Monday, April 13, 2009

How To Make a Homegrown Tomato Pincushion

There are so many different ways to make a simple round pincushion that when I decided I needed my own I didn't know where to begin. So I did the only logical thing to do - I called up my grandma and asked her how she makes hers. Here's how to make a tomato pincushion of your own according to Ellie...with a few modifications.

First You'll Need:
- fabric scraps for the body of the pincushion
- green felt scraps for the tomato leaf
- 1 button (or 2 if you don't want to make a leaf)
- standard sewing needle
- embroidery needle
- cotton thread
- embroidery thread
- batting; if you don't have any laying around dismantle an old stuffed animal from the attic
- fabric glue; I recommend Crafter's Pick

How To:
1. Cut a circular piece of fabric 8" in diameter; this tends to make a decent sized pincushion not too large or small. A pot lid makes a great circle template.
2. Lay the fabric down wrong side up and sew a running stitch along the edge of the circle.
3. Break your batting into small tufts and place it in the middle of your circle. Pull the thread to cinch up the top a bit like a little pouch and continue to stuff with more batting until it's as firm as you'd like it.
4. Cinch the opening completely closed being mindful not to pull too hard and break the thread. Once the top is cinched in stitch it securely in place.
{Note: with this kind of tomato pincushion steps 5-7 can be skipped. For a more traditional look go to step 8 and add your felt leaf now.}
5. Thread your embroidery needle and triple knot the end. Be sure to cut an extra long piece; you'll have to wrap your pincushion with it 8 times.
6. Poke your needle through the center of your pincushion and pull the thread through. Bring your needle back up to the top and thread it through again at the same spot. Continue to do this 7 more times spacing out the thread accordingly and pulling it tight. Think of it like cutting an apple pie into 8 slices, everyone needs to get the same size piece and by pulling the thread tight each time everyone gets a plump slice too.
7. After you have separated your pincushion into 8 sections and tied it off, sew your button on to the bottom half to cover up where the embroidery thread exited from. You can use a tiny button in the same color as your fabric if you want it to blend in.
8. Take your felt and freehand cut a six pointed star. You can take some green thread and sew a small loop on to your leaf before you attach it. (I find this an unnecessary step.)Using your fabric glue attach the leaf to the top of your pincushion and viola you have made your very own tomato pincushion!
{Now, if you'd prefer you can sew a button on top rather than your felt leaf for a more modern twist on an older design.}
I sew so rarely these days that the one I made, Jr. as he prefers to be called, has become a thumbtack cushion for now. I just love the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I see it sitting there on my desk!

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