Scrap Happy and Fabulous Fat Quarters

Everyone who loves fat quarters raise your hand. I’m raising both of mine on that one. Fat quarters are indeed fabulous. To my friends and visitors who aren’t into sewing (yet), a fat quarter is a measurement of fabric that generally runs about 22 inches X 18 inches which is a nice “fat” square to work with.

You’ll typically find fat quarters folded in neat little squares like the ones lined up in the picture below.Ā  These fat quarters are from the Freshcut line by fabric designer Heather Bailey. They’re so delicious looking, I almost want to eat them. OK, not really, but if you’re a fabric addict like me, then you know what I mean.

This fabric makes me scrap happy and inspire.



I’ve actually had a longtime fabric addiction and love to browse through quilt and fabric shoppes just to see what’s new.

The great thing about fat quarters is that they provide you with a decent amount of fabric to work with, without having to buy a whole yard.

It’s also a great way to sample an entire fabric line without having to pay a bundle for all that extra yardage.

There are loads of wonderful quilt and sewing books available that are specifically devoted to fat quarter projects.


I’ve already cut out the project pieces from these fat quarters for a new quilt I’m working on. However, since that project is still in the works, I thought it would be fun to share an example of the big value that can be found in scraps.

That’s right SCRAPS.

Take a look at the fun pincushion below that was made out of fabric scraps that might otherwise have been thrown away.


When I cut fabric I love, sometimes it’s pretty hard to throw away the scraps. You probably know the feeling. Scrapbookers go through the same thing too with patterned paper scraps. After cutting out your main project, you often end up with scraps (like the fabric strips below) that are just too small for anything major and too big to simply toss into the trash basket.

To make the pincushion, eight small folded triangular pieces were cut out of the scraps and sewn together, alternating the fabrics as you go. It took only minutes to sew all the required elements together to get the pincushion shape.

A small opening was left in one seam for the stuffing.Ā  Don’t over stuff, but once the pincushion is firm, close the seam with a slip stitch.

Use a dollmakers needle to carry the embroidery floss through the top center and out the bottom center of the pincushion and wrap the coordinating floss around each seam.

Blog_pincushion_pieces_edited1 Blog_pincushion2

Voila! Talk about fast. Each pincushion took about 30-40 minutes to complete start to finish.Ā  If you’re going to make multiples, I suggest you do all your sewing first, assembly-line style.

You can stuff, slipstitch the opening and do the embroidery floss wrapping later, perhaps while watching TV or waiting for your kids to get out of an extra-curricular activity.

You only need a minimum of supplies including fabric scraps, embroidery floss and soft stuffing. The original pattern doesn’t call for self-covered buttons but I added them for a cute center.


This pincushion project comes from the book Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

I love the little stuffed birds sitting on top of the stack of fat quarters on the book cover.

You can count on seeing those in a future post of mine for sure. Anyway, the book is filled with beautiful, color pictures and easy to understand patterns for super quick projects.

Also Joelle’s Purlsoho website and Purl bee blog are fantastic sewing resources that are loaded with lots of useful information and tips.


While I’m still working on the quilt project that provided these scraps, the photo below is a sneak peak of my 15″ X 15″ quilt blocks from these Freshcut fat quarters.

It may be a while before I actually complete this quilt but you can look for this finished project later, in a different post.


I think it’s great when you’re able to start out with one project in mind like a quilt, and end up getting several more out of the deal like these pincushions.

My mom has already asked for a couple of them.Ā  Hmm, don’t you think these would make cute holiday stocking stuffers?


So, remember the next time you get ready to toss that big pile of fabric scraps, you may want to take a second look at what you’re pitching.

You never know if your next wonderful little project may be hiding in the pile somewhere, just waiting to be discovered.

Thanks for stopping by.

See you back here next time.


  • Aleida Franklin

    It was because of this post that started my love affair with fabric. Got some her stuff off Ebay last week and just got a cute little basket to put it in…cause of you. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. šŸ™‚

  • lucy

    I want some of those! They’re so cute.

  • lisa sanford

    awwww how’d I need one of these cuties in my Christmas stocking.

  • Theresa - Garden Antqs

    Hi Lisa: thanks for stopping by, please visit anytime! You are a very creative person; pretty pin cushion! Have a great day, Theresa

  • Jennifer

    I found your blog searching for Heather Bailey Freshcut fat quarters. Your blog is beautiful and your work as well. I’ll take a peek every now and then,

  • Michelle Cummings

    ok, your blog is definately going to be added to my fave list! I love the idea’s on scraps. I’m as crazy about my fabric as I am about patterned paper!

  • sheree

    Wonderful projects, as always!!

  • Cassi

    Everytime I try and through the scraps away I end up digging them out of the trash. Thankfully it is just my sewing trash can šŸ™‚
    Thanks for the comment on my blog.

  • Carla

    Hi Lisa-
    I updated my blog with my first officially hand binded quilt. I also posted a pic of the quilt top that I have to turn into a quilt. It’s got lots of color, and it’s all from my scrap stash. I’m curious. When you hand stitch the binding onto the back of a quilt, what stitch do you use? I want to learn the correct one for the job. I’m proud of myself because my mitered corners came out very nice too! Whoo-hoo, I’m on a roll. Hope you had a happy Halloween!

  • Lise Richards

    Those are so gorgeous I can hardly stand it! Beautiful fabric, excellent project. And yes, I know what you mean about wanting to eat it. You are so awesome! So creative!!!

  • Tanya Whelan

    Oh my goodness!!! Your pincushions runneth over and they’re gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Rachel Brooke

    These fabric prints are so fun! I know what you’re talking about when you say its hard to throw away the scraps (I too am a pack-rat.) Thanks for commenting on my blog, I’ll definitely come back to yours!

  • jona

    Those are so darn cute! I really love the simplicity of the ones made with just one fabric. You can really let the fabric do the talking when fabric is that great!

  • Natalie

    My goodness, what a beautiful blog you are keeping. I enjoyed this post, being a fat quarter and fabric hoarder. You very artfully remind me that fabric is not only beautiful but can be put to beautiful uses. Thank you for your pumpkin praise too… my boys have been delighted by feedback about their jack-o lantern.

  • alyssa

    Gorgeous! Love the pincushions, love the blog. šŸ™‚
    Being able to give these as gifts just might inspire me to {finally} learn to sew. WOW!

  • Susan Gilman

    oohhhh! I too am waiting for the HEATHER BAILEY PEAR PIN CUSHION REVEAL but now I want to TRY THIS!! Ooooohhh…watch my blog for the results ! LOL — dang. if only I didn’t have to be at WORK tomorrow…I would stay up all night making these!!! TFS!!!!!!!

  • frenchgardenhouse

    Those pincushions and that fabric ARE deliscious!! my, such beautiful colors and prints, they do make your heart beat faster. They are little pieces of art.
    Thanks so much for sharing, I’ll be looking for the book, too.

  • beki

    Such happy, pretty pictures! I wish the quilt stores around me had nice fat quarters.

  • Jody

    I love the pincushions. I had no idea they’d be that quick to make … off to look at the book.

  • Barbara

    Your pincushions are just lovely. They are very like little pumpkins. Such a good use of scraps too. I read a tip ages ago that when you have finished cutting out a project you could cut your scraps into strips of 1 or 2 inches then when you have lots you can use them for log cabin. Not that I’ve ever done it because I’m just not that organised but a good idea nontheless! I love covered buttons too.

  • Patriot

    Very cute fabric!

  • June Parrish Cookson

    Hi Lisa,
    Wow, the pincushions are beautiful. And thanks for the book link.
    Although I haven’t sewn for nearly twenty years, your blog is creating wonderful inspiration for me. Need to head over to my mother-in-law’s house and retrieve the old sewing machine stored away there since the late 1980’s. Then again, might have to buy a new one.
    It is ironic about this post…been considering making some pincushions atop small vintage boxes that I’ll be creating in the near future. So seeing how you create one will be a great help. But first need to learn more about the right stuffing material…and of course how to sew again! Yikes! Anyway, looking for a stuffing material that lends a firmness. Well, onward I go in search…
    Cheers Lisa.

  • Carla

    Looks great! You’ll be proud of me. I’m working on two quilts. I’m such a beginner at making quilts, but I’m determined to finish them. I’m excited to try binding, but scared!!!! I’ll let you know how it goes! Love HB’s fabric, and your beautiful creations!

  • Giabella Designs

    I have been obsessed with pincushions lately! Yours are so pretty! I have that book on my christmas list. I have you bookmarked!

  • Korie B.

    Oh my! You make pretty things! I’ll certainly be back!

  • Jennifer

    Hi Lisa- What a beautiful blog you have! Lovely photos and inspirational words. I’m an interior decorator, and not really a great sewer, but I do share your passion for fabrics and beautiful photography. I’ll definitely be back to your site, and it’s a pleasure to e-meet you.

  • Katherine

    Oh,yes! I adore fat quarters for all the reasons you give and I couldn’t be happier than when I can make something as adorable as your pincushions from scraps.
    I’m enjoying seeing your creative talents on your blog… Wow!

  • deborah nicholas

    they are just too cute – like little mini pumpkins!! Have just ordered that book from amazon so im really looking forward to making some new items šŸ™‚ That fabric is gorgeous!

  • Cascade Lily

    You even made self-covered buttons! Adorable!! And that fabric is just scrumptious šŸ™‚

  • lisa

    I love your blog! You are so talented – a little of everything and great at it all! Your pin cushions are adorable – love them! You make me want to use my sewing machine for something else, besides hemming my daughter’s jeans and scrapbooking.
    I took a peek at your scrapbooking layouts and your talent is simply amazing!

  • Mary

    Lisa, those are gorgeous! Like a buffet of little cakes! Yummy little sherbert-colored fabric cakes. I think I need to go fondle my scraps. LOL!

  • Bethany

    I love the pin cushions… I saw those in the book, but yours are really cute!!! Thanks for visiting my blog today! I enjoyed reading yours šŸ™‚

  • amandajean

    your pincushions are very cute! I am looking forward to seeing the quilt.
    I actually prefer to make things out of scraps…I have become rather obsessed with it lately. šŸ™‚

  • Staci

    What cute pincushions! Digging the fabric too!

  • cindy

    I just got that book and can’t wait to get started on a couple of projects. Great pincushions! Looks like you are preparing some gifts. Lucky folks!

  • Renee

    That fabric is gorgeous. It might make me start sewing again (Not!). Still, can you imagine patterned paper made out of it. Can’t wait to see the finished quilt.

  • Sandy

    So cute! I can’t wait to see the finished quit too. I think I need to splurge on the book – I’m seeing it mentioned everywhere!

  • milkcan

    Those pin cushions are adorable! Love the fabric too!

  • Elaine Tutman

    The pin cushions are absolutely darling ! I am a thrifty person and hate to throw away ANYTHING that MAY (one day) be useful. What a great idea for using scraps.

  • Cora

    Now I know. I have a lot of fabric scraps too. Actually I have some of that fresh cut fabric in scraps. Well I guess I’ll make a few pin cushions for myself. Great tutorial!!! Thanks.

  • adrienne

    That fabric is gorgeous!! YOu eat fabric, lol, sometimes I lick it lol, or wrap myself up in it! LOL Those pincushions are fun! I made one when I first started sewing..and they would make great stocking stuffers…ok, finished rambling now lol