My Little Pincushions

Remember I told you that I tried out my book Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim?

I told you about how I used the wonder under to make the pieces…

of how I put them together….

and how I used my machine to stitch the pieces down.

I decided that I’d make them for gifts.  I cut two pieces of fabric that was 10″ x 10″.  I layered them on top of each other.  Then I drew a line and sectioned them into four- 5″ square quadrants.  I put a sewing machine in each one.  Then I stitched them.  It was with two layers of fabric.  I did this as it was easier to manipulate a bigger piece of fabric in the sewing machine.  I also knew I wanted to make them into pincushions with sand in them.  The double layer prevents the sand from seeping out.

Then I cut them apart.  I trimmed them to 4 1/4″ square.

Then I cut two layers of backing fabric the same size.  Again, I used a double layer of backing fabric.  I layered right side together and sewed a 1/4″ seam all around the edge leaving a small opening for turning the pincushion right side out.  But…before I turned them, I boxed the corners.


Then I turned them all right side out.

I use silica sand for filling the pincushions.  I know some people used crushed walnuts.  I’ve heard it dulls pins so I stick with sand.  I don’t know if it’s true but I haven’t wanted to find out.

I use a funnel for filling sand.  I have a buck with sand and have a funnel that stays in the bucket for this very reason.

Then I started stitching the opening closed.  When I get about his far, I stop….


I put the funnel in the small opening and fill to the very brim.   Then I finish sewing them shut.  This is backing…
With that I had one done and four more to go.

Typically I’m not really good at putzy projects but this was okay.  I didn’t mind it a bit.

I finished one right away and gifted it.  Then later went on and finished the other four.

I thought they were so cute.  They aren’t very uniform and exactly alike but I’m okay.  On their own they all look cute.  I love how the backing fabric comes halfway up the sides.


so cute…I’m glad I made enough so I can keep one.


Here is how I wrapped them.  The top almost looked like it had a carnation on the top.  Precious.

So that was my pincushions.  I would like to do some more projects using this technique.  It was fun.

If you are interested, you can find the book HERE.

14 thoughts on “My Little Pincushions

  1. Penny Holliday

    Very cute pin cushion especially for a gift! Love the squared corners & how the backing comes up the side!

  2. Kate

    Great way to make them and I like the way you boxed the corners. That is much easier than other ways I have seen to make these. I enjoy your messages and how much love there is in your family.

  3. Jean GB

    I’d like to say something about Mammograms. I got breast cancer for my 50th birthday. An odd gift I know! Anyway, the kind of cancer I had would have never been noticed with only a self breast exam. It wasn’t a lump. It would have been only found with a Mammo. I had to have a mastectomy. Luckily I didn’t have to have any chemo or radiation treatments. I really push yearly Mammos and I’m sure you can understand why. That was almost 20 years ago and I’m still kicking!

  4. Cindy F

    The pin cushions are adorable! I love the boxy look and how the backing comes up the sides. I made some pin cushions awhile back but didn’t know what to fill them with as I worried about allergies with any nut shells. I thought about steel wool but ended up using batting but I think I will be looking for the silica sand for the next time.

  5. barbara woods

    I bought a big bag of crushed walnuts and made one but it does make them rust! Waste of money! Your’s look great!

  6. Cindie

    Adorable. Any friend who sews would be delighted to receive such a sweet gift. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  7. Judith Fairchild

    Mom had a pin cushion filled with sand all her pins and needles stayed sharp love those pin cusions and the sewing machines.

  8. Margaret

    Nice pincushions!

    You were specific about the type of sand you used…silica sand. As opposed to, say, play sand that is sold for sandboxes. Is there a particular reason you used this type of sand? And where did you get it?

    I’ve been using ground walnut shells, but am beginning to think they may be dulling my pins. Can’t get a straight answer on this…some people say the shells sharpen pins and other say they dull them. Pins in the pincushion that’s had walnut shells for quite some time are definitely duller than new pins, so am thinking of switching to sand as I love to make, use, and gift pincushions.

    Thanks so much!

  9. Jo Post author

    I use the silica sand and get it from a big box store like Home Depot. One bag will last a lifetime.

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