Tomato Pincushions

-by April

 Every sewer needs a pincushion for keeping their pins and needles organized. These Heirloom tomato pincushions are a spin on the traditional tomato pin cushions.  Shown here are black zebra, Cherokee purple and vintage wine. Made by Machete Designs using organic cotton yarn filled with plush and beans to give it some weight.

 Here are some of the standard cushions we are all familiar with.  Remember your mother’s pin cushion, probably looked much like these.  How about a blue one or purple!

  Did you ever wonder what the strawberry is for, they don’t grow out of tomatoes?  The “emery strawberry” is what they are technically called. Traditionally the tomatoes are filled with sawdust and the strawberries are filled with sand. The strawberry is used for sharpening pins and needles, also for removing rust if those old pins have been sitting around for a bit too long.

The sewer geek in me was curious why a tomato?  Why not a zucchini or an apple?  The tomato pincushion goes back to the Victorian age.  Superstition is the root of this age old product. To ward off evil spirits and ensure good fortune a tomato would be placed on the mantle of a new home.  When the vegetable was not in season a stuffed fake version would be used in it’s place.  Eventually the item became of use, a place to put your pins.