Crazy Quilted CD Pincushion

Julie Yonge © 2009

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Supplies needed:

  • 9” square pieced block
  • Two standard CDs
  • Needle and Nymo/Silamide or other heavy thread
  • 4” square of firm plastic (such as template plastic)
  • 6” square of muslin
  • Emery powder (or other needle sharpening fill)
  • Fiberfill
  • Pencil or other stuffing tool
  • Wool felt or other fairly thick, soft fabric of your choice
  • Glue
  • Optional: Base for pincushion


Main Pincushion:

First, crazy piece a 9” square block.

Draw a 7.5" circle in the middle of the 9” square. This will be the area for embellishment.

Once you have embellished inside the circle, make a gathering stitch with the Nymo thread along the outer edge of the 7.5" circle, leaving ample tails on the thread for pulling. Gather loosely and set aside.

Emery Pouch:

This step is optional, but a nice one.

It was added so that there would be a nice pouch of emery for pins in the top of the CD pincushion, and also provides a stop plate for the pins so that they would not be able to go too far into the fiberfill and get lost. To make the inner emery pouch and stop plate, take the 4” square of hard plastic and cut out a 3.5” circle. Take the muslin and mark about a 5” circle on it and make a gathering stitch just inside the marked circle with the Nymo thread. We want enough fabric to allow for a pouch of emery. When the fabric is gathered, it should cover the entire back of the plastic piece. As you can see in the picture below, a muslin patch was added to the back of the pouch, because the cut muslin circle was not quite big enough to cover the entire back of the emery cushion. As we crazy quilters know, these situations are not mistakes, just opportunities, so no fretting! And, if you get a piece of muslin too big, you can always cut away excess fabric. Now, gather loosely until you have a small, cupped piece of fabric. Lay the fabric open area up in a slightly cupped surface such as a tea cup or saucer and pour in your emery powder. It should only take two to four tablespoons – just use your best judgment. I probably have about Ύ” of emery at the deepest spot in the middle of the pouch, but it is certainly a personal preference. Take the 3.5” piece of plastic and put it on top of the emery just inside the gathered fabric. Begin to carefully gather the fabric all around until it is tight, and you have a nice pouch with the plastic base. Stitch the back fabric together from side to side to make sure it covers the plastic piece completely, and is secure enough not to leak the emery powder.

Filling the Pincushion:

Take your finished emery pouch and insert it, emery up, into the wrong side, middle, of the gathered main pincushion piece you had set aside.

Make sure the emery pouch is centered inside the 7.5” circle (embellished area). To keep your pouch in place while you fill your pincushion (so it will be in the top, middle of the pincushion when complete), I suggest that you take a few basting stitches from the outside to hold the emery pouch in place. These will be snipped and discarded later. Once you have your emery pouch in place, begin to fill your main pincushion piece with fiberfill.

Fill around the edges of the emery pouch until you have a nice, well rounded look. Add a bit more fiberfill, and then insert a CD.

Gather the fabric evenly and tightly around the CD. You will now begin to insert fiberfill through the hole of the CD until it is shaped nicely; it is smooth and very tight and firm. You will need to use a pencil, chopstick or some other stuffing tool for this step.


When you think you can’t add any more fiberfill – add a bit more – you really want it tight!

Once you have the main pincushion shape and firmness to your liking, secure the gathered main pincushion fabric around and across the bottom of the CD. Again, keep it tight. As you can see, I took quite a few stitches back and forth across the disc to maintain the shape.

Base CD:

Take the second CD and cover it with wool felt, or fabric of your choice, by cutting a circle slightly larger than the CD. Make a gathering stitch to evenly gather the fabric over the edge of the CD; either stitch or glue in place.

This will be the base of the pincushion, and will cover the stitching underneath the other CD. Now take this base CD and glue the wrong side of the CD (where the gathered fabric shows) to the bottom of the stuffed main pincushion.

Complete by using a blanket stitch around the entire circle to more securely attach the bottom CD to the main pincushion.

Either stitch or sew a nice trim around the edge to cover the securing stitches. The CD pincushion is actually finished at this point. You will be surprised at how light it is to carry with you to your sewing bees. You can stick your pins and needles in the top middle of your pincushion to keep them sharp, and they will hit the stop plate you inserted at the bottom of the emery pouch so they won’t get lost.

Optional base: The CD pincushion can be given a vintage appearance by attaching it to wonderful flea market finds such as glass or wooden candle sticks, small parfait cups, etc. As you can see, I put mine atop a nice glass finding and added a vintage lace skirt to it.

Besides the standard size CDs, the small (approximately 3”) CDs can also be used to make adorable pincushions in this manner as well.

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