I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinball Swirl Pincushion Tutorial & Giveaway

020B

I am so happy to be sharing my latest tutorial with you.  I originally made this pincushion for my partner in the the Bee a {Modern} Swapper swap.  I received so much positive feedback on that pincushion and a couple of requests for a tutorial, that I decided to take the time and make another one.  As much as I hate to part with another one of these pincushions I am giving it away to one lucky follower.  My way of saying thanks for all of your support and encouragement.  So, don’t forget to leave a comment below.

006

The block is called Pinball Swirl and it is paper pieced.  Click here for the template.

To get started I sorted through my scrap bin and pulled out a variety of bright cheerful colors and placed them in the order of the rainbow.  You will notice that on the template each segment has either has 2 or 3 colors, so before I cut out the segments I marked the back of each segment with a color.  Note, that I did not mark the front of the segments, if you do the color order will be transposed.  I know this because I made that rookie mistake on my first pincushion.

007

Normally, when using these numbered paper pieced templates you will want to add your fabrics in the order in which it is numbered, but I had a little difficultly with that first time around.  I found that starting at the other end worked much better for me.  These templates are very small and I wanted my colors to flow from lightest to darkest.  But do what works best for you.  I don’t claim to be an expert in paper piecing.

  If you hold your paper up to the light you can somewhat line up your fabrics right sides together with a 1/4” seam allowance.  You will want your fabrics behind the template so you can sew directly on the line of the template.  Also, it is best to shorten your stitch length so the paper will be easier to remove later.

009

Once you sew on each fabric you will want to fold back the paper on the stitch line and trim your selvage to a 1/4” to keep things neat and tidy.

010

Then turn over and finger press flat before adding the next fabric.  Repeat the previous step until have added all your fabrics and you are done with that segment.

012

When the segment is complete press and trim off the excess fabric.  Continue until all segments are done.

013

You will notice in this picture I did not add the final color.  I did not like it when I added the white corners in my original pincushion so I trimmed them off, so for this pincushion I just extended the grey.  If I was making these blocks for a quilt I would definitely add the white corners.  Just saying.  It looks really cool when you join them together…. just not on the pincushion.

015

Now it is time to construct your block.  This will be your layout.

016

After you sew together the segments start removing the paper in your seams.  Thrust me, take the time, you will thank me later.  Also, I found tweezers very helpful in this step. 

017

Press your seams open and finish constructing your block.

001

Now we are ready to construct our pincushion.  You will need your finished block, 2 squares of batting cut slightly larger than you block, and backing fabric cut slightly larger than your block.  You will also need filler for your pincushion.  I am using crushed walnut shells and a little puff of Polyfil, but you can fill your pincushion with what ever you like.

002

I machine quilted my block onto my batting for a little extra design and support.  Then I trimmed away the excess and squared up my block.

006

Next, with right sides together I sewed all four layers together, creating my pillow, leaving an opening to turn my pincushion right side out.  Then I trimmed off the excess and clipped off the corners.

008

Next I filled my pincushion with about 2 cups of crushed walnut shells.  I like using the crushed walnut shells because it give me the extra heft in a pincushion that I am looking for.  I like when my pincushion stays put and doesn’t slid all over my workspace, besides there are several benefits to using crushed walnut shells in pincushions.  Walnut shells are biodegradable, non-toxic, and they are mildly abrasive keeping pins clean and sharp. Crushed Walnut Shells (or Ground English Walnut Shells) are primarily used for bedding in lizard habitats, and can be bought at most big box pet stores. I buy mine at my local Petco.

012

Once you have filled your pincushion to the desired fullness stuff it with a little Poly-fil and hand sew the opening closed.  I like to use the Poly-fil because I find it easier to close the opening if the crushed walnut shells are not trying to escape. 

017

There you have it a pincushion of your very own.  Enjoy!

Now for the fun part.  The giveaway.  The rules are simple, one comment per person. 

This giveaway is open to all readers, US and international, and will be open till next Monday, March 26th at midnight, EST. I will announce a winner on Tuesday morning.

Good Luck!

This Giveaway is now closed.

You can check out who won here.

Subscribe to Updates - Like on Facebook - Follow on Twitter

53 comments:

  1. I love this pincushion! I've so got my fingers crossed, hoping to win this one :) thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've got a thing for pin cushions. Thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So darn cute. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great project for getting my feet wet with paper piecing. I've always been too skiddish to try it on a big project. Thanks for sharing the template! And thanks for the heads up about the walnut shells.. I have never heard of them, but they have to be nicer than those awful plastic pellets I have been using!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! I saw your show-and-tell during #talknt. Lovely!!! I hope I win!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fantastic pincushion & great tutorial, thanks! And thanks for the giveaway too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love pin cushions! Thank you for the tutorial and chance to win : )

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great pincushion. A great little scrap project. I'll have to see what colors I have. Yum. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Darling! The batting lining with walnut filling is a nice combination. Soft but heavy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love your swirl pincushion! It seems very straightforward to put together also. Thanks for the tutorial and the inspiration.

    Debbie Hall

    Quiltingathome@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  11. Most excellent! Consider this one comment my indication that I would love to win! Have a great night...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Absolutely love the pincushion! Thank you for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fabulous! Thanks for the tutorial! I'll have to find some crushed walnut shells!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You've got a knack for naming. :-) Pinball Swirl sounds like something from Ben and Jerry's! This is a great tute for anyone wanting to dip their toes into paper piecing, myself included. Thank you for teaching us! (Though I wonder if I can find walnut shells at my local pet shop. Lizards and snakes are popular pets here in Japan so I just might get lucky...)

    ReplyDelete
  15. WOW. This is so bright and colourful. Can't believe you are letting it go, I would love to have this in my sewing room. I think I would add a strap to the back and use it on my sewing machine so that I could look at it all the time and NEVER knock it onto the floor!

    ReplyDelete
  16. beautiful pin cushion and great tutorial!
    I just love paper piecing, so accurate..

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have to try this one! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great tutorial and loving this pattern!! I see myself making one in the future -- unless of course this one wants to come live with me :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I see myself making a dozen of these little guys, they are so cute! Of course winning one would be a good start to my collection!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Cute. Thanks for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a gorgeous block! I can't wait to try it, ty for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for sharing! I love that pincushion...it is so cute. I've never paper-pieced before, but I think I might have to try!

    ReplyDelete
  23. ADORE this!! Haven't made myself a new PC in a couple years....MUST make this! Thanks so much for the tute!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is adorable!! I love the simple, yet complex design. I may be attempting my own soon.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'd love to make this as a quilt block, I could scale up the templates right? I've only ever had one other attempt at paper piecing but your tute makes it look easy! Thanks for the chance to win one too! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm so excited to try this out! Thanks so much for going to the trouble of writing out the tutorial and providing the great templates! Happy follower :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love your pincushion. I am so afraid of paper piecing. You have taken the mystery out of it. May have to give it a try. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Cute pin cushion. I've been wondering what to use for the inside. Now I know!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow! That looks so intricate! Thanks for showing step by step!

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a great looking pin cushion. I just bought crushed walnut shells last week too. Of course then I had hand surgery yesterday so no sewing for a bit for me. :(

    Thank you for the great tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you for the opportunity to win this lovely pincushio. I am a pincushion collector and will definitely add this to my shelf. Cheers, Karen

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wonderful! Thanks for the great tutorial and for the chance to win one of your special pieces.

    ReplyDelete
  33. WOW gorgeous!! I am just a collector of fabric, I don't know how to sew and I have 3 little boys under 4 and work FT 6 days a week.. I would love to win this pin cushion! Love the colors on it :)* I live in Canada have a great day!
    Paula

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am going to pin this tutorial. It's such a cute pincushion, and I have a real crash for pincushions (I like to collect them on my Pininterest board :o).

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love the pincushion. It is so cute. Thank you for the opportunity to add it to my growing collection. Have a great day..

    ReplyDelete
  36. How cute and unique! Thanks for sharing at Things I've Done Thursday!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I never seen that style, but it is so cute! We really appreciate you sharing this at our link party this week! We can't wait to see what you are up to next week!

    Take care,

    Trish

    ReplyDelete
  38. Super cute! Thanks for sharing, I don't have a pincushion so may have to make one like this someday soon!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love your pincushion! Thanks for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Love your pincushion. Will bookmark in case I am not the lucky winner! :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Gorgeous , gorgeous pincushion - and a great tutorial too!!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  42. Your piecing is AMAZING! I just entered a pincushion SWAP, and this is perfect! When I make mine, I will DEFINITELY link back!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I also like my pincushions to have some heft to it, never would of thought of crushed shells. You provided a very good tutorial. Also love the Pinball swirl pattern. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best. PS - following you on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Beautiful pincushion! I really like the bright colors. Thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love this pattern! It reminds me of the quilts my grandma used to make. Thank you for sharing!

    (found your blog via the Everything Under the Moon link party, hope you'll find the time to visit my blog as well. http://feauxcajun.com) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow this is amazing!!! Such detail! Am only a beginning quilter myself and am just at square-level ;) Thanx for hosting! Stop by if you like: http://mybusycraftlife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. What a neat idea. I like the pinwheel designs and bright colors

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh my goodness....what a beautiful pin cushion....
    If I win know it will not only be used as a pin cushion but seen as a work of art and I'm sure I will smile everytime I would use it!!!!

    blessings,
    Linda

    www.creativecommotion.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sorry I missed the give away but thanks for the tip on where to find filler for my pincushion. And thanks for the beautiful pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  50. what a great tutorial for this cute pincushion! we are featuring this today! ^^)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Wow amazing excellent piece of work.I love your creative work keep it up...Template Design

    ReplyDelete