I bought some moire taffeta upholstery/drapery samples at a sale and knew exactly what I wanted to with them - make pincushions. Not ordinary ones, mind you, but upscale, fancy ones. I used Martha's instructions available here, but added a few variations of my own.
This is perfect way to use up any pretty scraps you happen to have.
She instructs that you cut your fabric on the bias. I did that, but am not absolutely sure it's necessary. With all the scrunching and gathering and sewing, I don't think it matters. She suggests that you cut your fabric so that the short end is half the length of the long end. I found that a piece 6" x 12" fit my fabric and made a nice sized pincushion.
Felt a wool sweater (it must be 100% wool) by washing it in hot water then drying it in a hot clothes dryer.
Turn the pincushion fabric right side out. Cut off one of the sleeves of the felted sweater and roll it up tightly. Put it inside the fabric cup. The pincushion should be comfortably full, not over stuffed, since you need to manipulate it.
With needle and thread make a running stitch on the unsewn edge. Gather tightly and tie off. Tuck in the ends.
Use a double strand of crochet thread and a long needle to form the lobes of your pincushion. Push the needle through the center of the ball from the top. Wrap the crochet thread along the outside and push the needle through the center again. Pull the thread as tightly as you can. Repeat until you have 6 lobes, evenly spaced.
I found it was better to sew in sequence, around in a clockwise or counterclockwise manner. That way, if the threads aren't as tight as you would like, you can adjust them. Tie off the thread.
No need to hide these away in the sewing basket.