Skinny Selvedge Pincushion (tutorial)

(Or skinny selvage pincushion in the US). I started saving selvedges because it seemed to be the thing to do. When I started quilting and following the on-line community, a lot of the bee blocks used selvedges, and I didn’t want to be caught out if I needed some! But then they piled up, and up. But I decided that I need a skinny pincushion, to sit in front of my machine so I don’t need to bend my wrist oddly to move pins from my sewing to the pincushion beside my machine. (And then I gave it away to a swap partner, so this is actually my second one.)

First, get a piece of white cotton or muslin about 4″ x 12″. Decide what order your selvedge strips are going to be in, then start in the middle of the piece of cotton by placing two strips with the raw edge of one under the finished end of the binding of the other, overlapping by 1/4″. You can use a glue stick or pins to hold the fabric in place. Stitch along the finished edge of the selvedge. I found white thread was the best for this project.

try to keep them square

Keep adding strips to one side, tucking the raw edge under the selvedge edge, then do the other side. Make sure the strips stay square with the sides of your backing piece.

Trim to 3.5" x 11" (approx)

Once complete, trim the pieced selvedges to 3.5″ x 11″. Cut a piece of fabric the same size (I used a linen/cotton blend) and place the two pieces right sides together. Sew with a generous 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening about 3″ in one side for turning. Mark rounded corners on each end and restitch on the lines. Trim the excess on each end to 1/4″, and turn right side out. I like to crease the edges with a hot iron to make it easier to hand sew them closed.

Round the corners

Press a crease at the opening

Stuff firmly, then use a ladder stitch to sew closed the opening.


Linking up to Let’s Bee Social with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and Sew Cute Tuesday with Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts.


  1. Very cute! I have a collection of selvedges sitting around Just In Case for the same reason. I generally tend to cut strips from my fabric and then remove the selvedge after, which means I’ve usually butchered them into 3 or 5 or whatever inch bits of selvedge), but started a while ago making a point to cut them off ahead of time. I like the look of a lot of projects that people have made using them, but I’m not sure I care enough to actually make something myself! Maybe one of these days I’ll give them away… there’s always someone who’d love to have them!

    1. I don’t think I would ever use them in a quilt, but some of the designers have such fun selvedge art, it would be a shame not to use them in something. I was surprised how many this project used!

  2. This is so cute! Love your style of pincushion. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial, Lisa!

  3. This is super cute. And you can use a glue stick! Ah. Perfection! I knew I was saving selvedges for something!

  4. Really sweet selvage (selvedge) pincushion Lisa! I like that you leave a bit of the fabric on your selvedges.

    1. I used to cut them off right at the edge of the printing but for a project like this you need to cut the selvedge strips 3/4″ to 1″ wide. On May 6, 2015 1:11 PM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  5. […] to make a Yuma pillow cover for you? I’ll even throw in one of my “world-famous” skinny selvedge pincushions. To enter, leave me how I can follow you on social media–blog address, instagram, flickr, or […]

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