Pocket Pincushion Tutorial

You can never have too many pincushions! I don't know about you, but I leave a trail of pins in my sewing area (and beyond). I have a pin cushion on my machine, at my pressing table, cutting table and places in between but it doesn't seem to stop loose pins from ending up on the floor. Ha! So when my Panda Love fabric arrived from Riley Blake Designs, I was itching to make a pincushion featuring the cute little characters.

I love the Pocket Pincushions that I've seen online so I made up my own version using a paper pieced block featured as the pocket. Of course, I had to fussy cut a sweet little Panda as the center piece but which one to use - so many choices?

I put a call out to my followers on facebook and the consensus was # 3 - the Panda carrying the umbrella with white background. Who can resist a Panda in boots?!

Next, I chose the coordinating prints for the rest of the project and gathered my supplies. For any beginners out there, I suggest getting organized first to avoid frustration later. Get out your paper piecing pattern if you're using that technique, cut out your fabrics and have your cutting mat, pressing surface and sewing machine ready.

Make your pocket top first. Either use a 5X5 paper pieced block (like I did below) or choose another method. If you'd like the paper pieced pattern seen here you can click to buy it on our WEBSITE or Etsy. The pattern also includes even more detailed instructions for the Pocket Pincushion - 11 pages of color photos, diagrams and helpful tips.

With your finished paper pieced block (5.5" X 5.5"), cut out a piece of white cotton fabric for the back that is 1/2" longer (5.5" X 6"). This will make the white trim at the top of the block. With right sides together, sew the front and back of pocket together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press.

With wrong sides together press so that front and back sides match along the bottom edge. Now you can see the 1/4" trim revealed at the top of pocket front. Topstitch as desired. Cut a piece of batting a little bigger than 5.5" X 5.5" and place it between the front and back of pocket to make a quilt sandwich. Pin together and quilt as desired. I machine quilted mine.

For the pincushion cut 2 of 5.5" X 7.5" pieces of fabric from coordinating prints. I used Panda Love Words (Aqua) and a piece of Panda Love Floral (Black).

With right side of "Words" fabric facing up, pin the quilted pocket unit with bottom edges aligned (see below). Pin and sew the pocket 1/8" from outside edge.

With right sides together sew the front section of pincushion (including the pocket) to the back fabric (black floral). Don't sew about 3 inches at the bottom edge so that there is enough space for you to stuff the batting (see photo below).

With scissors, clip the corners so there will be less bulk when you turn your project.

Turn your project right sides out and stuff firmly with batting. I used the non-pointy end of a wooden skewer to get batting into the corners. With pins or clips, fasten the opening at the bottom of your pincushion and hand sew it with a ladder or slip stitch so it's invisible.

Once the pincushion is finished you can stuff the pocket with small scissors and fasten your clips to the edge of the pocket. This pincushion holds a lot of pins - just be careful not to stab the panda - ha!!

I hope you like my version of a pocket pincushion! I think the fussy-cut paper-pieced block is the perfect way to showcase our little pandas. Paper-piecing is my new favourite quilt technique - it's easy to do and the results are perfect - even for a beginner! I hope you make one too. Please share if you do!