When I found this pattern online for a bird-shaped pin cushion, I couldn't resist and thought I would share with you some tips which you can use to make many different shapes.

Pin cushions can be decorative as well as practical, so I chose some cute fabric and I keep this on display when not in use. To give the pin cushion some extra weight I have filled the base of the shape with rice. This means it is less likely to fall over and it could also be used as a weight when marking up fabric pieces for other sewing projects.

Difficulty: medium

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Pin cushion pattern; pencil; fabric scissors; cotton fabric; sewing thread; sewing machine; hand-sewing needle; rice; polyester wadding; felt; embroidery thread; beads for eyes; decorative beads/sequins (optional)


For this pin cushion I cut two body pieces and a gusset (the belly piece) from the cotton and four wings from the felt using the pattern template.


With wrong sides of the fabric facing each other, sew together the main body shape by attaching the gusset piece to one side of the body then attaching the other body piece, leaving a hole across the bird's back. Turn out the shape and press the seams. Fill the base of your shape with rice; this will keep it from falling over and give it some weight. Stuff the remainder of the shape with wadding so that it is really full and hand-sew up the hole.


Pin two of the wings directly on top of one another and blanket-stitch around the outside edge. Do the same for the other wing. Pin into position and stitch in place using a bead as an anchor on the top front corner of each wing. Before I made this I had a habit of losing needles on other pin cushions so now I only use the wings for needles, which is really handy.


Sew the eye beads into position and using a satin stitch with the embroidery thread sew the beak.

For a full, detailed tutorial with step-by-step photos, follow me at www.threadpaperscissors.com