The Stitching Pillow

One of my favorite features in The Quilt Show Daily Blog is Anna and G on the Road. Anna lives in Sisters, Oregon, travels a lot, takes her quilting and blog on the road. This winter she featured a stitching pillow–a pillow you place on your lap when doing handwork. Raising up your needlework relieves tension in the neck and shoulders. One of my friends, Judy S., informed our Van Go-Go Girls small art quilt group that this odd shape is called a biscornu. It took me a long time to memorize this strange word. Wikipedia: A biscornu is a small, octagonal, stuffed ornamental pincushion. Collins Dictionary uses biscornu as an adjective meaning crooked or weird looking.

Here is a picture of my pillow, made in January, at the start of a mini-workshop I held on Friday. Like a dork, I got so focused I forgot to take more pictures. While my daughter does handwork, she would like this second pillow for use with her smart phone and ipad.


Here is the link for the video tutorial.


(2) 15-inch squares fabric

(2) 15-inch squares batting

(1) 2-1/2 x 10-inch strip for handle

(1) 16-oz bag of poly-fil

I actually used double-sided pre-quilted fabric; otherwise, quilt the top and bottom pieces. A simple diagonal grid is sufficient if you’re not comfortable with free-motion.

To make the handle, I folded the strip in half lengthwise, unfolded, pressed each raw edge in to the center, refolded, and stitched along both long edges. For my second pillow I used a Moda tape used to wrap a set of fat quarters.




Remember to leave an opening for stuffing and to sew on your handle before finishing.

TIP: You can pivot at the corners to continue stitching, but you will have the needle down and need to manipulate the fabrics to continue on. This will put stress of your needle, possibly causing breakage at some point (I learned this from a previous project).

TIP FROM JUDY S.: Use a forceps to stuff into the corners.

Yesterday, I made a biscornu pincushion using this same method. I started with 4-1/2 inch squares. You can go smaller but I don’t recommend it as you will have a very small opening for stuffing (unless you go around corners) and a very small pincushion. If you want a tutorial for the pincushion, try this. My first try yielded two pleats at the end because my stitching got off. I ripped it, started over, and marked the center point on each side for better matching. Voila–pretty cute, eh?




If you have to cut and paste the links, I apologize. The Edit/Insert Link function wasn’t working today. Have a great week–I hope you are having wonderful weather like we are, albeit the deluge of green oak pollen is causing a lot of us grief. Thank goodness for nasal spray and eye drops.

Next post: Less is More (I promise).







Hi—I’m Candy P. I live in beautiful Northwest Arkansas and write this blog about quilting. I love the entire process of quilting from design to piecing and appliqué, to free-motion quilting on my Janome. I have been sewing since I was five and started quilting in 1991 with a group in NE Minnesota. We used cardboard templates and scissors and did everything by hand. I have since made traditional quilts, donation quilts and Quilts of Valor; I’ve done paper piecing and foundation quilting but now really enjoy improvisational piecing using scraps from my stash or my hand dyed fabrics as well as making art quilts. I am also currently trying to finish any and all unfinished projects. I am so far behind I can never die. I have always been a maker, a sewist and needleworker, running the gamut from hand embroidery to macramé, knitting, crocheting, crafts, book binding and mixed media projects. I have taught a lot of classes including fabric painting, origami, and calligraphy, Dancercise (who remembers that) and my own exercise classes. When I’m not in the garage dyeing fabric or in my studio, I’m at Zumba or walking on local trails and photographing art or whatever catches my eye. I currently belong to Crystal Bridges, AQS, The Quilt Show, NWA Modern Quilt Guild and the Van Go-Go Girls (a local art quilt group). I occasionally make it to the piano and the golf course and enjoy cooking with my husband and generally wreaking some kind of havoc with my daughter. You can read my previous blog at and here (previously but you cannot read my blog as northwind at The Quilt Show, apparently lost forever. I write about my current projects, mistakes and all, and often tell you what products I use (with no compensation). I am open to suggestions about blog posts and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about my projects or posts. Comment or email me.

Posted on May 6, 2018, in Miscellaneous, The Stitching Pillow and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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