These quick-to-make pincushions are cute enough to give individually or as a towering set of three.
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Designer: Roseann Meehan Kermes


  • Scraps of assorted black-and-white prints
  • Embroidery floss: black
  • Cotton or polyester fiberfill
  • Long, sharp needle (such as a dollmaker's needle)

Finished pincushions: 5-1/2"-, 4"-, and 1-1/2"-diameter

Quantities are for 100% cotton fabrics.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Instructions are given to make one large pincushion. For medium or small size, refer to measurements and patterns in parentheses. Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces.

From assorted black-and-white prints, cut:

  • 2--7" squares (5" squares; 3" squares)
  • 1 of Pattern D (E; F)

Assemble Pincushion

1. On wrong side of a black-and-white print 7" square (5" square; 3" square), trace around A (B; C) template with a pencil.

2. With right sides together, layer marked and unmarked squares. With a small stitch length (1.5–2 mm), sew on marked line. Overlap stitches slightly where you begin and end.

3. Trim seam allowance a scant 1⁄4" beyond stitching line. Clip corners and curves almost to stitching (Diagram 1).


4. Decide which print will be the top of the pincushion; on that side, carefully cut a 3⁄4"-long slit in the center (Diagram 1).

5. Turn pincushion right side out. Stuff tightly with fiberfill (use eraser end of a pencil to poke stuffing into petals). Hand-stitch opening closed.

Finish Pincushion

1. Using six strands of black floss and a long, sharp needle, insert needle into pincushion's top center and bring it out at bottom center (Diagram 2). Bring floss up around one of the inside curves between petals, then push needle from top center down to bottom center as before. Continue stitching and wrapping floss between all petals, pulling tightly to indent pincushion. Knot securely.


2. Turn under 1⁄4" around black-and-white print D (E; F) circle. Using a long running stitch, hand-stitch close to folded edge; draw up stitches tightly and tie thread ends in a knot to make a yo-yo  (Diagram 3). (To speed process, use large, small, and extra-small yo-yo-making tools available at quilt shops and crafts supply stores.)


3. Hand-stitch yo-yo to top center of pincushion with matching thread to complete pincushion.