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I’d like to share with you a simple pincushion that I made using one of the lovely paper pieced patterns designed by Nicole from Lillyella. She has kindly made these available for free, so if you’d like to make one of these butterflies, hop on over to her blog and get the pattern.

If you’d like to use another design for the top, I cut my unfinished block to 4 1/2″ square, to give a finished pincushion size of 4″.

If you’re wondering what I mean by boxed, I’m talking about the added shaping to make this a box shape. In this case they are just four rectangles joined together.

You will need 4 rectangles 4 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ and a base 4 1/2″ square. I used 1/4″ seams throughout. I also reinforced the reverse of my butterfly block with lightweight fusible interfacing. This covers up the seams to avoid them catching while sewing, and provides extra stability to keep your block square.

Pincushion parts

Top with interfacing



Mark 1/4″ on the top and bottom of the rectangles. Stitch right sides together between marks, leaving the top and bottom sections open. This makes it a lot easier to turn the corners. Join all four sections together this way, and press seams open.


Gusset corner and side



Now you can attach the strip of rectangles to the top of the pincushion. Open up the corners as you approach them and turn the next side at 90 degrees. You can also back stitch if you wish at the beginning and end of each corner to reinforce.

top with gusset



Attach the bottom square to the centre strip using the same method, and making sure to leave enough of a gap to turn it through.

Inside out



So now we come to my filling tools…A funnel, and I have lately been using polyfil and rice in my cushions… the polyfil on the top for loft and softness, and the rice for weight and bulk, as I like the way it fills it out.

I put a reasonable amount of polyfil in first, and then using my funnel, slowly fill with some rice until it’s pretty full. Keep holding the little gap shut and turning up the right way to eyeball the shape and work out how fat you want it. This can be quite messy, and I’m always spilling the rice during this part, so take it slow!

Then I go between poking more polyfil in, and adding more rice until I’m happy. So I basically have rice in between the two layers of polyfil. I think I put in about 1/2 cup of rice in the end.

Pincushion Stuffing



Here’s a shot of how full I made it. Then blind stitch the opening closed. Give it a last press to make the seams a bit sharper. I also like to pull the corners out with a pin if they are still tending to poke back in.

Cushion opening and sewn up


Admire the finished product…this one was made for a secret swap and is off to Florida…you know you are!!

Pincushion closeup


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