Tuesday, June 25, 2013

mini 9 patch pin cushion tutorial

Today I am happy to share this tutorial for a mini 9 patch pin cushion with you. It's simple, fun, and best yet, it's a nearly instant gratification project. It's perfect for this time of year when many of us have limited sewing time. My hope is that you make a cute little pin cushion for yourself, then make one to give to a friend and brighten their day! Repeat as many times as you see fit. ;)

Materials Needed:
5  1" squares in a small print or solid for the 9 patch
4  1" squares in white for the 9 patch
2  2" x 1 1/2" strips for the borders
2  4" x 1 1/2" strips for the borders
1  4 1/2" square of batting
1  4" square of light or mid weight interfacing
1  4 1/2" square of fabric for the backing
crushed walnut shells* or poly fiber fill for the filling

*Crushed walnut shells are normally used for lizard bedding. They can be found in larger pet stores. I think I bought mine at Pet Smart in a 11 liter bag. That will make quite a few pin cushions! :)

All seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.

Lay out the 1" squares in a 9 patch formation as shown.
Sew the blocks together into 3 rows. Then sew the rows together to make a mini 9 patch. Press well. The middle square finishes at 1/2"!!! (Eeeee!) I'll admit that these are fiddly-but so darn cute-so it's totally worth it!

Sew the 2" x 1 1/2" strips to the top and the bottom of the 9 patch block. Press the seams toward the borders.
Sew the 4" x 1 1/2" strips to the sides of the block. Again, press the seams toward the borders.
Layer the block on to a 4 1/2" piece of batting. Quilt with straight lines about 1/4" apart through the borders only. Since this piece is so small, I didn't even bother changing to a walking foot. I used the same foot I used to piece everything together and it worked just fine.
Trim the quilted piece to 4" square.
Following the package directions, fuse the square of interfacing to the square of backing fabric. Trim the piece to 4" square.
Place the quilted piece and the backing piece right sides together. Sew around the perimeter, leaving a small opening for turning. Back stitch at the beginning and ending of the seam. Trim corners close to (but not through) the thread line.
Carefully turn the pin cushion right side out. Use a knitting needle or a blunt end of a scissors to turn out the corners nicely.
Fill with crushed walnut shells or poly fiber fill. If you are using crushed walnut shells (as I did here) I suggest using a piece of scratch paper rolled into a funnel to make filling easier. Hand stitch the opening closed with a ladder stitch and silk thread for a nearly invisible closure.
Stick a few pins in and admire your cute little pin cushion!!!
The more you make, the cuter they are!
Trust me, I've done studies on it! By the way, these 12 were made last year.
So, there you have it! Make one, give one, spread some joy! :) As always, if you make any of these, I'd love to see them.
Terms of use: Please use this tutorial for personal use only. Make as many as you would like to keep or to give as gifts, but please do not sell items made from this tutorial. Thank you so much!


  1. Absolutely adorable! Thanks for the tutorial--what a great little gift to cheer someone up! Julierose

  2. Love them to pieces - might have to go and make one!

  3. Now you know I am so thrilled!
    Thank you, thank you!
    I will stop bugging you now....
    (well for this tutorial)Smile!
    Thank you, really I adore these.

  4. Cute!!!! Adding to my list of "Must Dos" Thanks for sharing!

  5. really adorable. I do like that you've thoroughly researched the issue. : )

  6. Now I have to add pet store to my list of errands for tomorrow. :) !!!

  7. Holy Smokes that nine patch is tiny...But I LOVE it! <3

    Note to self: I should really start a pin cushion collection. They are so cute!

  8. Just added one, or two to my summer sewing list. Just too cute!

  9. Such tiny squares! They're so cute, thank you

  10. Thank you for the tip on where to buy crushed walnut shell! These are so cute and I am in need of a pin cushion.

  11. those are sweet! I'll bet I have scraps already cut to size!!!

  12. OMG..why I never thinking to use poly fibber before..dooh!! Thank you for tutorial, Amanda..

  13. These are too sweet! Yesterday I was in the fabric store and a lady mentioned there were exactly 6-months left until Christmas. These would make such a nice little unexpected gift to give in December. Or, perhaps a person could make seasonal pincushions and give them as a set for a gift. Just imagine how exciting it would be to open a gift filled with small pincushions made from assorted holiday fabrics :O)

  14. Thanks for sharing. This looks like a perfect project to use up the scraps ~ cant wait to give a try.

  15. That is so tiny and cute!!!!

  16. Where do you buy crushed walnut shells? I've had a couple of cute pincushion ideas floating around my head but didn't know where to buy them. Also - I've heard of using steel wool - what are your thoughts? :)

  17. I am in love! These are absolutely adorable - thank you for sharing!

  18. Oh these are too sweet not to try tonight when I get home. someone mentioned how nice these would be as Christmas presents, I'm thinking you could add holiday ribbon and they would make a great ornament or package decoration. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  19. These are adorable! Can't wait to get started. Thanks for the filler info. Always wondered what to use.

  20. Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial on these - have admired yours and will now make several:)

  21. I'm with the Parrish Family. Where do you buy crushed walnut shells? And yes, what about steel wool or sand even?
    Thank you for the tutorial!

  22. Thanks so much for sharing. They would make very sweet gifts for a sewing buddy.

  23. Thank you very much for this tutorial! They are tiny but cute! I had to write ''walnut shells'' on my list to buy at the pet store :) I always wondered what they put inside the pincushions, I put flax seeds in mine lol:)

  24. Lovely pin cushion!
    Thank you so much for the tutorial.


  25. Lovely little project! May take this one travelling with me xx

  26. Cute, cute, cute! I like them and need to make one for myself. :)

  27. I did get 1 great little 9 patch top done last night. Forgot I wanted to make one until almost 10PM. Hope to get it finished tonight. I can see how they will be addicting.

  28. Just adorable and a perfect little gifty item for a special friend.

  29. That is such a pretty quilt! Thanks for the tutorial, I have just written my first and now I know how much work it takes, even for small things, so that makes it even more special! Are you writing another book soon? Your Sunday Morning quilts is the favourite on my bookcase.

  30. These are so cute and I can't wait to make some. There are so many projects you can make with these adorable blocks. Thanks for sharing! :)