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October 05, 2012


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thanks for the tutorials on making and stuffing info for pincushions I just may have to give a few a try now. A bit of shopping for the "correct" supplies and I will be good to go!
Love that cow too funny!
Happy Happy Birthday, sorry I missed the day...


I know a lot of people like to use walnut shells in pincushions. Please keep in mind that nut allergies are on the rise and with nuts, even contact can be a huge problem leading to reactions and even anaphylaxis. If you make something for someone that may be allergic and use the pins from one of these pincushions, it might be a good idea to give the item a good washing before sending it on. My daughter has a severe walnut allergy and I worry about this a lot. To the point that I have quit doing swaps altogether.


I am learning so much about pin cushions! I can't wait to make one. Thanks for all the great information.


I use a combination of polyfil and doll pellets for weight. Most of the pincushions I make are for show. I prefer the big magnetic ones for my quilting. (My machine is not computerized).

Ramona Chester

I've used the walnut shells and think they are great, but my first try was way to squishy. I had not thought about combining in some cotton stuffing. I am sure emery was used back in the day when pins needed little rough edges smoothed off, but now it is to easy to just go out and buy some more pins if your old ones are getting rough.

Sandy M

Thank you so much for the info on pincushions. I recently made my first and it was a mess! I am ready to give it another go and I just might need to do a Morsel! LOL!


Wow Carrie, great post! Now if I could only find some crushed walnut shells! Every time I've been to the pet store, they are sold out. Sounds like some quilters have absconded with the lot. I went to a different pet store recently, and they looked at me like I had two heads. I'll keep looking ;-) With all four eyes.


Thanks so much, Carrie for all the great information on stuffing a pincushion. I've tried the crushed walnuts and am a big fan. Would love to try the sawdust and have a friend who is into woodworking. I'm sure I could get him to save me some.


These have been very well-written, very informative posts. Thank you! The only thing I can add is a great reason for NOT using rice. It attracts mice and other bugs. As you said about using hair - ICK!

Archie the wonder dog

What a great post! I've also shied away from walnut shells as I have a friend with a bad allergy and if I make something for her I don't want to have to keep track of which pin cushion I've used. I don't know if it would affect her but I'm not about to put it to the test! I've used fabric scraps in the bottom of a pin cushion (with stuffing on the top two-thirds) to add weight and that worked quite well but I tend to stick to just stuffing, with the odd curtain weight added if the pin cushion is big but very light. As for the hair - yuck! I could save all the hair Archie moults and stuff a thousand pin cushions a year with it but it's still a grim idea, even if it's free!

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts

Happy belated birthday! I learned so many things from this and your previous post! Thank you! I am slowly catching up on blog reading... Have a great a weekend!

Mary ann

I love pincushions. They are just the thing for special friends and when you want to sew but don't want to work on a UFO or start a new project. I like to mix up lavender and crushed walnut shells too and have learned through trial and error that bits of stuffing smooth the edges and make for a much nicer finished product. Now I am off to find the cotton stuffing, I have been using the odd bits from toys and pillows. Thank you Carrie for all the work and photos that have gone into these posts!


Belated birthday greetings from one Libra to another! My husband and I celebrated with ice cream cake. I have really enjoyed your posts on pin keeps . Most of the time I too use the crushed walnut shells, but have also used ground glass. It is a bit pricier but I like the feel of the finished product. Pin keeps make a perfect gift!


Thanks Carrie -- this is a great post! I've used the crushed walnuts before (purchased at the pet shop) - love the idea of the lavender!

Glad you enjoyed your birthday -- hopefully Polly and Sinta are still talking to you!


Lisa Vancor

Thanks, Carrie. Now I know what the crushed walnut shells look like. I had some vision of, you know, walnut shells after you cracked them for cookies. I am off to Petco. I have been making pincushions for a long time and I like some sand in them for weight I have coppied a couple of yours and they are pretty cute.
Thanks again for all of your information.
Lisa of Northern California

Linda P

I never gave it a thought to add some lavendar - I adore that scent, probably from my grandma, so a memory scent - can't wait to try adding some. I'm the daught of a carpenter,so another scent - I alwasy loved the smell of fresh sawdust! Soooo is everyone you know getting a pinnie for Christmas?
Very Happy (belated) Birthday wishes!
Great post


I missed your birthday! (Probably due to the advancing age resulting from the birthday I just had, ahem.) I knew you must be a Libra LOL! What a great pincushion post -- I would have never thought to put lavendar in pincushions. I'm a cruched walnut shell kinda girl -- with a little stuffing on top if the pincushion is large to give it some weight but not too much. You have the more gorgeous pincushions!

Bari Jo

Happy Belated Birthday! THANK YOU so much for all the info on the pincushions! I have a watermelon one of yours that I purchased at a quilt shop while I was on vacation and I love it - I hope to make one of my own soon - now that I know the tricks!!!! Thanks for all the fun you share on your blog - and I am glad Rosie is doing good!

Mdm Samm

Happy belated first and foremost...always nice to know someone who also likes tiramisu as well.. Now I knew about the nutty filler but not sawdust...I like that idea a lot..thx for that...


The only time I made a pincushion was when I was in 4-H about 50 years ago. (That's scary!). We stuffed our pincushions with used/dried coffee grounds. They pack similarly to how you say walnut shells do. My mom made hams for tailoring into which she packed sawdust. She still owns them and they have remained firm for the same 50 years.


You are so cool! I do not think I've read through anything like this before. So wonderful to find someone with some unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with some originality!

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