Eight Fabulous Pin Cushions with Tutorials!


Good Morning, Quilters!

I have a lot of pin cushions….Do YOU?

There’s one by each sewing machine, one on my cutting table, an upstairs pin cushion, a downstairs pin cushion, one for needles, one for silk pins….


I can always use another pin cushion.  So when I saw this Zirkel red magnetic pin cushion at my local quilt shop, I was intrigued!  Have you seen these?  It is magnetized so that the pins align themselves on the outer edge-making them easy to grab!

Very clever!

When I saw a red one…well I just knew it had to come home with me!

Be sure to get a demo of the Zirkel at your quilt store!


Here’s a round-up of some of my other favorite pin cushions:

Scissor Pin Cushion Tutorial is on BERNINA’s We All Sew blog


Scissors, Free Motion Quilting, Kennedy

The Pumpkin Pin Cushion

Pumpkin Pin Cushion Tutorial

 First Pin Cushion Tutorial  with two variations:


Pin cushion tutorial

Enter Pin HERE:

The Needle Pillow

Pin Pillows

The Tomato Pin Cushion Machine Quilting Tutorial

Tomato Pin cushion Tutorial

The Hedgehog Pin Cushion knit by my sister

Hedgehog Pin Cushion


There’s a cushion (or magnet) for every pin in your sewing basket!

What about YOU?

How many pin cushions do YOU have?

Do YOU have a link to a great pin cushion?

We’d LOVE to hear!

May YOUR sewing room be pretty (and functional!)


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

Zirkel Pin cushion





41 thoughts on “Eight Fabulous Pin Cushions with Tutorials!

  1. I think I’m in love with your hedgehog, he’s adorable. I’ll have to hit up my “knitting sister” and see if she can’t produce one for me.
    I’ve seen pictures of the ZIRKEL on the net, but not in person, yet. If one appeared at my sewing store, no matter the colour, it would be going home with me. How does it perform when it gets really full? I have an oval one that behaves nicely, with the pins lining up in the centre, until it starts getting full, then they’re just higgledy piggledy everywhere, and stabbing begins.

  2. I have more than 30 pin cushions, many were given to me by good friends. But I have several in use at any one time, and like to put different types of pins in separate pin cushions. I like to use each type of pin for a different purpose so this makes them easy to find.

  3. These are cute. I love pin cushions. I have a few. I have one in my sewing drawer that is flattish, I put needles with thread on that one, and it is closed so Miles does not get into them.
    I have two large ones, and three wool ones. I love the hedgehog. I think I need a pin cushion that wraps around my Featherweight. Just a little one. I will make that when I have some time, perhaps this afternoon after I take dad to the dentist.
    Happy Wednesday

  4. My pin cushions are many !! Keep one at any place I might sew..and the ironing board. Our house had to have new siding.. and some new outside doors. Sewing room has French doors to the deck that had to be replaced. That presented the perfect opportunity to repaint the room… It was a hot coral when we moved in and I have never liked it..My newly sewn drapes went up in Feb but they had to come down for the new door installation. I am thankful to finally be surrounded by the blue colors I love. I will surely need a new pin cushion to match !
    A question, what do y’all put inside pin cushions? I have used fiberfill, real cotton from the fields,( actually road shoulders}, old shredded fleece, chunk of foam rubber, and stuffing from antique chair when it was recovered. None of those have been completely satisfactory..Oh, and I have put some sand in bottom of some to try to make it set still. Does anyone know what is in the strawberry that comes on the tomato pin cushions that is for sharpening pins and needles? Thanks for any advice!

    • My favorite pin cushions are stuffed with poly fiberfill or batting with black walnut shells added for weight and a little lavendar.

      • What a great idea. A friend gave me some lavender buds or flowers to make …(what do you call them.?)…for our closets.
        I haven’t made them yet.

    • I have heard you should use plain steel wool to stuff pincushions; it sharpens needles! I read somewhere what is in the little strawberry, but I forget! It could have been filings from steel….????

    • The little strawberries are filled with emery. You can use ground walnut shells (found in pet supply stores in reptile and/or bird section) that will do the same thing and much easier to source. If you just need some weight in the pincushion, fill part way with rice and fill the rest of the way with fiberfill, etc.

      • Thank you, Diane. I was about to use the pebbles my mom had in her bonsai ( a plastic one) tree tray I inherited. Rice is much better! I did make a pin cushion yesterday with a quart mason jar my husband found in the woods while hunting some years ago. It has a lovely raised diamond shaped pattern on it. I filled it with my button collection and topped the new lid with a sponge/pretty fabric. It is the kind of sponge that is rigid when dry. Hard to find anymore. While I was working, as usual, Spouse Man asked me, “What are you doing?” I got inspired, “I am making a pin cushion, Do you want me to make you one?” That is the quickest retreat I have ever seen him make !

  5. I am addicted to ZIRKELs! I have two…one red by my Bernina and a lime green one for my featherweight.

  6. There’s a nice product for pin cushion stuffing made of finely crushed walnut shells. I got some online, but I can’t say where.

  7. I seem to collect cute pin cushions to display but I also have a Zirkel and love it! I like being able to “toss” my pins at it and have them stay put.

  8. I LOVE the Zirkel! While sewing along, removing pins, and with barely a glance, the “click” I hear is confirmation the pin I dropped is STUCK securely to the Zirkel! With dog tails, and little hands that want to help, when spills happen, pins are held closer, less scatter, with it’s strong magnet. The “magic” of it is the amazing way it arranges the pins. Splayed into a circle, spacing the pins around the edge, ready to pick up later! The majority of the time they are positioned with sharp end to the center, not in a magnetized pile of pins to fumble with. The other plus, it is fun to drop multiple pins, seeing and learning about magnet forces! How does that one stand up at the center? A bit pricey, but WORTH it’s weight and pull, on the job!

  9. I only have 2 pincushions: 1 is a felted pin cushion made from the wool of my mom’s sheep, and the other is the same idea as the ZIRKEL, but homemade: my daughter used a teacup saucer that was my MIL’s, and fastened a magnet to the bottom. I love that one, because it brings my MIL to mind every time I sit down to sew. 🙂

  10. I mostly use a magnetic pin holder, the round one, not a Zirkel. I find the homemade ones cute, put too lightweight to stay in place.
    I think the queen of pin cushions is Amanda Jean Nyberg at Crazy Mom Quilts. She has made hundreds, often with tiny little scraps.

  11. Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company has a great tutorial “chicken pincushion “. I’ve made about 4 of them. You can also find it on YouTube.

      • Lori Hope…If you have little ones or pets that might send it off the table, you could consider wrapping the jar in fabric, wrapping it in tape or maybe they make plastic mason jars.

  12. What a great collection you have gathered for us to see and use – thanks! I bought a Zirkel pincushion over a year ago and have decided that I don’t like it – the magnet is TOO strong so my thread snips like to attach themselves to it – and it’s just not working for me. So sad!

  13. Lori, I have a RED Zirkel also!! Hey, what’s $20 when you can have something else to match your quilting room!!! Love your site, love your new book and love you!!!

  14. I love Carolyn Friedlander’s pattern that includes a nice collection of puncushion shapes. I love the weight of walnut shells and they keep your pins sharp. Not to mention they are super cheap. The zirkel looks fun but I svoid plastics whenever possible – another non biodegradable that ends in a landfill.

  15. Reading everyone’s comments have given me a chuckle. Thank you for that. I do have a lime green Zirkle. Love it but try to remember to keep it away from my electronics. It’s great too when I have a pin spill. I just wave it over the spill area and viola it grabs all the pins.

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