Sew Let's Quilt Along: Pin Cushion

Welcome back to Sew Let’s Quilt Along! It’s hard to believe we’re already on block 8. If you’ve missed any of the blocks, you can find links to all of them on my quilt along page. All of the block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019, so it’s not too late to get started.

This week we’re taking a break from piecing and doing a bit of applique! This week’s block is the most iconic pincushion of all - the tomato pincushion. It was designed by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting, so pop on over to her blog post to get the pattern.

Tips and Tricks

Adding a Table

I decided that I wanted my pincushion to rest on a table. I cut the table fabric at 4.5” x 13” and I cut the background at 9” x 13”.

Make Sure the Templates Print Correctly

Sherry has helpfully included a 1” test block on the template page. Check that the box is actually 1” before you start tracing. If you’re having trouble getting it to come out the right size, try downloading the pattern to an actual computer (rather than opening it in your internet browser or using a mobile device). When you print, make sure that “fit to page” isn’t checked. Depending on the settings you have available, you want to print the page at 100% scale or actual size.

Tracing the Shapes

My favorite fusible web is Lite Steam-A-Seam 2. It doesn’t gum up my needle, and it’s just a little bit sticky to help the pieces stay in place before you press. I always trace my shapes with a pencil so I can erase any mistakes.

Avoiding Stiffness

To help keep my quilt nice and soft, I like to cut away the center of the fusible for large shapes. In this case, I cut away the center of the tomato before I fused it to my fabric. Make sure you leave about 1/2” around the edge.

Peeling the Paper

Sometimes I find it pretty challenging to get the paper to peel off. This is especially true on little circles like we have here! If you score the paper with a pin, it makes it so much easier to get started.

Secure With Stitching

It’s important to stitch around your applique so you can be sure that it will stand the test of time. You can use any stitch you would like. Zigzags and blanket stitches are both popular options. Personally, I went for a simple straight stitch just inside the edge. For best results, choose a thread that blends.

Handling Corners

When I’m stitching down my applique, I always use the needle down feature and go slowly. When I get to a corner, I make sure my needle is down, then lift the presser foot so I can pivot the fabric. I do the same thing to keep the stitching going nicely along the round edges. These circles were so small that I only took one or two stitches at a time before lifting my foot and adjusting the fabric position. As long as you take your time, this part is easier than it looks.

Adding the Pin Shafts

I decided to make my pin shafts with a permanent fabric pen instead of embroidering them. My very favorite fabric pen is the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric. I used a ruler to make sure my lines stayed nice and straight. I didn’t make all of my lines the same length, because some pins get stuck farther into the pincushion than others.

Important - If you use this method, wipe off the ruler between pins. Otherwise you may smear permanent ink on your block.

Trimming the Block

I wanted my pincushion to be perfectly centered from left to right. Since the block is a little bit over-sized, I just eyeballed it when I fused the pincushion in place, then made it perfect when I trimmed. To center the pincushion, I lined up the outer edges with the 2 1/4” line and the 10 1/4” line on my ruler.

Vertically, I trimmed most of the excess from the top of the block. I was happy with the size of my table, so I just trimmed the bottom a tiny bit to make sure it was nice and square.

Our Lovely Hosts

We have eight hosts for segment 2, and we all made our very own pincushion blocks. Be sure to visit all of the lovely ladies below for more tips and inspiration. If you like what you see, leave a comment! We all love a bit of encouragement from our fellow quilters.


We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old. If you don’t remember what I mean by segment, check out the intro post for a refresher on how this quilt along is structured.

How to Enter

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

For segment 2, entries will be open from 12:00 am July 2 to 11:59 pm July 15, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

Segment 2 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 2:

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

What’s Your Plan?

I thought the applique for this block was a really fun change of pace! I’m curious how you plan to make yours. Do you think you’ll add a table, or would you rather have your pincushion floating on the background? What about the pins? Do you love embroidery, or do you think you’ll use a fabric pen like I did? Whatever you decide, I’m sure your block will be lovely. I can’t wait to see what you make!

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