Scrappy Armrest Pincushion Tutorial

Amy Friendselvages, sewing, tutorial61 Comments

Ever since I first visited Karen Griska’s inspirational Selvage Blog, this project has been brewing in the back of my mind. Sew, Mama, Sew is holding a scrappy tutorial contest for the month of October so that gave me the extra push I needed to get it done.
This pincushion hangs over the armrest of your couch or armchair while you sew. The side pockets hold scissors, measuring tapes, thread or bobbins. For this project, I used many kinds of scraps, including the scrappiest of all scraps, selvages. All seam allowances are 1/4″.
1. To begin, we will create the selvage pockets. I cut two 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ squares of muslin and drew a few diagonal lines across them in pencil to help while lining up and sewing the selvages. I chose to sew the selvages along the diagonal rather than horizontal rows because this allowed me to use even the tiniest, short, little selvages. I began in one corner, with the raw edge of the fabric facing the center of the block and the selvage edge in the corner. I stitched along the selvage edge. Then I layered the next selvage on top of the raw edge, stitched the selvage edge, and repeated until the square was complete. Turn the square over and using the muslin square as a guide, cut off the excess. Then set your two selvage pockets aside.

2. For the bottom of the pincushion, you will need 3 very scrappy 6 1/2″ square blocks (finished size 6″). I made a nine patch, a split log cabin and a log cabin, all using many small scraps. Sew the three patchwork squares together with a 1 1/2″ strip of fabric dividing them. Next cut a piece of solid colored fabric 6 1/2″ x 19 1/2.” As you will see, I even pieced this section together with my seams in the center where they will not be visible. Find a scrap of batting the same size and create a quilt sandwich. Quilt as desired. I used a simple stipple. Set this piece aside.
3. To create the pincushion, cut two pieces of fabric and one piece of batting to 7 1/2″ x 10″. I used unbleached muslin. You can embellish this piece if desired. I used a favorite selvage and appliqued it onto the muslin. Then create a quilt sandwich and quilt as desired. I used my walking foot and made a few straight lines. You don’t want a lot of quilting here because it will get in the way of the pins when you are putting them into your pincushion. With right sides together, stitch the 7 1/2″ edges to eachother, and turn.
4. Create about 65″ of binding. There is no reason why this binding couldn’t be scrappy too, though mine is not. Attach binding to the top edge of your selvage pockets. Set aside the remaining binding.

5. Assemble your pincushion by pinning the selvage pockets to the solid colored side of your quilted piece. Then center the pincusion in the center and pin along one edge. Stitch along this edge and then stuff. Once stuffed, stitch the other edge and trim excess material. Finally, bind the edges.

Enjoy your scrappy pincushion!