Pretty pinnies, poppets, and pincushions—Pin Pals is here! (+ big giveaway!)

We’re bursting-at-the-seams excited to introduce best-selling author Carrie Nelson’s new book to you today! Her projects are pretty. They’re playful. They’re pinnies!

Pin Pals

In Pin Pals, Carrie’s packed 40 adorable pincushions with personality. Her patchwork pinnies are quick to stitch and so addicting to create—they’re like potato chips. No quilter can make just one! And why make just one when they’re so easy to create? Simply sew, quilt, turn, and stuff!

From Pin Pals

Super-quick to sew and delightful to display, you can show off the pincushions you make as singles or in pleasing piles. You’ll want to put a pin in Carrie’s philosophy behind making her delightful pincushions: to sew just for the joy of it.

Pincushions from Pin Pals

We’re thrilled to welcome Carrie as a guest writer today, here to tell you about her pinnie obsession. Take it away, Carrie!


Carrie NelsonHi! My name is Carrie and I might have a pincushion problem. My shelves and cubbies runneth over with these little creations . . . but I can’t stop myself from saving ever-smaller scraps for pincushions that I use primarily for decorative purposes. So maybe I don’t have a problem so much as a passion—for making things.

Churn Dash pincushions
Like Butter

But why pincushions? Or pinnies—that’s what I’ve always called them. The whole story is in the book, but it comes down to making something just for fun. I’ve probably made almost two hundred pincushions over the years and, while I keep a few, I give most away. (They do make terrific gifts.)

Random Strips pincushions
Random Strips

There are a couple of things I want to share about making pinnies—and about me.

First, I think perfection is highly overrated. While I will always strive to do my best work, I also love the human touch that comes from mismatched points, wonky seams, and less-than-perfect quilting.

Side Steps pincushion
Side Steps—Carrie accidentally poked a hole in the corner of this pincushion. No worries—she darned the corner and her pincushion and the mend added a whole new charm.

Pin Pals pincushionPinnie expert? Not me. Everything I’ve included is simply what works for me. I experiment, I learn, I try again. Like when it comes to quilting the pinnies—I like the way a quilted pincushion looks. I quilt them with two layers only—just the pieced top and some batting. The pinnie doesn’t need a backing layer, and I’ve found that machine quilting with the batting on bottom has worked nicely with every batting I’ve tried.

If you’re a little worried about all the small pieces—don’t be! Been there, felt that! I’d get this idea . . . draw it out . . . calculate the cutting sizes . . . and think “I must be crazy.” Then I’d start cutting and sewing, and it turned out better than I would have guessed. It will be the same for you—I promise!

All those “rules” you learned about quilting? Forget at least half of them. Then ignore the rest. This is a pincushion. It won’t be washed, stretched, or dragged through the yard—unless you have critters.

Coveting thy neighbor’s scraps? It will happen. I suggest offering to trade—or to make two pinnies, one of which you’ll give to the source of the coveted scraps.

Pink Half-Square Triangles pincushion
Pink Half-Square Triangles: Carrie made adorable use of leftover fabrics from a quilt made by
Lissa Alexander.

Supplies? While I share some of my favorite threads, pins, and tools in the book, use what you have. The backing and batting scraps left from trimming quilts can be used for pinnies—and the batting can be torn into little bits to use for stuffing. Or if, like me, you prefer to fill pincushions with crushed walnut shells, they’re easily found at any pet store in the reptile section. To get the shells into the pinnie, I borrow a funnel, a ½-cup measuring cup, and a jelly-roll pan (to catch any spills) from my kitchen.

Pinnies from Pin Pals
More pinnies from
Pin Pals

I hope you have as much fun making these pin pals as I did. I hope you’ll feel free to change things and make yours different. And if you find yourself making more pinnies than you’ll ever need or use . . . Hi, my name is Carrie. It’s nice to meet you—we’re meant to be friends.


Thanks for sharing your pin-tastic new book with us, Carrie!

Did you know that Carrie is also the popular blogger at Moda Fabrics? It’s true—and she’s put together an incredible, one-of-a-kind giveaway for you!

Carrie is giving away three prizes to three lucky winners, who will receive:

1. A copy of Pin Pals (autographed, of course!)

2. A goodie box filled with Moda mini-charm packs and spools of Aurifil 80 wt. thread (for machine quilting your pinnies)

3. Three adorable finished pincushions . . . handmade by Carrie herself!!! OMG!!!

Pin PalsWouldn’t you love to add Carrie’s pincushions to your own pinnie collection? Sew generous, that Carrie!

To enter the drawing for Carrie’s amazing prizes plus a copy of Pin Pals, tell us in the comments:

Have you made pincushions before—and do you use them for holding pins, decorating spaces, or both?

We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

Ready to start pinnie-making with Carrie right now? We don’t blame you! Purchase Pin Pals at our website and you can instantly download the eBook for free.

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winners are Judy, Pam, and Jackie.

Judy says, “I haven’t made any pin cushions, but it’s a good idea to use up scraps.”

Pam says, “I have made a few and have both used them and some for decorating.”

Jackie says, “I have made many pincushions over the years. I do use most of them and some are just little treasures sitting around my sewing room.”

We’ll email you about your prizes, winners—congratulations!


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