Remember these tomato-shaped pincushions? Ever wonder why a tomato? Well according to folklore, placing a tomato on the mantel of a new home ensured prosperity and good health by warding off evil spirits. As tomatoes are seasonal, the good-luck symbol was frequently created from fabric and filled with sawdust or wool.

During the Tudor Era it became common practice to use fancy, stuffed shapes to showcase one’s collections of pins and needles. Eventually, the stuffed, decorative tomatoes were used as pin cushions. The strawberry tassel attached to the pin cushion was filled with emery and served to clean and sharpen needles and pins.*

The Fabric and Fiber Class is going to start the semester making our own pincushions. We’ll be reusing steel cans and scraps of fabric to create fun and unique pincushions to be used throughout the semester. Check back to take a peek at our finished projects!