Friday, April 3, 2009

Tomato Pincushion Tutorial

If you've dropped in by chance, then welcome to my first tutorial. Pull up a comfortable chair, grab a cup of tea...or coffee if you prefer...and follow along. If perhaps you're joining me because you have the same obsession with pincushions as I do, then welcome to my PA (Pincushions Anonymous) meeting. Tea and coffee are the beverages of the day.

At the outset, I would like to apologize for a few out-of-focus photos. I'm still learning about my camera and I think I just might have gotten a wee bit too close on some of them. Hopefully you'll still be able to follow along and if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask.

So without further ado, let's get started. What you'll need are scissors, fabric of your choosing, sewing needle and thread, florist's sand or polyester batting for stuffing, a 5" needle or any long needle, green cotton perle thread or 2 strands of green floss, green wool or felt and fabric glue.


First we'll need to cut a rectangle of fabric on the bias that's twice as long as it is wide. In this case, our rectangle will measure 10" long x 5" wide. To do this, line up the 45 degree line on your ruler against the bottom edge of your fabric. Measure 10" across the top then cut along the top or leading edge of your ruler with your rotary cutter.


Next, slide your ruler up 5" and cut along the leading edge once again.


Trim off either side so that your rectangle measures 10" long x 5" wide.


Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and join ends with a 1/4" seam.


Double your thread and sew a running stitch around the top edge.


Carefully pull pull on the thread to cinch the fabric then secure with stitches.


Turn your pouch right side out.


This is the sand I use which can be purchased at Michael's in the florist department. However, you can use crushed walnut shells (available in most pet stores and used as pet litter), uncooked rice or anything else that you think might work. The reason I like to use sand is that it acts like an emory board and sharpens your pins and needles as they are inserted and removed from the pincushion. (Doesn't that word make your heart beat just a little bit faster?)

Stuff the pouch with either the florist's sand or batting to about a 1/2" to 3/4" from the top edge.


Sew a running stitch around the the open end and pull the thread to cinch the fabric in the same way you did with the bottom.


Then tack with a few stitches to close...


and then knot. Grab the pincushion as you would a ball and tap it on the surface a few times to manipulate the sand to the shape you want it.


In order to mimic the shape of a tomato, double thread a long needle with either green perle cotton or floss and pull it through the "core" starting at the bottom and wrap it around the tomato a few times. Knot the thread at the top to secure.


For the tops, freehand a six-pointed 'star' on the dull side of a small piece of freezer paper. The 'star' does not have to be perfect. Cut it out and iron the shiny side to the wrong side of the wool or felt.


Cut along the outside edges. Save the freezer paper template to re-use if you wish to make more than one tomato pincushion.


Using a single thread of your perle cotton or floss, sew a loop through the center of the top, starting and ending on the underside.


Put a drop of fabric glue on the underside


and affix to the top of the tomato. And, voila! You're done! Just like that!


Use your imagination because the sky's the limit when it comes to functionality or decor. And just in case you forgot...

You can NEVER have too many pincushions!

34 comments:

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

wonderful, I cannot wait to make this. I do have one question, If I am going to glue the leaf on top, what is the loop for on the leaf?

Kaaren said...

Hi Jane,

To emulate the stem I would think and it also gives it a more finished look. After the glue is dry, you can also pick it up by the loop.

Lurline said...

Thanks, Kaaren - looking forward to trying this one!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Kimberly said...

Fantastic Kaaren! Thanks so much!

Anne said...

Great tutorial. I've bookmarked it for future reference. Thanks!

Stephanie said...

TERRIFIC tutorial Kaaren. Thanks so much. The sand does not come out of the bottom at all? Just wondering. Is florist sand larger grain?

Quilt Hollow said...

Kaaren....fantastic tutorial! I love when other quilters share their ideas and "easier" ways they find to do things etc. I'll book mark it but I'm afraid I'll likely forget it and go looking for it etc. Isn't that the way?! Way to many projects floating around in my head is what I'm trying to say. I need to be sure to pass this on to my non-blog buds though! We have a boutique at the quilt show in the fall....great idea!!

Kaaren said...

Good question, Stephanie. Thanks for bringing this up. In my travels, I've noticed there are two different kinds or grades of the sand. The coarser grade is better in this instance but if you can't find it, I would suggest to place a tiny piece of fabric over the cinched hole at the bottom and that should prevent any sand from escaping.

Emma Loves Stitching said...

Oh lovely, defo gonna have ago at these a bit later.
Emma :)

Carrie P. said...

Great job! Kaaren. Excellent instructions and photos.

Sew Many Ways... said...

Fabulous tutorial...can't wait to make one. The pictures and instructions are the best. Thanks for all the work that went into it.
Have a great weekend,
~Karen~

Stina said...

Ahhh...thanks Kaaren.. I loved this sweet little tomato PINCUSHION.. :o)
Loved it even more on the top of the jar...gorgeous...
Hmm.. will have a look for some jars now... and tomato making..:o)

Betsy said...

Karen,
Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing.
Have a great day.
Betsy

Neabear said...

This is great. I had just sat down with a fresh cup of coffee when I decided to read this post. So I had to laugh when you said to grab a cup, cuz I already had mine.

Rumi said...

Yeah! I was breathlessly waiting for your pincushion tutorial! Can't wait to make one!

Sherri said...

These are just so cute...thanks for the tutorial!!!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Kaaren, thanks so much. I am bookmarking this page for easy reference. I am looking forward to making a couple of these pincushions. Guess I am joining the PA club :-)

Jocelyn

Loris said...

Absolutely awesome!
Thanks Kaaren.

Puddle of Grace said...

Hello Kaaren! I am hooked on your tomato pincushions!!! I'm a self taught quilter and I dont even own a tomato, so I am excited to make my own! I will be following your blog to read other ideas you have! Thanks for the tutorial, great photos and easy to follow!
~Charlene

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Great tutorial, Kaaren! I really appreciate the pictures! I have the fabric all picked out and even bought some green wool felt in anticipation of your tutorial. I did, however, forget the floss. sigh I have some wool fleece left from a felting project that I am going to stuff it with - I heard somewhere that the lanolin in the wool "greases" the needles. Thanks so much for doing this for us!

Carrie ~ Cricketwood Prims and Gardens said...

Karen,

I love it, thank you that was a great tutorial. And the tea was delicous!!! Love the jar too!!

Polly said...

A wonderful tutorial! Thank you! polly :-)

Linda said...

Way to go! What a great tutorial. Linda

Gerry said...

Oh, Kaaren, I was going to read a few more blogs, but will have to turn off the ol' computer and grab some fabric and create a tomatoe or two.
Thanks for taking time to inspire the rest of us.
Gerry

Allie said...

Hi I'm Allie and I have a pincushion obsession - which you have just richly fed,lol! I'll get my supplies and get started Monday. I can't WAIT!!!!!!! Thank you sew much for doing this tutorial!

Purpleflowerpatch said...

Kaaren, that is SO cute!!! I may have to make one as I totally agree, you can never have too many pincushions! :-)

Cindy said...

Thank you Kaaren, this would be a quick, easy and fun pincushion to whip up for someone - maybe me !!! LOL

Pat said...

Thanks Kaaren. You did a great job.

Dorothy said...

Wonderful tutorial Kaaren. Thanks for sharing.

Judith Tetley said...

Yes...I did drop in by chance from Lurline's blog Kaaren and what a delightful little surprise to have your cute tomato pin cushion tutorial available. We are having a "Down on the Farm" exhibition in our group next year and; I can see a little basket of your gorgeous tomatoes fitting right into the theme.
Thankyou for sharing
Judith
www.creativestudio10.blogspot.com

Jodi@SimplyThisThat n.. said...

Thanks so much for a wonderful tutorial! I love tomato pin cushions! ooxx`jodi

Elmsley Rose said...

Hi!
Thanks for the tutorial. I had no idea to cut a strip....

I'm modifying it to a sunflower. Make the "tomato" in green, then add a flatt-ish top.

The flat top is the centre of the flower (lots of french knots!) and then a double rim of petals made from loop stitch using silk ribbon.

This tute is just perfect for what I need :-) Thankyou

Terry said...

Found this post on pinterest and have been looking for a tutorial for a pin cushion and this is fabulous. If you have time, please stop over to my weekly linky party and show off this great project...

Carrie P. said...

Cute!