Project

Tomato Pincushion

A bumper crop of pincushions in different sizes and fabrics is both pretty and practical in this project from "Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts."

Tomato Pincushion
Project continues below this project video

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, May 2010

materials

  • Sewing shears

  • Needle and thread

  • Heirloom-tomato cap template

  • Cotton or any other medium-weight fabric (such as corduroy or velvet)

  • Cotton or polyester fill

  • Large embroidery needle

  • Perle cotton

  • Scraps of green felt (for caps)

  • Disappearing-ink fabric pen

  • Fabric glue

steps

  1. Cut a rectangle of fabric on the bias that's twice as long as it is wide. With the fabric facing right-side up, fold it in half, and join the ends with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew a running stitch around the top edge; tightly pull the thread to cinch the fabric, and secure with a few backstitches.

  2. Turn the pouch right-side out. Stuff with fill (cotton is firmer than polyester). Sew a running stitch around the open end; pull the thread to cinch the fabric. Tack it shut with a few stitches, and knot. To flatten, double-thread the embroidery needle with the perle cotton, and pull it through the "core" a few times. Mimic a tomato's fluted details by wrapping the thread around the cushion and back through the core several times. Knot the thread at the top to finish.

  3. For an heirloom-style tomato, cut a circle of fabric. With the fabric wrong-side up, hand-sew a running stitch around the perimeter. Place batting in the center of the fabric, and gather the fabric into a pouch around it. Stuff with more batting, then pull the thread to cinch; tack with fluted stitches and knot. Flatten the cushion and apply details, as described in step 2.

  4. For the cap, trace the template onto green felt with a disappearing-ink fabric pen, and cut it out. Using a needle threaded with a single length of perle cotton, sew and knot a loop onto the cap. Glue the cap to the top of the pincushion.

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