Jacquelynne Steves

Pinwheel Pin Cushion & Mini Pillow Tutorial

Hi Friends!! Isn’t this pin wheel pin cushion adorable! I made the pin cushion (4″ square), and had so much fun that I decided to make a larger one to use for a mini (9″) pillow! They were really, really quick to make, too, because I used precut fabrics. Just use mini charm packs for the pin cushion, or a regular charm pack for the little pillow.

There is a fun folding technique to make the double pinwheel design- but don’t worry, it’s pretty easy, and if your points in the center don’t match up exactly, it’s no big deal because we’re going to put a button on it anyway!!

Below the tutorial, I’ve included a list of links below so you can easily find the fabrics and buttons that I used. These are affiliate links, which means if you decide to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

OK, here’s the tutorial:


Sew 4 squares together for the back. TIP- you will notice that these precuts have a “pinked” edge. When sewing them together, it doesn’t matter if you use the outer or inner point of the edge for calculating your seam allowance- just be consistent!

Take your 4 dark squares and fold them in half diagonally right sides out (so they make a triangle.) Then fold up one corner so they kind of start to look like little origami birds (LOL.) It’s important that they are all folded in the same exact direction. You don’t have to press them, but I found them easier to work with after I pressed them.

Arrange them on your light squares so they look like this:

then pin in place:

Sew them into pairs (you can either press to one side, or press open), then sew the pairs together for make the front.

Place the front right sides together with the back. Sew together, leaving about a 2″ opening for turning. Clip the corners (this helps to remove the bulk and will create a smoother finish on the corners.)

Turn the pin cushion right side out, and use a chopstick or similar tool to gently push out the seam allowances and corners. Press all the edges, and turn in and press the edges of the opening:

Stuff the pin cushion and hand stitch the opening closed.

Adding a button to the front is not only cute, but it “tufts” the pin cushion and creates more dimension. A method that I like to use is to sew the button on with embroidery floss, leaving the tails on the front. Go all the way through to the back when sewing on the button, to create the tufting.

Sometimes it’s difficult to pull the needle through- you can use some small needle nose pliers to help.

Make a sturdy knot on the front:

Trim the tails, and “fluff” the strands of thread:

For my mini pillow, I used 2 buttons layered on top of each other. The large button was a regular flat button, and the pink one on top was a shank button.


Here is a tutorial video with Kimberley from the Fat Quarter Shop and Cecile from Just Another Button Company:


Fabric and Button sources:

Buttons from Just Another Button Company come in the yummiest colors!! They have different sizes of button packages:

The 2 fabric lines that I used were Walkabout and Little Snippets, both by Moda. I used a Walkabout Fabric Mini Charm Pack (contains precut 2 1/2″ squares) for the small pin cushion, and I used a Little Snippets Fabric Charm Pack (contains precut 5″ squares) for the pillow.

If you’d like to a great variety of fabric lines available in Mini Charm Packs and Charm Packs, click the links below. You only need 12 squares per project, and each pack contains 42, so if my math is right….. you can make 3 pin cushions or pillows per pack (and have a few leftover!):



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    Sherry Aldridge
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Cannot wait to try these.

    • Joey thurston
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Love it and it looks so easy

  • Posted May 24, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Jacquelynne, Thank you for the pincushion patterns. We would appreciate your support in letting your followers and other designers know about Project Pincushion, a fund-raising project of the Friends of the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NE. Anyone can make a pincushion (or 2 or more) and donate them to the museum. The pincushions are sold in the gift shop and all the money goes toward funding future exhibits. For more information, and to donate pincushions, go to our Facebook page Friends of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.

  • Monica Kostak
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I”m making a pillow! I have made a patriotic table runner with 3 pinwheels in a row and had not thought of a pillow. Super cute idea! It also gives me a chance to use my buttons from the FQS club. Thank you for sharing your projects and pattern

  • Sue Mac Donald
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m on a pin cushion collection….love all the patterns. I can never have too many of the patterns or the actual made cushion; thank you for sharing!

  • Pat Arbuckel
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    these are so cute I love having pin cushions I collect some
    just starting

  • Patricia Melilli
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    So cute!!

  • Sherry H
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    These pin cushions are adorable, thank you Jacquelynne.

  • Alesia Steinberger
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I recently made a kids birthday table runner using similar technique. The pincushion just adds another dimension of “cute. Thanks for your postings.

  • Kris
    Posted May 27, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Adorable, perfect for a satisfying afternoon of sewing. Thank you!

  • Glenna Denman
    Posted May 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    How clever! Thank you for sharing this cute idea. One can never have too many pincushions, and they make great gifts to sewing friends.

  • Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Sew very cute! My guild is having a pincushion swap and this would be perfect.
    I would really like to have a printable version of the tutorial.

    • patchsamkim
      Posted August 4, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      FYI….You can copy and paste the pincushion steps into a word document to create your own printable tutorial. :)

  • Janis Schindler
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I want to do some things for my grandkids….blankets, quilts, cute clothes, I don’t know. I am a seamstress and have done bridle, fixing things. Have been sewing forever. My Mom started teaching me when I was nine….guess I bugged her till she taught me. I miss her more than I can say. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.
    Janis Schindler

  • Posted July 20, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I would love a very simple baby quilt to make, I am not a great seamtress, and no idea of what I am doing most of the time, Haave a new grandbaby girl coming soon, I want a cute quilt and simple can you help me out, I need to get started and want to do so many things. Please help me Carol K

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