As you well know, tomatoes are a seasonal fruit so people had to improvise their good luck in the off season. A circle of red fabric rounded and stuffed with sand or sawdust sort of looks like a tomato; the improvised good-luck symbol also served a practical purpose—a handy place to stick pins!
Being a very practical person I have several pin cushions. The wet felted ball below has not only been a very handy holder of pins but also a source of decorative flights of the imagination for creative pin placement by my big girl (and general stabbing of pins by the wee one).
Flights of imagination lead me to show you this treasured possession; a whimsical nesting bird of perfect pink plumage made for me by Margaret of We Bloom Here.
Pin placement needs to be carefully considered so as not to poke the bird or her pretty blue eggs.
My mother, hearing me prattle on about pretty pincushions, introduced me to a friend of hers who makes beautiful pincushions from old canister lids…I couldn’t resist.
This ‘traditional’ tomato I made from the sleeve of an old jumper as a gift for Margaret; I completed it with a needle felted caterpillar pin. (I later made myself one minus the grub)
Then came the book Pretty Little Pincushions
Ahh …a whole book dedicated to pincushions! They are not all pretty either; there are instructions for some most fabulous eyeballs – takes the saying “poke a pin in your eye” to a whole new level!
Have a look here.
Anyway it didn’t take long til I started wanting more. This is where you come in…
I know pincushion swaps have been done, but not by me. Nor have I had the fun of participating in one, so here goes: this swap is open to anyone who is keen.
Pincushions are a perfect excuse to use up fabric and other scraps you’ve been saving and I quote “they also lend themselves beautifully to experimentation, variation, and quick and easy multiples for the loveliest mini-presents ever” (page 7 of Pretty little pincushions, S Brill (ed) 2007).
The swap opens today, September 8, 2011. Sign-ups will close Sunday evening September 25th 2011 (Eastern Australian time) all pincushions need to be complete and ready for postage by the first week of October.
Please join me in my pincushion madness; send an email that details your name, mailing address, email address & blog URL (if you have one.) to:
Shannon AT my midwives DOT com DOT au
If you fancy making and swapping more than one pincushion, only want to post within your own country or have any other request let me know that too and I will try and sort it all out.
Need some more inspiration?
Sweeter than chocolate buttons Toadstool Cottage and Mushroom House free pattern and tutorial from the little house by the sea.
The lovely Hyena in Petticoats has posted a tutorial for this simple four square patch pincushion on her blog paper.strings.cloth tho she was almost embarrassed at calling it such, it is so easy.
Lion Brand has this free
Bec, who blogs at 'Bec I am' agrees that a girl cannot have too many pincushions; and has thrift shopped her way to make this one.
Barefoot shepherdess exquisitely embroiders her simple cushions.
And for when you just need a few pins watching over your flock.
Sign ups for this swap have now closed
Thank you to each of the crafty bloggers who gave me permission to use their images and share their links.