Gift Inspiration Day Six: Sidekick Pin Cushion

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Day Six:  Sidekick Pin Cushion

side * kick  n.  A close companion or comrade.  (

There I was, sitting on the couch trying to finish my quilt by handsewing the binding.  Next to me, on the arm of the couch, sat my thread, scissors, Wonder Clips, a little pile of thread and my phone.  Suddenly, the phone rang.  As I reached for it, I knocked my thread, scissors, Wonder Clips, little pile of thread, and, yes, phone to the floor.  As I set the quilt and needle down next to me and leaned over to retrieve my supplies, I thought to myself, “Oh, if only I had some way to have all of my supplies near me and within easy reach, but somehow contained.”  Hmmm…..

Sidekick Pin Cushion Tutorial


Pin cushion:  (16)  2.5″ squares of coordinating fabric

Background:  (2) 8.5″ x 18″

Pocket:  (1) 8.5″ square

Fusible Fleece:  (1) 8.5″ x 18″



(All seams are 1/4″)

Lay the (16) 2.5″ squares out in a 4 x 4 pattern.  Sew the top row together, continue with rows 2, 3, and 4.  Press your seams to the left in rows 1 and 3 and to the right in rows 2 and 4.  Sew rows 1-4 together until you have one piece. This will be the pin cushion square. Set aside for now.


Fold the 8.5″ x 8.5″ pocket piece in half with wrong sides together and press.  Top stitch 1/8″ from the folded edge.


Place one of the 8.5″ x 18″ backing pieces right side up on cutting table.  Lay the pocket piece on top, lining up the raw edges with the bottom and the sides.  The folded edge should be towards the middle of the backing piece.  Baste 1/8″ along the two sides and the bottom.


With the top of the pocket at the bottom (as shown in the photo above) measure in 3″ from the left side and stitch a vertical seam from the bottom to the top of the pocket, back stitching the pocket at the top folded edge.  This will divide the large pocket into two pockets.


Using the patchwork piece you made earlier, press two opposite sides in 1/4″ on the pin cushion square.


Pin the pin cushion in place as shown above.  I placed it about 2″ from the pocket.  Top stitch 1/8″ around the pin cushion, leaving a 2.5″ opening on one side.


Lightly fill the pincushion with polyfill, top stitch 1/8″ opening closed.


Starting with one of the middle seams of the pincushion, stitch in the ditch.  Continue out to the left and right.  Rotate cushion, start again in the middle of the pin cushion, stitch in the ditch.  Work outwards until all seams are quilted.


You may need to press down on either side of the foot as you sew in order to avoid puckers.


Using a hot iron, fuse the fusible fleece to the back of the remaining
8.5″ x 18″ background piece.


Place the two backing pieces right sides together, stitch around all four sides with a 1/4″ seam, leaving a 3-4″ opening on one long side.  Clip the corners and turn right side out through the opening.  Fold the opening in 1/4″ and press entire piece well.


Top stitch 1/8″ around all four sides.

Your Sidekick is now complete.  I use the larger pocket to hold my thread and scissors, and the smaller pocket holds the little snips of thread that normally collect on my shirt.


I attend a quilt retreat with friends each October, and we like to bring a small gift to trade with each other.  With just one charm pack and assorted fat quarters and scraps, I was able to make eight Sidekicks.


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