Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pin Cushion Pets

Remember Chia Pets? Well, today I showed a room full of ladies how to make Pin Cushion Pets!
 Using selvages saved from their fabric stashes, sixteen members of the Blue Valley Quilters Guild enjoyed a day of sewing and laughing as we created several projects from what some would call "trash". Many, who had never used selvages until today, may now be addicted to "quilting green"...using every last inch of that precious renewable commodity called fabric!
 Pin cushions seemed to be the favorite project for the day, especially the "Pets" crafted with zippers for heads and tails on a selvage body. Tiny buttons make the face and there is a loop in the tail for holding a seam ripper. The zipper pull becomes a tongue and, with the zipper part way open, you might think it resembles a cute snake (if there is such a thing!). We lined up some of them for a group photo (before their faces and tails were finished) along side their "square" cousins.
 Some of the projects will be donated and sold in the guild's Boutique during the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival next June. (Are you making plans to attend?)
Just in case you'd like to make a Pin Cushion Pet for yourself, here are the instructions:

1.Cut a muslin rectangle 6 ½ inches X 10 ½ inches.Cover with selvages. (You might want to make these close together with only 1/8 inch of fabric color showing.)
2.Flip over and trim around muslin with rotary cutter.
Fold in half, RST, and stitch along the 10.5” side with 1/4” seam, leaving about 3 inches open in the center for turning.
3.Now you will be adding the zipper head and tail to make your pet: Making sure that the zipper is closed, cut off approx. 5 ½ inches of the tab section and pin it inside one end of the selvage tube with cut end aligned with the fabric edge. Do the same thing on the other end using about 4 inches of the bottom of the zipper.
4. Pin and stitch together both ends of the tube across the zipper teeth. Turn right side out and press. Fill the pet with about one cup of crushed walnut shells and hand-stitch opening closed using matching thread and small stitches.
5. Use tiny buttons to make eyes and nose on your pet. Create a holder for your seam ripper on the tail by tucking under the zipper end and using a button and thread that matches the zipper. Enjoy!
Are you a selvage saver like me?


  1. Looks like a great time was had by all :).

  2. Yes, I have been saving. I dug into my bag of warm-coloured selvedges last week and almost used them all on a small project. I thought I had amassed quite a lot, but I was wrong. Obviously, I need to buy more fabric just for the selvedges!

  3. Cute cute cute!! Yes, I'm a selvedge saver Because of you :)

  4. Those pets are too cute. Looks like you had a great room to sew in too. Wish we had a nice large space like that.

  5. I have two pincushions in my sewing room; one on the cutting table and on on the sewing table. As one empties, the other fills and then they swap places. But I realised over the weekend that I need a thicker pin cushion for my long pins so I don't keep stabbing myself. At the moment the pins are kept in a flat container but I'd prefer to have them in a cushion!

  6. Any project using selvages makes me happy.