Holiday Tomato Bowl Fillers/Pin Cushions
by Designer Audrey Pettit
Therm O Web Stitchn’Sew Sewable Fleece
Tim Holtz Free Spirit Fabrics: Yuletide Collection
Assorted Red and Green Buttons
Polyfill Fiber Stuffing
4″ Star Pattern (download for free from the internet)
One of the most iconic images to sewers and quilters has got to be the tomato pin cushion. These accessory tools have been around for decades, and are a favorite among hobbyists and collectors, alike. Of course, the standard tomato pin cushion is the classic bright red… but why not take the tomato pin cushion to a whole new level with these adorable holiday versions?
Let’s take a closer look:
Cut Fabric Strips
To begin, cut 4″ x 12″ strips of fabric. You will need one strip for each finished tomato.
Fold the fabric in half with the right sides facing so that the short ends are lined up. Sew across the end using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam open with an iron.
Stitch a Loose Gathering Stitch
Using three strands of embroidery floss, stitch a loose gathering stitch all the way around one edge. Pull the threads taut, and tie the ends into a knot.
Fill with Stuffing
Turn the tomatoes right side out. Stitch a loose gathering stitch around the top edge, leaving the needle attached to the thread. Pull slightly on the threads to begin to gather them closed, but leave an opening that can be filled with polyfill stuffing. You can add a bit of rice or dried beans to the bottom of the tomato before adding the stuffing if you’d like to weight the pincushion a bit. Once you have the tomato stuffed to your liking, gather the threads tight to close the tomato, and knot the ends.
Embroidery Floss for Details
Cut a long piece of embroidery floss, and divide it into three strands. Knot the end and thread the needle. Poke the needle down into the center of the tomato and out the bottom end. Wrap the thread around to the top, and go down through the center again. Continue to wrap the floss around the tomato four times to create little segments. Knot the floss off on the bottom and snip the ends.
For the tomato tops, cut 2 4.5″ squares of fabric and one 4.5″ square of sewable fleece. Lay the fabric together with right sides facing. Place the fleece on the bottom of the stack. Trace around a 4″ star pattern. Sew around the star on the lines that you drew.
Cut Out The Stars
Cut the stars out around the lines that you stitched. Snip into the seam allowance on the inner corners, making sure not to clip the stitching. That will make the stars easier to turn.
Grab the two sides of the star, and pull them apart slightly. Using the tip of your scissor, make a small snip in just one side. Thread the tip of your scissor into the hole, and cut a small X in the fabric. Turn the star right side out by pulling the fabric through this X. Use a poker to help push out all the points.
Finish off with a Button
Place the cut side of the star down onto the opening of the tomato. Add a button to the top, and secure them in place by pushing a needle and floss all the way through the tomato to the bottom, and back up to the top. Repeat the stitching several times to make the tops nice and secure.
These tomato pincushions are so cute for the holidays! And of course, they would look great made in any fabric, for any season or occasion. They would make a great gift idea, or they look equally fantastic simply piled in a bowl or basket. Hope you have fun creating some tomatoes this holiday season!