Learn to Make a Crazy Quilt Pincushion

Foundation square with first piece of fancy fabric
Foundation square with first piece of fancy fabric

This simple pincushion project will give you a small sampling of some of the techniques used in crazy quilting.

Crazy quilts can be made in several ways. My favorite techniques involves a muslin foundation and your sewing machine. You will need to gather an assortment of fabrics, a square of muslin and some items used for decorating your crazy patchwork piece.

To begin, cut a square of muslin to the desired size. I cut my block at 5" square and will trim it down to about 4.5" after all the fabric strips are attached.  The first piece of fancy fabric has been cut into a small, 5-sided section to allow for plenty of angles.

The next step is to cut a strip of another fabric long enough to cover the first side of Piece 1.  Place this strip with right side down against the right side of Piece 1.  Stitch along the raw edge of Piece 2, taking a standard 1/4" seam allowance.

Step 2
Step 2

After stitching, fold the fabric to the right side and press lightly. Take care with fancy fabrics and use a pressing cloth to prevent damaging the fabric. Continue adding strips of fabric around the center section. Trim the edges of the strip to various angles to add interest to the piece. Press carefully to keep everything smooth.

Piece 3 added and trimmed
Piece 3 added and trimmed
Stitching the seam
Stitching the seam

In the photo below, I am ready to trim off some excess fabric from the seam allowance to reduce bulk. I fold back the foundation so it isn't cut by accident and trim with a rotary cutter.

Trim excess seam allowances
Trim excess seam allowances

My finished pincushion will be approximately 4" square. I used a Marti Michell template to trim my piece to 4.5". This will allow for 1/4" seams all around. Any acrylic ruler can be used to square up your piece to the desired size.

Trimming to the final size, including seam allowances.
Trimming to the final size, including seam allowances.

After trimming to size, machine stitch around the perimeter of your square to be sure that all the edges stay flat. Run your line of stitching approximately 1/8" in from the outer edges. This stitching will not show after the pincushion is completed.

You are now ready to add embellishments to the seams of your crazy quilted square. It is not necessary to add decorative stitching to each seam, especially on a project as small as this pincushion. Feel free to use all your favorite craft techniques to decorate your square. I used silk ribbon, sead beads, metallic floss, charms, flat leaf beads and cotton embroidery floss to embellish my pincushion. The photo below shows just a few items that work well for embellishment.

Embelishments
Embelishments
Completed embellishments
Completed embellishments

When all embellishment is completed it is time to add the backing fabric.  I recommend a sturdy fabric for this piece.  Place right sides together and stitch around the edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Leave a fairly large opening to allow for turning and stuffing your pincushion.

After stitching, trim any excess fabric from the seam allowance in the corners.  Turn the piece right sides out and smooth the corners with a small pointed tool.  Stuff with fiber fill to the desired firmness.  Close the opening with hand stiches and you are finished!

Backing fabric showing outer seam and opening for turning.
Backing fabric showing outer seam and opening for turning.

Here is my completed pincushion. I hope you find this to be a fun and easy project to practice crazy quilting techniques.  Look for future hubs with more information about fabric and embellishment choices for crazy quilting.

Comments 4 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Pretty results and fun. I used to be a member of a quilting group many years ago in Wisconsin. We got together once a week in the winter and worked on various projects in each other's homes. They would have enjoyed your crazy quilt pincushion idea.


Karen_S profile image

Karen_S 7 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks, Peggy


Carla 7 years ago

It looks very pretty! I would love to see the completed one.


ludlowquiltandsew profile image

ludlowquiltandsew 6 years ago

Really pretty pin cushion. Great idea.

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