• A Quilted Softbox Pincushion Part Two

    A Softbox Pincushion!
    By Rhonda Woodsmall

    Today, I'm presenting to you the second part of the tutorial Rhonda wrote about making a softbox pincushion. In case you missed the last week's newsletter, you can find the first part of the tutorial here.

    Making pillows!


    Here we are cutting out and making all the pillows except the top.




    1. Cut out 11 swatches for the sides and the bottom and the lining for the top.

    2. Lay the top face down onto some of the swatches on a mini cutting mat. I did 4 at a time. Trim the swatches to match the top.

    3. Repeat cutting til you have them all cut.

    4. Match up two swatches and pin them in the center. Set them onto a batting swatch. Sew around the edge Leaving an opening to turn it with. Trim the batting.

    5. Turn the pillow right side out. Iron it flat.

    6. Repeat this until you have all of them done. Then sew the bottom edge closed. Also sew along the top edge to give it a finished look.

    7. This leaves you with one swatch left over for the lining of the top.

    Making the pincushion top!

    You can close your soft box with Velcro or a loop and button.

    Add a shoestring loop to the quilt block top before you make the pillow.


    Make sure the loop is hanging down into the middle between the top and the lining.




    1. Repeat the pillow steps above to make the quilt block into a pillow.

    2. Stuff the pillow making sure to stuff the corners and stuff it pretty solid.

    3. Close the opening with a blind stitch.

    Putting your softbox together

    You can sew this together in two ways. Either on the sewing machine or by hand. I like to join my pillows together with a blind stitch. I like the way the box looks with this method. But you can do it either way.

    Here I chose to do it on the machine to save time. I do think it is easier and cleaner looking to match the corners with a blind stitch than on the machine. But you can do it any way you like.

    Sew the edges of two pillows together. Join the other edge of one to another pillow. Add the fourth pillow to the three until you have a box without a bottom or top.

    To add the bottom start by joining one side of the bottom to one side of the box. Then sew the opposite side of the bottom to the side of the box. Now you just need to sew each end of the bottom to the box.





    Adding the pincushion!

    To add the pincushion hold it to the edge of the side. Sew it on one side with a blind stitch and then lay it back and sew it on the inside as well.




    Finished Pincushion


    Here are some other ways to make a softbox. You can make the top into a pincushion the same way as in the above directions.

    I sewed the pillows on these soft boxes with a blind stitch. You can find this technique online but if you like you can send me an email and I will walk you through it. Basically it is hiding your stitches and pulling the edges together. It gives the soft box a different look than sewing it on the machine.


    This one is a traditional soft box. You can make them with lots of different fabrics. You could do some photo transfers on the copy machine and put your child's picture on each side. Or you could use any fun fabric to suit someone's hobby or pasttime.


    You can make one into a heart box -- great for Valentine's Day or for anyone who likes hearts. You could do one in country colors. You can make the top with a quilt block if you like. Just make a quilt block the size of the box and fold it in half and cut out your heart! It is a cute look for your heart box.

    Instead of cutting out sides just cut one long strip. The size is up to you. Then sew like the pillows and sew a finish seam around the edges. Sew the short edges together and bend the strip into a heart shape. When you get the heart shaped - sew across the fabric to form the point and make it stay pointed at the top of the heart.

    It helps to spray the long section with sizing and when it dries it will stiffen up.

    To cut out the hearts for the top and bottom -- I set the shaped heart onto paper and leaving a 1/4" seam allowance I traced around the heart shape. This will help you to get the right size. You may still need to adjust but you just have to play with it to get a good shape in your heart.

    You can sew Velcro inside just below the edge of the box and just inside the edge of the heart top. If you use Velcro you can leave the top separate from the box if you want. Or you can stitch the points(where it bends into a point) at the top of the heart together so the top will have a hinge to close and open the box.

    Options: Some fun variations!!

    Here are some ideas for other ways you could do the softbox.

    1. Use quilt blocks for the sides as well as the top.

    2. Use photo transfer pictures for the sides.

    3. Cut strips and sew them to make a top.

    4. Use crazy quilting for the top or all of it.

    5. Use interesting panels you can buy at any store.

    6. If you like embellishments then go crazy on this box!!

    Take off on these ideas or create your own version!! It is all up to you! Make it any size you want to and make it any look any way you can dream up!!

    The sides can be any size. They do not need to be the same as the top in height!! I have made them with the sides 2" tall or 4" tall. You can make them rectangular or circular(circle) or any shape you want. Experiment and see what you can do with them!

    You can use them to store anything. You can use them as a gift box. Put your gift in one and use the box in place of wrapping paper.

    Kids love to have boxes to keep their treasures in. Make one with the cartoon character of their choice. They'll love it! My 7 year old granddaughter saw the cat softbox and said she would put a little kitten in it! She loves small stuffed animals!

    You are only limited by your imagination!!!

    Hope you enjoyed this little project and if you have any questions just let me know.

    Thanks for taking a look!! Rhonda patchesbyr@yahoo.com

    • • •


    About the author:

    Rhonda has been a quilter for 30 years. She writes tutorials for the Quilted Paradise Newsletter and is a member of the Quilting Message Board. She offers templates in hard-to-find sizes that will help you make beautiful miniatures or full-size quilt blocks. She authored the following e-books: Playing with Boston Blocks, Dresden Kaleidoscopes, Star Point Blocks, The Wings Block. Be sure to check them out, you won't be disappointed.
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