Princess & the Pea Pincushions {Tutorial}

Happy Friday! Here’s the tutorial we shared at the Riley Blake Cutting Corners blog.  My mom and I designed these two fun little pincushions.  We called them Princess & the Pea Pincushions because they remind us of little mattresses, especially when stacked up.

The fabric is The Sweetest Thing by Zoe Pearn for Riley Blake.  I showed a bundle of it a while back, now you can see some of the adorable prints {and beyond cute selvage!}.  They’re quick to make and would be a great gift!

The PDF is available for download here too!


fabric requirements


  • 8 – 1 3/4″ squares The Sweetest Thing blue & green prints
  • 3 – 3 1/8″ squares Bleached Denim solid
  • 1 – 4″ x 6″ rectangle Main Flower Blue
  • 1 – 2″ x 21″ strip Chevron Blue


  • Embroidery Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fiberfill Stuffing
  • Vase Filler or Crushed Walnut Shells
  • Hand sewing needle & thread
  • Scissors or rotary cutter


Note: All seam allowances are 1/4″.

1. Cut Setting Triangles & Piece Top

setting triangles

First, cut the three 3 1/8″ squares into four quarter square triangles for setting, you will need 10 triangles for this project, two are leftover as scraps.

pincushion top

Next arrange prints as shown and sew together in diagonal rows.  Press seams in opposite directions, as shown, to make lining up points easy.  Sew the rows together; then add the corner triangles to the piece.

2. Trim & Round Corners

trim edges

Trim the block so that 1/4″ of the Bleached Denim fabric extends beyond the prints.  Using a circle with a 1″ diameter (I used a small spray bottle, but have provided a circle on the printer friendly pattern), draw a rounded corner on each corner triangle.

Place the backing piece wrong sides together with the top and cut around the curves through both layers.  I like to use a small rotary cutter.

3. Make Gusset & Stuff

sew gusset

Begin sewing gusset approximately 3″ from edge of 2″ strip.  Sew around corners, gently folding fabric, while turning the corner.  Stop about 1″ past the final corner.  Join the gusset together.  I find that if I fold the fabric so the edges don’t quite meet, the join perfectly, otherwise I often get a pucker.

make gusset and stuff

Sew the opening closed.  Place the bottom piece right sides together and sew the gusset in the same manner.  To match up the corners, I folded the gusset, then laid the bottom of the pincushion and the top right sides together and matched up the short sides.  Then, sew as for top, leaving a 2″ opening.

Turn the pincushion right side out and stuff with 3/4 full with Fiberfill.  Use the Vase Filler or Crushed Walnut Shells to fill the remainder.

4.  Tie the Pincushion

tie the pincushion

Mark front and back of pincushion 1 3/4″ from top, bottom, and short side (center of green squares on front).  Using embroidery thread, stitch down from the front of the pincushion and then back up, leaving a long tail.  Repeat for the other side.  Tie the tails as for a quilt, and trim threads.

Selvage String Cushion

selvage pincushionMake a 4″ x 6″ string pieced block for the top of the second cushion out of strips with widths varying from 1″ to 1 1/2″.  F(or more information on sewing with selvages, see my tutorial.)

Construct the cushion in the same manner as the Granny Square Cushion.

We hope you enjoyed these, they were lots of fun to make and are a great way to use up some of those little pieces you love but aren’t sure what to do with.  Happy sewing and happy pinning too.

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a mom, sewer, quilter, and lover of all kinds of pretty fabric and handbags!


  1. Tamie says

    These are so stinkin’ cute!!! I have to care out some time to make some for my sewing room…and maybe a few for others, but I think it would be difficult to part with them. XOOX

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