• A Quilted Softbox Pincushion Part One

    A Softbox Pincushion!
    By Rhonda Woodsmall

    Today, I'm presenting to you the part 1 (of 2) of the tutorial Rhonda wrote about making a softbox pincushion. The second installment will be mailed out next week.

    Approx 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" high

    Softboxes have been around for many years but I would like to show you a unique way to use them! There are many ways to personalize them and they make great gifts for that hard to buy for person or enjoy one or more yourself!

    • • •

    Okay, you are probably wondering what a softbox pincushion is!! So a softbox pincushion is a box made with 6 pillows and the top one is a pincushion!

    You can keep whatever you want in the box! Buttons was my first thought but you could keep bobbins in it or toss scraps in it or anything that you like! The buttons do give it a nice weight.

    If you make them as a softbox without the pincushion they can be used in a travel bag as they are very squishable! I have used them to just sit on a shelf and look pretty! You can make a lot of them and have a collection of them on a shelf or use them to organize your bathroom bits n pieces. Or keep your jewelry in one.

    They have a million uses but I decided to turn one into a pincushion! You can make them any size you want! The pillows can be made with any designs you want to add to them. You will see some suggestions at the end of this tutorial.

    • • •

    You will need

    The usual sewing basics: sewing machine, scissors, thread, ruler, rotary cutter and mini mat, iron, needles and thread, pins.

    2" template is recommended but you can do it with your ruler instead. You can choose any size template you like.


    Strips, white strip, squares

    Blue swatch, button & shoestring, batting


    For the sides and bottom I used traditional from Fairfield. For the pincushion I used polyester stuffing. You could use what ever you like.

    Quilt block

    Making the quilt block for the top

    Here you need to decide what you want to do with your top pillow. I made mine with a quilt block on the top. You can skip this if you like and just make a pillow with the same fabric as the rest of the box. The choice is yours! More suggestions at the end!

    Broken Nine Patch

    Making the "4 patch block"

    Strips, sew strips, cut sections

    1. Cut strips for your 4 patch blocks.

    2. Sew the navy strips to the red strips.

    3. Cut a straight edge.

    4. Sew together and iron the seams open.

    5. Cut the sections in 2" pieces. Make sure you have a straight edge perpendicular to the seam(Like a T).

    6. Match the seams. Tack across where the seams join and pin on the ends.

    7. Sew the seam. Open and iron.

    8 With a template cut out the "block" or measure from the seam and cut all sides with a ruler. Make sure all four sides are the same so you get squares!

    Match seams, sew seam, open and iron

    4 patch uncut, 4 patch block

    Putting the quilt block together
    ...with the cut down method!

    Here is the quilt block I chose to make

    Adding the sashes between the 4 Patch Blocks

    Add sash, trim, add 2nd 4 patch

    Make 2nd half

    1. Sew the white sash to the 4 patch block.

    2. Trim to 3/4" and trim to match the block.

    3. Add the 2nd 4 patch block.

    4. Repeat 1 - 3 for the second half.

    Sewing the middle sashing together

    White to Navy, trim, add white, three sewn

    1. Sew the blue swatch to the white sash.

    2. Trim the blue swatch to 3/4".

    3. Add the other white sash and trim a straight edge.
    Adding the middle sashing to the halves

    Add sashes to first half, trim to 3/4", add 2nd half

    Trim, quilt top done

    1. Pin the joined sashes to the first half of the 4 Patch Blocks. Pay attention to matching up the seams so they are in line with each other.

    2. Sew and iron open.

    3. Trim to 3/4".

    4. Pin and sew the other 4 patch Blocks half.

    5. Trim .

    • • •

    This ends the first part of the softbox tutorial.

    Next week, we'll cover:
    - Making pillows
    - Making the pincushion top
    - Putting your softbox together
    - Options: Some fun variations!!

    • • •

    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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