Make an Improv Pin Cushion

I love pin cushions! I have little ones scattered all over my sewing room so I always have fine patchwork pins within easy reach while I’m working on a quilt.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to create a fun little improv pin cushion using scraps from the Fierce Protean mini quilt.


Gather up your supplies

You will need fabric scraps, crushed walnut shells, and a small piece of fiberfill.


The supplies you'll need for your pin cushion.
Gather your supplies.


Make the Improv Top

  1. Cut small 1-inch to 2-inch pieces from your scraps. These pieces can be any shape.
  2. Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance and start sewing pieces right-side together. They do not need to fit exactly.
  3. Press seams.
  4. Continue sewing pieces along raw edges until you have either a square or rectangular shape big enough for a pin cushion. I like to keep my pin cushions small, but you can make yours as big as you want.


Stitching your scraps together to create the top.
Stitching your scraps together to create the top.


Square It Up and Quilt It

  1. Square up your improv piece. My example is about 4 x 3 inches.
  2. Cut a piece of fabric the same dimension as your improv top. I like to use this second piece of fabric as a stabilizer to give the pin cushion top a bit more substance.
  3. Layer the improv top over the piece from step 6 and quilt. In my example, I did some basic straight-stitch quilting.


The top of the pin cushion.
The top of the pin cushion.
Quilting your improv pin cushion.
Quilting your improv pin cushion.


Sew It Together

  1. Cut another  piece of fabric the same size as your quilted improv piece for your pin cushion bottom.
  2. Place the pin cushion top and bottom right-sides together and sew using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Be sure to leave an opening for turning.
  3. Clip the corners carefully to reduce bulk.
  4. Turn the pin cushion so the right-sides are out.
  5. Fill with crushed walnut shells, about 3/4 of the way to the top.
  6. Place a small piece of fiberfill into the opening so that the walnut shells do not escape!
  7. Hand stitch the opening closed.


The finishing touches!
The finishing touches!


Enjoy your new improv pin cushion!

Happy quilting!


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