The Cube Pincushion

Posted by VickiR on Friday, January 18th, 2013

Hello!  My name is Vicki and I blog over at Quilting Lodge.  I'm super excited to be able to share my pincushion, The Cube, with all of you today.  Seriously.  I can barely contain myself! 

I do feel the need to warn you that this tutorial is picture heavy.  I just couldn't get around sharing a lot of pictures to help explain the process.  Enjoy!

The Cube Pincushion

Click here for a printer friendly version.

I decided to stray from the "normal" pincushion filler and used a non-traditional smooth foam cube.  Don't worry, you can find these at your local craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael's and online.

Let's get started!

Fabric Requirements
I used Riley Blake’s Hello Sunshine Collection by Lori Whitlock.

{1} 5.5" square ~ Top of Cube                                                                                                         {4} 5.5" x 7.5" rectangles ~ Sides of Cube            
{2} 2.5" x 3.5" rectangles ~ Pockets
{5} 2.5" x 18" strips of various fabrics ~ Dresden Fans

1 yard Ric Rac
Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
5" Smooth Foam Cube {available at your local craft store}
Sharp Scissors
Craft Glue ~ Elmer's Tacky Glue works great
Easy Dresden Ruler
Matching thread for top-stitching

General Instructions

Read all directions before beginning
All seams are 1⁄4” unless otherwise stated
High contrasting fabrics work best for this design

Cut the top, sides and pockets according to the measurements above.

Alternate the Easy Dresden ruler to cut 3 fans of each color from the 2.5” strips.  There will be a total of {15} 2.5” Dresden fans.

Cutting Dresden Fans

Trim the remaining strip down to 2” and cut 3 more Dresden fans of each color. There will be a total of {15} 2” Dresden fans.

Cutting Dresden Fans

Fold each Dresden fan in half lengthwise right sides together and sew across the top.

Sewing Dresden Fans

TIP** Chain sew the fans.

Chain Sewing Dresden Fans

Trim the corner of each fan.  This will reduce bulk and make a sharp point.

Trimming Dresden Fans

Turn the points right side out and press. Make sure the
seam lines up in the middle of the back. This will
ensure the point is even and not lopsided. 

Pressing Dresden Fans
Arrange the fans in 3 groups of 5 for each size.

Arrange Dresden Fans

Sew the fans together. There will be 3 sets of each size.

Dresden Fans
**The next step is optional. If the Dresden fans don’t contrast enough with the cube fabric you can add a little trim. I used Riley Blake's Cotton Solid in Aqua to make the Dresden fans stand out on my cube.

Cut {3} 4.5” squares and {3} 4” squares

Place one set of 2.5” fans on each 4.5” square.  Place one set of 2” fans on each 4” square.

Applying Background to Fans

Top-stitch around the points with a coordinating thread.

Sewing Dresden Fans to BackgroundNext trim the excess aqua away from the fans leaving the aqua behind the fan points.  This picture shows the wrong side of the square.

Trimming Dresden Fans

Note** The aqua fabric has a raw edge.

Use a ruler and trim the aqua leaving a 1⁄4”.

Trimming Dresden Fans

The fans should now look like this.

Dresden Fan with Background

Layout the cube as shown in this picture.

Cube Layout

The top of the cube will be in the middle.  Place the Dresden fans as shown. The 2.5” fans are together and the 2” fans are together. They are placed on opposite corners of the cube.

Do not mix the 2.5” and 2” Dresden fans.  Pin the fans in place and stitch using a coordinating thread.

Stitch close to the fans to “hide” the stitches.

Attaching Dresden Fans

Next add ric rac to the unfinished side of each Dresden fan set.

Sewing on Ric Rac

The ric rac is flexible so it bends easily around the curve.  Go slow and ease around the curve.

Sewing on Ric Rac

Trim excess ric rac.

Ric Rac Ric Rac

Pockets can be added to hold notions such as stilettos, seam rippers, tweezers, etc.

Fold each side of the 2.5” x 3.5” rectangle under 1⁄4” and press.  Top-stitch across the top {one 2.5” side} of the pocket before you stitch it to the side.

Stitching the Pockets

I placed the bottom of my pocket 4 3⁄4” from the top and 1⁄2” from the side.  Back-stitch at each of the corners for added security.

Stitching Pocket on
Ric rac can be added and used as a scissor holder.

Stitch one end of the ric rac to the side. I stitched it about 1 1⁄2” from the edge.

Adding Ric Rac

Fold the ric rac over and tack it in place on the edge with several stitches.         
The length of ric rac will depend on the size of your scissors. A long piece of ric rac will make a very loose loop and a short piece will keep the ric rac close to the side.  Test your scissors before you stitch it down on the edge.

Adding Ric Rac

Lay out the cube once again.  I placed my pockets opposite of each other and my ric rac scissor holders opposite of each other. 

Assembling the Cube

Cube Layout

The most important part of attaching the sides is starting and stopping 1⁄4” from the edge on each side. Back-stitch each time you start and stop to secure the sides.  If you do not leave a 1⁄4” free you will have trouble getting the corners to be square.

Sew two opposite sides to the top. For example, sew either pocket sides or ric rac sides to the center square.

Sewing Cube Together

This is what your cube will look like after two sides are attached.

Sewing on the Sides of the cube

Next, sew the other two sides onto the cube.

Sewing on the Sides of the cube Sewing on the Sides of the cube

As before, start and stop 1⁄4” away from each edge.

All 4 sides have been attached. Time to sew up the cube.

Sewing Cube Together
Fold the cube in half by folding the center square in half on the diagonal.

Sewing Cube Together
Start sewing 1 1⁄2” from the bottom of each side. It’s easiest to start sewing where I have indicated and sew toward the center folded square. Again, back-stitch when you start and stop to secure the cube.

The 1⁄4” areas that were left not sewn will naturally fold together and you can easily sew them in place.  In this picture you can see the corners have folded together neatly and I back-stitched to secure the cube.

Backstitching Corners

The stitches form a 90° corner, this makes the corner lay flat when the cube is turned right sides out.  Repeat the above process and sew up the remaining two sides.

It is helpful to clip the corners to reduce the bulk. Be careful to not trim away too much.

Trimming the Corners
Turn the cube cover right sides out and slip over the foam cube.  Wiggle it around to get the seams straight.  The cover should be pulled tight around the cube.

Completed Cube Cover

Glue the flaps to the bottom of the cube.

Glue Down the Flaps Glue Down the Flaps

Finished Bottom

Your cube is now finished!

Finished Cube

The Cube pincushion is very versatile.  You are not limited to using my Dresden design. Any pattern would work as long as the dimensions for the top and sides are the same.

You could simply pick 5 different fabrics and make a cube cover.

You can also make a Baby Cube!

I purchased a 3” x 3” smooth foam cube and simply covered it with 5 different fabrics.  I fussy cut a flower for the top and added a button for fun. 

If you’d like to make a Baby Cube you will need the following supplies:

{1} 3” x 3” Smooth Foam cube
{1} 3.5” fabric square ~ Top of Cube
{4} 3.5” x 4.75” fabric rectangles ~ Sides of Cube

The construction of the cube is the same.

Baby Cube

**Optional: You can glue a non-slip pad to the bottom if your cube slides around too much. Just cut the pad 1⁄2” smaller than the bottom, i.e. 2.5” square for the Baby Cube or 4.5” square for the Cube.

The most important part is to have fun! 

I hope you have enjoyed my tutorial.  I'm so honored to share my pincushion with you today!  I'd love to know if you make a Cube Pincushion!  Drop by my blog and let me know!





Category: Pincushions


  1. Awesome tutorial! I love that it is non-traditional.
    by Melissa
    January 18th, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.
  2. That is sew cute! Well done!
    by Debbe
    January 18th, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.
  3. How clever and fun!! I love the way you put the large one together, the ric-rac is the perfect addition. Can't wait to try to make one.:)
    by Kadie Arrington
    January 18th, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
  4. I love this pincushion! Thank you for all the pics. I am a visual learner and you can never have enough photos. ktreve(at) hotmail (dot) com
    by Kay
    January 18th, 2013 at 5 p.m.
  5. Super adorable and functional! I want to make one-great tutorial! Thanks!
    by Trisha Weekes
    January 18th, 2013 at 9:20 p.m.
  6. This is adorable! I wanna make one!!
    by Crystal Celeste
    March 11th, 2013 at 8:48 p.m.
  7. Thank you for sharing, I love the Dresden plate instructions, much easier then the traditional method.
    by Roberta
    September 03rd, 2013 at 8:08 a.m.
  8. The print is so light that it is very difficult to read. Am I doing something wrong? Very clever project!
    by Karen
    January 01st, 2014 at 10:20 a.m.

toll free: 888.768.8454 phone: 801.816.0540 fax: 801.816.0542 address: 468 West Universal Cir. Sandy, UT 84070