Grand Piano Pincushions

Here are the step by step instructions to make a grand piano pincushion.  Be creative with your fabric choices.

The star points are connector squares.

   Follow the layout and sew the star block together.
Cut a 6-7″ piece of batting and center the star block.  Sew log cabin strips which are cut 3/4″ wide in a courthouse steps pattern around the star, 4 or 5 rounds, depending on how big you want the pincushion to be.  Reduce your stitch length.

Zig zag stitch around the final row and trim away the batting.  Lay face down on a 5-6″ piece of backing (I like velveteen) and stitch around the “pillow” leaving an opening to turn.  Make sure your stitch length is reduced.

I fill pincushions with a mixture of play sand and sawdust.  If I have lavender, I like to add some just because it smells so good.  Fill it very full and plug the hole with a bit of batting or fiberfill to keep the sand from leaking out.  Sometimes I’ve even made another little filler pillow to put the sand in but it’s just another step and more work.  Reducing your stitch length will keep the sand from leaking out.  Close the opening very tightly by hand.  No, I’ve never used crushed walnut shells but you could.  There is only one thing you cannot use to fill a pincushion and that is fiberfill.  Your pins won’t go in, it’s not heavy so it will fall off the table, and pins that do go in will rust – it’s just a bad idea.  If you’re just wanting to make a sweet little pillow, go ahead and fill it with fiberfill because it doesn’t have to function.

And here’s a quick tour of the piano room.

I wish I had kept track of how many pincushions I made over the years – hundreds of them.  Thank you again to those of you who own one or more.  I love my piano!

37 thoughts on “Grand Piano Pincushions

  1. Mareen

    Why would you want to go anywhere Mary – Such a beautiful home with your animals and piano music that sooths the sole………..You are blessed as I am to call you friend!

  2. Launa

    Awakened to more very welcomed rain here in the San Joaquin valley Mary!!! So happy for it altho it was the cook’s planned golf day!!
    Thanks for the Grand Piano pin cushion pattern. Love those quick corners.
    Did your carpenters show up this morning to finish Friday’s stairs’ job? Did you “brighten” their day?
    I see Miss Scarlet is coming into shops so I’ll be getting some of those wonderful reds.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – I wondered if you were in the rain area – hope your drought is over! Yes, carpenters were back this morning – I just smiled and said Good Morning!

  3. Diane

    Mary, I love your pin cushions, piano, and its room:) I noticed the pictures above your star quilt; we had the one with the little girl and the dog. I wonder what happened to it!! 61 here in Central Ohio. The “boss” is golfing:) I’m using up greens in a 16 patch shamrock quilt to honor my Irish Nana who would have been 124 yrs on February 29th:)

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – there’s another show and tell – all the soffits in the porch and piano room are covered with dog pictures. I’m always on the lookout for vintage dog pictures, 5×7 or so at will fit on the soffit. When I finish the pincushion collection, I should do dog pictures.
      Hugs to Squeak!

  4. Louise

    Love your music/ piano room with the sunshine streaming in.
    Thank you for the pincushion ideas, can never have enough of those, perfect for gifts don’t you think?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Louse – perfect for gifts! As a matter of fact, I had decided I would make some more to have on hand. Not hard sewing – just a lot of putzy steps from start to finish.

  5. MartyCae

    I purchased a pin cushion and I treasure it! It never leaves the side of my machine. Thanks!

  6. Donna O

    Mary your home is so lovely. Agreed…..why would you want to leave for a day or weekend. I love the kitty soaking up the sunshine. You have so many interesting things to see in your home. Thank you for the pin cushion patterns. I live to make pincushions. I have one in the works and would like to get it finished by tomorrow so I can give away as part of a birthday gift. It’s a Dresden plate design.
    Again thank you Mary.

  7. Charlene Brose

    The energy you gals have AMAZES me–love your website and interesting posts–thanks so much!
    I wanted to ask–thanks for the info on keeping the Hoya plant root-tbound so it will bloom. I rescued my plant from a friend and am wondering if the longer shoots could be cut and rooted? One with knobs has been in water for three weeks, hasn’t rooted but hasn’t rotted off either! They are straggles that don’t have many leaves on them but the plant is growing…I am determined to do the right thing for the plant…that’s when I ask the expert–you. Thank you.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Charlene – sometimes it takes a long time to root. I had a friend who could start new Hoya plants with one leaf in the soil – well, in fact, it was Cheryl who just passed away! I had forgotten!

  8. Jane Quinn

    Hi Mary, I have one of your pincushions too. I bought it at the AQS Show in Des Moines. Did you get my order for rug supplies? I want to do some rugs with students in the Bunkhouses. I LOVE your blog. It’s so you! Jane Quinn

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jane – yes, I got your order and it’s headed your way.

  9. Sandi

    Love those pincushions, thanks for sharing how you made them. Your piano is lovely. And elegant in its setting.

  10. Marilyn

    Thanks for sharing the directions. I still have civil war/reproduction fabric……..many scraps of various sizes and will try to make this pincushion. I am pleased to have one of yours and proud to have helped you buy your piano. I have made many quilts for my grandsons over the past 10 years and have a collection of bright scraps as well. This project could keep me going for a long time!!

  11. Marsha

    It’s 62.8 here in sunny Michigan today and I love your piano room – I have a black thumb so am always impressed with plants! But my favorite thing, besides the quilt on the wall, is the beaded board cupboard! What a gem! I love such cupboards!

  12. Betty Klosterman

    Love your pincushions. I have a commercial pattern ( with patterns like yours) to make them, too. For several years I’ve been making pincushions to sell at our Project Warmth booth at the quilt show. After trying crushed walnut shells, I decided they dull the points on my very fine pins. I use small woven baskets, cups or whatever works that are deeper. Sometimes I have to glue the stuff in to make it stay. Then I fill the cushion with fiberfill to make it HARD. For weight, I will pick nice flat rocks that will fit into the bottom of the basket, glue it to the bottom, then add the rest. The cushion is deep enough the pins won’t hit the rock. The pins go easily in and out–the firm fiberfill works good. They all sell each year. Sometimes we come along some really cute baskets, etc to use and the neat fabrics we have are great, too.

  13. PJ

    Thanks for sharing your piano room, very nice!!!! Always love your posts!!!!šŸ˜šŸ˜šŸ˜

  14. Becky in TX

    Love your sunroom and all your stuff…..I just LOVE STUFF!!!!!
    Love all your posts also……thanks

  15. Diane

    Oh yes, please, Mary. Do a show and tell of your dog pictures. Squeak is good–on her little fleece covered table in the office with me making sure her “birdies” are behaving outside her window:)

  16. Lynn Handberg

    I love the grand piano pin cushions. I also have a grand piano which is very old, and I think your Kawai is beautiful! I have had my piano since I was 15 years old and now I’m XX years old….It has moved a few times with me!

  17. Carole S.

    Music, quilts, kitties…what more could you want? It’s a beautiful room. Thank you for sharing the pincushion pattern!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jody Gagnon- named grand piano pin cushions because the money I made selling them went into a fund to buy the piano.

  18. Randy D

    I can see why the plans are so happy there. Sun and music! What could be better.
    Thanks for the instructions for the pincushions. One can never have too many pincushions!!
    I love what you did!!

  19. Beverly Lockmiller

    I bought 3 of your pincushions. Gave one to a very dear friend and kept the other two for myself. I hoped when you talked piano pincushions that was what I had. Love them and all your stuff.

  20. Becky Rose

    All I can say is “Wow! What a beautiful piano!!” I am sure that all that work was worth it!

  21. Mary Adams

    LOVE your piano room, thanks so much for the pincushion pattern! Will put it on my “to-do” list.

  22. Mary C.

    I’m still using my piano fund pincushion after all these years and it’s my favorite of all the pinkeeps I have. Beautiful piano and a lovely room…I love the vintage dog pictures!

  23. Cindie

    What was I thinking when I actually thought your pincushions were shaped like a grand piano!!!
    Thanks for the pattern and can’t wait to make one.
    You have a beautiful home and I look forward to your blogs.
    God bless-

  24. Luci

    Oh, my word, you know that piano is probably one of the main reasons you have such gloriously, blooming plants, don’t you? They say plants love music and your plants couldn’t ask for more. Beautiful piano, by the way.

  25. San

    Beautiful piano Mary. What a gift to be able to play such a wonderful instrument. Love the pattern for the pin cushion. Here in the south, we would want to avoid sand filler, as the humidity it collected might rust out pins. However, having friends with sheep is a blessing and wool goes well in my pin cushions. Hope you’re getting some of this gorgeous 60 degree spring weather.

  26. Paula

    I love your piano room….now you need to do a video of you playing and post it!
    Paula in KY

  27. Diane Meyer

    I bought a pincushion at the International Quilt Show in Rosemont, Illinois. I use it all the time, and I have gotten compliments on it. Thank you for the pattern. It was around 70 today in Elkhorn, WI. Some of the robins are back.

  28. Ann Barlament

    You are a pincushion maker and I use blocks like that for “mug mats” or hot pads (maybe I’m too lazy to stuff them?).

    The sun-piano-plant room……ahhhhhhhhh!

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