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Patchwork Pincushion and Needlebook Project

Scrap friendly Patchwork Pincushion and Needlebook project

This matching patchwork pincushion and needlebook are ideal for taking to sewing groups or classes with you and make a great scrap busting project.  I made my pincushion small to keep it portable but you could easily add more strips to it and make a larger one to use at home.  These fun fabrics from Cloud 9 are perfect for making sewing accessories.

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Scraps of fabric ( I used a fat quarter bundle of Sew Yummy from Cloud 9 provided by Hantex)

Crushed walnut shells/wadding/toy stuffing to fill the pincushion.


1 large button

10cm of ribbon

Small piece of felt

How to cut strips of fabric

How to make a pincushion 

Step 1

 Cut 1.5 inch strips from each of your fabrics.  Press them after cutting to remove any creases.

How to sew a scrappy needlebook

Step 2

Place one of your strips upside down and lay it over one of the upwards facing strips at a right angle.  Pin into place and stitch along the outside edge (where the pin is positioned in the above photo).  

Once stitched keep both fabrics right sides together and cut along the edges of your centre square of overlapping fabrics.  You will end up with 2 small squares joined together as per the bottom right image.

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Step 3

Put a different strip of fabric over the 2 squares you have just stitched together, so the right sides are facing.  Stitch down one of the long sides joining the new strip to the 2 squares (where the pin is in the right hand image). As before trim off the remainder of the trip of fabric, cutting where the dotted arrow is in the above image.

Patchwork pincushion tutorial

Step 4

You will end up with a square made from 2 smaller squares and one rectangle.  Place a different strip of fabric along one of the sides and stitch and trim as before.  Work your way around the square doing this until you have reached the desired size of your pincushion.

I used 6 strips to make a small rectangular pincushion.  If you want a larger pincushion keep sewing until you reach the size you want.

How to make a travel pincushion to take to sewing groups

Step 5

Cut a piece of fabric the same size as your final pincushion top, or make another log cabin the same size if you’d like to make a reversible pincushion. Place the fabrics right sides together and stitch around the outside leaving a space at one end open as indicated above.  Trim the corners and then turn through. 

Using crushed walnut shells to make a pincushion

Step 6

Next you want to put the filling into your pincushion, you could use wadding, scraps, stuffing or as I’ve used crushed walnut shells.  These are meant to sharpen your pins when you push them into the pincushion and they give your pincushion weight.  

If using the crushed walnut shells for your pincushion filling I find it easiest to use a tea spoon to put them in.  Only half fill the spoon each time so you don’t drop any because they are a pain to pick up!  If you are careful you may be able to pour them straight from the bag into the hole in the fabric.

After you have filled your pincushion carefully stitch the gap closed. Now your pin cushion is ready to use

how to make a needle case

How to make a Needlebook

Step 1

Cut a piece of wadding to the size that you want to make your needle book.  Using the strips you have left from making your pin cushion sew a few of them together horizontally until you have a piece of fabric slightly larger than your wadding as per the top images below. 

How to sew a needlebook

Step 2

Lay your fabric over the piece of wadding (you can pin it if you want to) and stitch along each of the seams to secure it to your wadding.  I did a different decorative stitch along each of the seams.  If you don’t have decorative stitches on your machine you could do a zigzag stitch, or even a straight stitch. 


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Step 3

Cut a piece of fabric to the same size as your patchwork piece to be the lining of your needlecase.  Place both fabrics, the patchwork piece and the lining right sides together and stitch around them leaving a small gap in the middle of one of the shorter sides (where the pin is in the picture abive) so you can turn the fabric through.

Trim the corners to reduce bulk (as per the right image above) and then turn your fabric through and press.  Don’t close the gap yet, you’ll need this later.

Beginner's needlecase project

Step 4

Your small piece of ribbon is going to make the closure for the needlecase, creating a loop to go around a button on the front.  Firstly, you want to hand sew your button into the front just going through the top layer of fabric not all layers so you won’t see stitching on the inside.  Check the position before stitching to make sure it is where your loop of ribbon will go.  The ribbon will be stitched into the gap you left when you turned the fabric.

Once the button is secure place the ends of the ribbon in the gap, leave enough ribbon out to loop over the button when the needlebook is closed.  But not too much, you don’t want it opening up because the ribbon is too loose.   Now you can stitch the gap closed, trapping the ends of the ribbon between the 2 pieces of the fabric as you do so.

Scrappy needlecase project

Step 5

Cut a piece of felt about 2cm smaller than your needle case on the width and height.   Fold your needle case in half and using a chalk or air earasble pen mark the midway point on the top and bottom of the lining.  Do the same with the felt and then place the felt on top of the needlebook lining up the marks.  Stitch up the centre of the needlebook holding the felt sheet in place.

Et voila you have a finished patchwork pincushion and matching needlebook to use.

Find other sewing accessory projects on our free sewing projects page