Tag Archives: stocking stuffers

Tu-Na Quilts: The Third Stocking Stuffer Reveal—How Much Can It Hold?

To answer that question, that little quilted stocking actually holds a lot! So far we have:

Let’s see what else it holds.

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There’s an itty bitty Pretty Pillow Pincushion. It measures 3.5″. The center pinwheel block is only 1.5″.

I’ve been wanting to try sewing some of those Marvelous Mini Monday blocks from the Temecula Quilt Co. but have been warned that they are tedious and tricky. I decided to prove to myself that I could indeed make them. I chose this pinwheel block (free pattern found here) but didn’t want to sew them into a mini quilt. After some thinking, I decided it would be perfect for a little pillow pincushion similar to the one I’d seen on Crazy Mom Quilts found here.

I didn’t find it difficult at all as long as I paid close attention to cutting accurately and using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  I think I’ll be making more of these Pretty Pillow Pincushions. Maybe you’d like to make one, too.

Materials Needed:

  • Two 1 3/4″ squares cut from a dark print
  • Two 1 3/4″ squares cut from a light print
  • Two 1″ x 2″ and two 1″ x 3″ pieces for inner border
  • Two 1″ x 3″ and two 1″ x 4″ pieces for outer border
  • 4″ x 4″ square for back
  • 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ square of batting
  • 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ square of fusible light or medium weight interfacing
  • Crushed walnut shells or other stuffing (See my post here for more discussion about crushed walnut shells and making a crushed walnut shell dispensing bottle-a.k.a. mustard bottle)
  • a small amount of poly fiber fil or stuffing
  • Thread

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Shorten your stitch length to 1.5. All seams are sewn with a scant 1/4″ unless noted.

Make half square triangles using the squares. With right sides together, place a dark and light square together. Placing my handy little ruler with the line that will connect the points, I drew a diagonal line 1/4″ on each side that line. Do this with the other set. Sew just a tad bit to the left of the line as shown in the pictures below.


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See how my stitching line is just on the inside of the drawn lines

Lay your ruler edge across the points, approx. down the middle between the stitching and cut. This will give you two itty bitty blocks. Do this with the other squares.

Press seams open (I always use spray starch when working with small pieces.) Square block by lining up the diagonal line on your ruler over the seam edge and trimming to 1 1/4″. 

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I think trimming accurately here ensures the block will end up the correct size.

Do this with the other set of squares so you will finish with four itty bitty pieces. Arrange them as in the pattern pictured below and sew the top two blocks together (seam 1 as noted in the picture below). Then sew the bottom two blocks together (seam 2 as noted in the picture below).

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Press seams open and then sew the two halves together. Press seam open.

Square your block to 2″. There is your cute itty bitty center for your Pretty Pillow Pincushion.

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Add the side borders by sewing right sides together joining seam 1 (as pictured below) first. Press seam toward side. It will go there naturally because of the bulk. Then sew the other side border seam 2 (as pictured below). Press seam toward side.

Now you are ready to sew on the top and bottom border pieces. Sew the top seam (3 as pictured below) onto the top and press towards the side. Sew bottom border (4 as pictured below) and press seam towards the side.

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Are you ready for the last border? Sew side seams first (1 then 2) and press seams to the side. Sew on top border (seam 3 as pictured below) and then sew on bottom border (4 as pictured below). Press seams to the side.

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It’s only 4″ square with the center pinwheel only 1.5″. What can I say? I dabble in small pieces. Do you?

Center the top on the batting square. Pin in place.

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Lengthen stitch length to 3.0 and quilt as desired. I quilted straight lines about 1/4″ apart in the borders only.

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Since this block is so tiny, I only had to sew four rows to quilt it. I did not quilt the center. I figured there was plenty of stitching there already.

Square to 4″.

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Iron interfacing onto back side of backing fabric.

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The backing extends beyond the interfacing around all sides. This allows me to heat set it without risk of getting the sticky stuff on my ironing board or my iron. An alternative would be covering it with a cloth. Follow the manufacturer directions to heat set it.

Reset stitch length to 1.5. Place top and backing with right sides together and stitch 1/4″ inch around all sides leaving about a 2 inch opening for turning on one side. Backstitch at both ends.

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Trim corners at a diagonal. Trim close but not too close.

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Trimming off the corners reduces the bulk.

Turn right side out and gently push out corners. I use a knitting needle. Fold seam allowance of opening under and press to aid you when closing the opening.

Fill with crushed walnut shells. I love the crushed walnut shell dispensing bottle I made a.k.a. mustard bottle. I’ve not only used it for all three of these pincushions I’ve made for the blog hop but also for many others. Shake the pillow and tap it up and down on the table to help settle the walnut shells. Use your finger to push them down, too. You want the pillow to be filled full so it is firm. It will settle and soften as you use it. Work to get some into the top corners.

Once it is filled as full as you want, add a bit of poly fiber fil or stuffing to cover the shells exposed at the opening. This helps keep them in the cushion while you sew. Hand sew the opening closed with tiny, close stitches.

This one is almost too cute to stick pins in.

But that’s what it’s for.

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The 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop continues:

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Bells are Ringing…Silver Bells…Jingle Bells—Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

 Confessions of a Fabric Addict Today’s assignment is just as I suspected; finishing the final quarter for the Santa’s Trip Around the World Quilt so be prepared for a new assignment tomorrow. Sarah’s also sharing a bunch of ideas for cute. little gifts to give quilters. You may just want to make one of each for yourself, too.

Mel’s Quilting Blog Meloney’s sharing a trio of little gift ideas that are perfect for teachers, or guild members, or neighbors. No one on your list needs to be left crying or looking for a tissue. Go see for yourself.

Resourceful Momma Mel persevered some obstacles to create a cute little project for the hop. She’s even offering it as a free pattern download. Those of you who enjoy embroidery or want to learn, this is your chance to create a cute center block for your wall hanging, table topper, or pillow cover. Who can resist that impish smile?

Cheryl’s Teapots2Quilting If you haven’t come up with an idea or two for Christmas this year, stop by Cheryl’s blog. Her post is filled with suggestions and examples, that should please someone on your list. Make a few extras, just in case you forgot to check it twice!

Remember to leave comments on each of these 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts so you can qualify to win some fabric giveaways of Tula Pink’s new holiday line, Holiday Homies, generously donated by Free Spirit Fabrics!!! You have through July 26th to leave comments on all of the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts. So hopefully, you’re not too far behind in reading and commenting on them.

Please note: Sarah has notified us that she needs to delay the announcement of winners until August 4th due to a family emergency. Winners will be notified by email then. I will be posting a list, too, as soon as I see it.

Here’s an updated picture of the prizes you could be winning if you are commenting on each of the blog posts.


I posted my 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop post on Monday, July 14, 2017 where I showed how to make a mini quilted stocking and a ring wreath that kids can make. Click here if you are looking for it. My first stocking stuffer reveal happened here and the second stocking stuffer reveal happened here. Here’s a picture recap of what I’ve created for this hop:

Coming soon on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats:

  • Tuesday, July 25th, 2017Tu-Na Quilts: The Fourth and Final Stocking Stuffers Reveal—Does The Fun Have to End? (Do you see the s on the end of Stuffers? I bet you know what that means.)

What I Learned Today:

  1. My husband reads my posts. I forgot to list what I learned on yesterday’s post. He asked me about it when he was checking his email.
  2. Work on my posts earlier in the day so I am not tired and forgetful.
  3. My grandson has a lot of energy. My son, his wife, and my grandson have moved in with us for a few weeks while they wait to get into their new house.

Question: Let’s talk about Christmas yard decorations. How do you decorate the outside of your house or yard or do you enjoy the decorations of others? What’s your favorite outside decoration you’ve seen? My husband hangs lights from the edge of the roof around our gazebo. Then he puts green garland around the rails and ties on pretty red velvet bows. It looks so festive.

We have a street in our town in North Dakota where each year all the houses and trees are lavishly decorated for the holidays. It’s a highlight of the season causing nightly traffic jams as tours cascade down “candy cane lane.” It is beautiful!

However, the residents in our Arizona city decorate their yards quite a bit differently. I posted pics each day from Dec 13-25, 2016 showing these unique Christmas decorations. I also posted pics each day from Dec 26-Jan1 showing how last winter’s weather decorated our North Dakota landscape for the holidays. If you missed any of these, you can find them in the archives on the sidebar, click on December 2016 and scroll through the month. There’s also one on January 1, 2017.

Here’s three of my favorites.

Thanks for all the kind compliments and fun responses to my questions that you’ve shared. I’ve read and appreciated every one. I am just a bit behind in replying. After all, Christmas, even in July, is a hectic season.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

  • Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
  • Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
  • Moving it Forward Monday at Em’s Scrapbag
  • Oh, Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework
  • Linky Tuesday at Freemotion on the River
  • Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
  • Wait Loss Wednesday at The Inquiring Quilter
  • Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Tu-Na Quilts: The First Reveal—What’s Inside the Stocking?

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It measures 7.5″ wide by 9″ long with an opening of 4.5″ so there’s just enough room to stuff in some quilting goodies.

I posted my tutorial on how to make this cute, easy, Mini Quilted Christmas Stocking on the July 17th 12 Days of Christmas in July post found here on my blog. I included a free pdf pattern for it so you should be able to download and print it to make some for those on your Christmas list or as favors for a Christmas party. I filled this one with some great little goodies that every sewist/quilter needs and would like to receive.

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The first surprise I’ll reveal from it is…….

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This pail pincushion measures 2.25″ tall and has a cute little handle to carry it from one project to another.


Making Your Own Cute Container Pincushion

Materials Needed:

  • small container of your choice
  • scrap of fabric large enough to cut a circle 2 1/2 times the diameter of the top of the container
  • hand quilting thread
  • crushed walnut shells
  • poly fiber fil or stuffing
  • hot glue
  • small block of wood

First: A Little Talk About Some of the Materials


I found this pail in a package of 6 at a thrift shop (no surprise there). But I also found other small containers that could be just as cute when turned into pincushions. Other stores to look for containers include dollar stores, hobby and craft stores, and wedding supply places.


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You can get an idea of the size of these containers from those white pails in the back that are 2 and 1/2″ tall and a bit over 2″ in diameter. I think any of these would make a great pincushion container. I would have made a pincushion with that cute little teacup on the left but I couldn’t find where I had stored it when I needed it. You’ll be seeing some more of these container pincushions pop up on my blog from time to time.


Hand quilting thread:

I’ve found when I gather things by hand that this thread is the strongest and won’t break when I pull on it. You can use other thread but be careful when pulling them tight or you will be sewing around that circle again and you will want to make sure it is doubled or more.

Crushed Walnut Shells:

Crushed walnut shells are used in filling pincushions because they help to sharpen the needles and pins. It can be found in a pet store or the pet department of a discount store and is often sold as reptile bedding. Bonus, it’s rather inexpensive and lasts a long time. So you really don’t need to buy the biggest bag unless you make lots and lots of pincushions.

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Crushed walnut shells get everywhere so I recommend laying something on your work surface that you can remove and shake.


To make it easier to fill that pincushion, one could use a paper funnel or other funnel. I made myself a Crushed Walnut Shell Dispensing Bottle.

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To make your own Crushed Walnut Shell Dispensing Bottle, just remove the twist cap off a mustard container. Cut off the tip of the bottle to make the hole larger and then replace the twist cap. To fill the bottle just twist or snap off the cover and fill.


Block of wood

This piece of wood or bead helps to support the pincushion ensuring that it will be sitting pretty above the top of the container just where you want it. You will need to decide what size you will need based on your container and cushion size. If you don’t have scraps of wood just lying around your house, look for another object that you could use: wood bead, bottle or jar cap, or small cardboard box, etc.  

Now let’s get to making this little pail pincushion.


Part 1: Making the cushion

Measure the diameter of your container.

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This little pail measures 2 1/8″ in diameter. Taking that times 2.5 yields approx. 5.3″.


Using a pen or pencil, trace a circle that measures about 2 1/2 times the diameter of your container.

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Since I needed a 5.3″ circle, this plate was 5.5″ and worked fine to trace around.


Using a double strand of hand quilting thread, stitch 1/2″ from the edge on the RIGHT side of the fabric circle. Leave at least an 8″ tail at the start. DO NOT KNOT at either end.

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Sewing around the circle on the right side of the fabric will make it easier to pull those threads to gather them. Once you’ve sewn all around the edge, pull on all four threads together to form a bowl shape. You don’t even have to remove your needle from the one end if you are careful. Continue pulling the thread ends until the opening is almost closed.

Fill the little bowl shape with crushed walnut shells, tapping the cushion on the counter or jiggling it in your hand several times to pack it in and to allow the crushed walnut shells to settle into place.

Once you have it almost full, add more. This stuff really settles. Then stuff poly fiber fil into the opening and pack it in tight. I used my purple thang to push it down. and under the stitching. I’ve got a funny story to tell about that purple thang but I’ll save it for tomorrow. And yes, it has to do with Christmas, too.

Pull on all the thread ends to tightly gather into a ball. Tie a knot with the threads. Having a helper hold his finger on the thread as you are tying really helps. Using a needle take the loose thread ends and sew the opening tightly shut.

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Part 2: Putting it together

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For this part you will need, the container, your fabric ball  you just completed, a block of wood the size you want, and a hot glue gun with glue.


Put a dab of hot glue in the inside bottom of your container and add the block of wood or bead. My block of wood was about 1.25″ tall.

Add hot glue on top of the block of wood and around the inside edge of the container. You’ll need to work fast as hot glue doesn’t stay tacky for very long.

Press the cushion into the container and hold for a few seconds.

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So pretty and useful!

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You could add trim along the top edge if you want. I thought about adding some ric rac but decided not for this one.



Hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. July 14, 2017 – July 25, 2017. Gather Christmas gift giving ideas and other holiday inspiration from many bloggers.


The 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop continues. Here’s what’s going on today:

 Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Do You Hear What I Hear? Day Six of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Confessions of a Fabric Addict  Sarah’s got us sewing the next step on our quilt along.


It’s not too late to start your Santa’s Trip Around the World Quilt. Check out Sarah’s blog above for directions.


 The Colorful Fabriholic Jan found the perfect solution for those of us with limited space but still having a desire to put up a Christmas tree. Making one of these is definitely on my list to do.

Smiles From Kate  Kate’s drawn some cute holiday pillow covers that can stay around longer than just Christmas. Even if the weather warms and you haven’t put them away, they won’t be melting anything except maybe your heart.

Remember to leave comments on each of their 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop posts so you can qualify to win some fabric giveaways of Tula Pink’s new holiday line, Holiday Homies, generously donated by Free Spirit Fabrics!!! You have through July 26th to leave comments.


Coming soon on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats:

  • Friday, July 21st, 2017Tu-Na Quilts: The Second Stocking Stuffer Reveal—You Mean There’s More?
  • Sunday, July 23rd, 2017Tu-Na Quilts: The Third Stocking Stuffer Reveal—How Much Can It Hold?
  • Tuesday, July 25th, 2017Tu-Na Quilts: The Fourth and Final Stocking Stuffers Reveal—Does The Fun Have to End?

What I Leaned Today:

  1. DVRs are very helpful, especially the rewind button. 
  2. This summer seems to be going exceptionally fast.
  3. Once a mom, always a mom. Our “baby” and our first born (and his wife) headed out for a trip in the Boundary Waters. I hope they have fun but I will still worry.

Question: What is your favorite holiday beverage to make, serve, or drink? Since we make our own apple cider in the fall, we usually thaw out several gallons and serve it chilled or heated with cinnamon sticks and slices of oranges and serve it hot.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to: