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:
- 12 Mini Charm Pack squares (2 1/2″) for the pin cushion, OR 12 Charm Pack squares (5″) for the pillow
- 1 or 2 buttons for the center
- Thread for sewing (I like Aurifil 50wt.)
- Filling of your choice- See my blog post here for tips and ideas!!
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.
- Walkabout Mini Charm Pack
- Walkabout charm pack
- Little Snippets charm pack
- Little Snippets mini charm pack
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!):