CQ Pin Pal

Marie Alton 2008

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It is said that "necessity is the mother of invention." Recently I had a lot of sewing to do to finish up several projects. I was doing a lot of seam pinning and such, and began to get more and more annoyed with my old pin cushion. Its one of those store-bought ones with the foamy centre glued onto a plastic box. Every time Id pick a pin, the foamy thing kept lifting off. I decided then and there to make myself a new one!

I was so happy with the finished piece; it was beautiful and functional. It reminded me of the old "tomato" ones, but with a lot more class. I thought this would be a great "share" project, as it goes quite quickly and would be fun for novice and experienced CQ-ers alike. These would make really special gifts for family and stitching friends!

Have fun......and enjoy!


  • 1 - 6" x 6" square of muslin
  • Various small bits of fabric (sturdy enough to withstand repeated stabbing of pins)
  • 1 - 10" x 10" square of fabric (for base)
  • 1- 12" square quilt batting - double thickness (wool fabric / roving may be substituted if you like)
  • Various threads and embellishments
  • 11 - recycled frozen juice can lids or 12 canning jar snap lids & 2 jar rings (for extra weight)
  • Measuring tools
  • CD - 5" diameter
  • Lunch plate - 7" diameter


Top CQ Panel:

On muslin fabric: Trace around a CD to mark working area.

Mark CQ pattern onto muslin. Sew fabrics onto your muslin and stay stitch 1/4" from perimeter.

Stitch seams and embellish as desired. Trim outer fabric away to perimeter line.

With strong thread work a running stitch line 1/4" in from edge.

(This will be your gathering thread, so must be able to withstand the stress of pulling.)

Use the juice can lid (or snap lid) to cut three (or four for a puffier top) pieces of double thick batting. Stack these onto the wrong side of the CQ circle. Place one juice can lid / snap lid over the stack and gather CQ circle over it. Secure with several knots. (I added a couple of tablespoons of lavender between the first and second layers of batting on the top.....for a heavenly scented piece. Dried rosemary could also be used.)


Use a pencil to trace around the lunch plate onto the wrong side of the base fabric. Cut the base fabric 1" outside the pencil line. Use the lunch plate to cut one double thickness of quilt batting.

On the base fabric, turn " of fabric to the wrong side around the perimeter, and work a running stitch line 1/4" in from the edge (for gathering).

Place the quilt batting on the wrong side of the fabric circle (trim if too bulky). Stack the remaining ten juice can lids (or the two jar rings filled with eleven snap lids stacked alternating - back to back and face to face) in the centre of the batting. Pull ends of the thread gathering the base fabric and batting over the stack of lids / rings. Secure with several knots.


Put the CQ top section onto the base. Anchor in place with one or two elastic bands. Join top and bottom with decorative stitching, being careful not to stitch the elastics into your work.

Voila.......one CQ Pin Pal!

Project Notes:

The Pin Pal with the Morning Glory centre was the one I made first. I used three double thicknesses of batting for the top padding...and pulled it down quite tight. To attach top and bottom I used one round of Cretan Stitch, then worked over it with one round of Herringbone Stitch.

For the Fairy Pin Pal I used 4 double thicknesses of batting for the top, but did not pull it down as tight. I used two rounds of Chevron Stitch in contrasting colours to attach the top and base.

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