Let a weighted pincushion hold a thread catcher on the edge of your sewing surface. To weight the pincushion, use sand or insert a few drapery weights and add crushed walnuts hulls or fiberfill.
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Designer: Elizabeth Beese


  • 18×21" piece (fat quarter) of main print (outer bag, pincushion, straps)
  • 9×21" piece (fat eighth) of coordinating print (bag lining)
  • Sand or other heavyweight pincushion filler

Finished bag: 4-1⁄2×6×3"

Finished pincushion: Approximately 4-1⁄2×2-1⁄2×1"

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

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From main print, cut:

  • 2--8" squares
  • 2--3-1⁄2×5-1⁄2" rectangles
  • 2--2-1⁄2×5" rectangles

From coordinating print, cut:

  • 2--8" squares

Assemble Straps and Pincushion

1. With right sides together, fold a main print 2-1⁄2×5" rectangle in half lengthwise to make a 1-1⁄4×5" rectangle (Diagram 1). Using a 1⁄4" seam, sew together long edges to make a tube. Turn tube right side out. Centering seam in front, press tube flat to make a strap. Mark the center of the height of the strap. Repeat to make a second strap.


2. Referring to Diagram 2, place straps on right side of a main print 3-1⁄2×5-1⁄2" rectangle with center marks positioned as shown. Sew across each center mark several times to secure straps to rectangle.


3. Fold straps in half over stitching and press flat to make pincushion bottom (Diagram 3).


4. With right sides together, layer pincushion bottom with remaining main print 3-1⁄2×5-1⁄2" rectangle. Being careful to not catch straps in stitching and leaving a 2-1⁄2" opening in center of bottom edge, sew together on all edges (Diagram 4). Turn right side out to make pincushion body (Diagram 5).


Assemble Bag

1. Sew together main print 8" squares along three pairs of edges to make outer bag (Diagram 6). Press seams to one side or open.


2. At one sewn corner of outer bag, match seams to create a flattened triangle (Diagram 7). Measuring 1-1⁄2" from point of triangle, draw a 3"-long line across triangle. Sew on drawn line. Trim excess fabric, leaving 1⁄2" seam allowance. Repeat at remaining sewn corner to shape bottom of outer bag. Turn outer bag right side out.


3. Position pincushion bottom against one side of bag; match strap raw edges to raw edge of bag; baste straps to bag a scant 1⁄4" from edge (Diagram 8).


4. Using coordinating print 8" squares, repeat Step 1, leaving a 4" opening in center of bottom edge, to make bag lining (Diagram 9).


5. Repeat Step 2 to shape bottom of bag lining. Leave lining wrong side out.

6. Insert outer bag (and pincushion) into bag lining and align raw edges (Diagram 10). Sew together raw edges. Turn right side out through opening in lining. Slip-stitch opening closed. Insert lining into outer bag and press top edge flat. Topstitch close to top edge to complete bag. Fill pincushion with sand and slip-stitch opening closed.