of tutorials. This one will be a gift for a quilting friend.

Sundae Pincushion

I found this interesting object in a thrift store for 69-cents.  Too darling to leave behind.


So it came home with me.  To become a pincushion.


First try went…badly.  What was I thinking?!  Wrong shape.  Wrong size.


Second try, however, turned into this!



I am pretty sure I could make a pincushion every week for a year and not get tired of it.  Which is funny, because I really don’t use pincushions much.  I have a metal magnetic tray.

Decorative Pot Pincushion

After the success of yesterday’s pincushion, I wanted to try another one.


This was another decorative pot.  The plant that was in this one outgrew the space and lives in larger quarters on the sill of my kitchen window.

But, such a cute pot wanted a future holding SOMETHING useful (besides that flower).


So, it became a pincushion.

Teacup Pincushion

Recently, I was gifted a tiny plant in a cup.  Alas, the plant did not survive very long, which is unusual around here.  I am pretty good at keeping plants alive. But, the cup remained.

It was decorative and not really intended for drinking.

But I thought it might make a cute (and functional) pincushion.

This TUTORIAL gave me a good starting point.


And before I knew it, I had a new super cute (and functional) pincushion.

It was so much fun, I made a second one, which I will share with you tomorrow.

Do you have a little pot laying around?  Consider a pincushion.

A Little Project. Just For Fun.

In the midst of the holidays and finishing baby quilts, there are other things on the list.  Some are wanna-do’s and some are gotta-do’s, but I want to get quite a few of them completed before the first of the year.

Yesterday evening, after the festivities and while the family was just hanging out and watching an old movie, I ventured downstairs and did something just for fun.  I was so caught up in what I was doing I neglected to take “before” pictures.


But, here is the after.

A darling little watering can pincushion.


Ornamented with buttons.


Today’s project was much more practical:  hemming jeans. No one wants to see pictures of that.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Pincushion Play

This weekend I took some time to attack the overflowing ironing-and-mending pile.  There were loose buttons, torn beltloops, holes in elbows–you know, the usual.  And, many wrinkled shirts, pants and napkins.  All that was taken care of in about 3 hours of diligence.

After that I deserved a little play time.


This small pot (about 3-1/2″ across the top) was a yard sale find for 25-cents.  CUTE!


I make a whirl of wedge shaped pieces a little over twice the diameter of the top.  They were 3-1/2″ long and 1/2″ wide at the skinny end (two seam allowances) and between 2 and 2-1/2″ wide at the base.


Some gathering and stuffing and a button later–Ta-dah!  A pincushion.  It was play time for me and a  fun result.


Hopefully I will have a little more play time before back to school Tuesday…I hear fabric calling!  For now, though, it is time to walk the dog.  She is fun,  and keeps me from making exercise excuses!

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.



Finished Size:  4-inches square

1/4″  quilters seam allowance throughout



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


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. 


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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!

Trying Again

If at first you don’t succeed…throw yourself in the floor  Try Again! Yes, sometimes “good” ideas just don’t work.

So, I tore apart that failed attempt at a pincushion (see previous post) and looked at the problem.  Your suggestions helped a lot. It was just too poufy.  I wanted a more tailored look.  Something more like a pillow I saw recently on Sew4home.


It kept the storage and refined the look.


If I were to do it AGAIN I would probably lower the profile a bit more (The side strip started at 1-1/2″.), but I am happy enough with this second try to not tear it apart.


There are another one or two small thrift store containers and I may try this again.  But, as Daughter asked today, “Mom, how many pincushions do you need?”  Well, I don’t need any more at all, but other people might…

Pincushion: A Quick Morning Project

Yesterday I was at the thrift store and found a pair of jeans (miracle) and a belt.  And, this cute little dish.


It came home with me (for 69-cents) to try out an idea.  I have seen similar projects at various times, but here is a description of how I made mine (minus pictures, because I was too focused on the idea to tend to details.  Naughty blogger.)

1. Cut a circle of fabric about 3 times the diameter of the bowl.  My bowl is about 4-1/2″ and the circle of fabric was about 11″, but a bigger piece of fabric would have been better.

2. Do a large, running stitch around the perimeter of the circle.  Use sturdy thread, you are going to gather it.

3. Stuff it REALLY full of fiberfil; use more than you think you need.

4. Pull your gathers tight and shape to fit the bowl.  It will be a puffy cushion.

5. Use one or more buttons to finish the top.  Run thread through at least twice and pull it tight to tuft the cushion.


6. Find a handy matching piece of trim.  I used crocheted lace. Hot glue it to the perimeter of the cushion.

7.  Settle the cushion into the bowl and hot glue in place.  Ta-dah!


The whole project took about an hour.  Christmas 2013, here I come!

All Small Week Day 4: Pincushions

Oh Sew Tempting shared an interesting scrappy pincushion, so you know I was ready to go right away.

And, I had the perfect batch of little scraps…

Which quickly became this pincushion, an antique feel complete with vintage shell button.  I hope the person who receives it for Christmas will like it.

The whole project took only about an hour or so.  Another small project that makes a very satisfying finish.

The tutorial is no longer generally available on line, but  she has created a PDF pattern which is available in her Etsy shop.


And, as one pincushion is not enough, and there was another style I was very interested in trying, I gave a cathedral window pincushion a go. 

Beautifully written tutorial with an abundance of pictures.  No complicated piecing.  However, it does require precision IRONING, at which I have very limited skill.

Part way through, it wasn’t looking very good.  Don’t you give up if you feel the same way.  I am glad I kept going,  because the final result is one I am pleased with. 

Thank goodness for buttons.  They are great for covering less than perfect ironing efforts.  I don’t think a whole cathedral window quilt is in my future, but I could give another one or two of these a try at some point in the future.  It is a good way to showcase small, treasured pieces of fabric.  Using a black background and bright solids would give an interesting stained glass or slightly Amish feel to the effort. 

Be aware that the stitching around the curved sections is going through many layers of fabric.  Slow sewing and a machine that can handle heavier-duty work is very helpful. 

So, that is it for Day 4.  Come back again tomorrow for another storage idea.  See you then.

ps–Here is the URL for the cathedral window cushion, if you want it:  http://gogokim.blogspot.com/2011/12/cathedral-window-pin-cushion-tutorial.html