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."
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.