Tomato Pincushions

I have loved tomato pincushions for years but was inspired by Country Living Magazine years ago when I saw them in a large glass jar.  They weren’t hard to find even 10 years ago and didn’t cost much money but my favorites were those old worn out ones that had seen years of use.  My very favorites are in this jar and it’s been years since I’ve looked at them so I dumped the jar and took pictures so you could look with me.  Aren’t they wonderful?  The shades of red, orange, maroon and faded to almost pink are all here – even a dull green one that I wonder if it didn’t start out as a red.  And the old pins!   Oh, if they could only talk.

And back into the jar they go – I even took the opportunity to clean the jar.

And here’s another jar of them high up on another shelf – I just couldn’t stop collecting.  

I never did make tomato pincushions but the ones I made called Grand Piano Pincushions were actually a small star with tiny log cabin strips around the star.  I sold them for $20 and every bit of that money went into my fund to buy my piano. I know many of you purchased more than one over the years and I thank you again – I enjoy my grand piano every single day.  It’s my very best purchase ever!

34 thoughts on “Tomato Pincushions

  1. Launa

    Mary, My younger son took a ‘bachelor survival class’ in junior high; YEARS AGO. He learned to darn a sox, sewed an apron to wear in the cooking phase and I have the small red pincushion he used and I use it now …along with my oval magnetic Bernina pincushion. I’d love to see your log cabin pin cushions.
    Felt the little tremblers that the valley here had this afternoon. Thankfully no damage.
    Thanks for sharing your pin cushion collection pictures.

  2. Pam Huffman

    I am looking for the pattern for – circle of geese quilted table topper- that is credited to your site on Pinterest. Is it still available? PLEASE, just a quick reply so I can stop driving myself crazy looking for,it! Thanks!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Yes, it’s a Country Threads pattern – I can make a copy from the historian file and mail it for $10.00@.

      1. Pam Huffman

        I wouLd so appreciate it! Thanks! I can call and give you a card number if you give me a phone number….or mail it…either way. Again, thank you!

          1. CountryThreads Post author

            Mary Etherington, 2345 Palm ave. garner, IA, 50438. Be sure to tell me what you’re ordering – I get a lot of mail.

  3. Nancy Poole

    I have always used, loved and given to my daughters those tomatoe pincushions. What an awesome collection . Never thought to do that.

  4. Synthia Noble

    I’d love to see a photo of one of your grand piano pincushions!!!! Pretty Please???????

  5. Katie

    What a fun vintage tomatoe collection..never seen so many
    Enjoy ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…

  6. MaryLou Smeltzer

    WOW! I love your tomato pin cushions. I started collecting pin cushions a few years back and treasure them. you make my day – MaryLou

  7. ChristieB

    I bet that green pin cushion was homemade and she couldn’t wait to use it! She started using it before it was ripe! Hence, the green tomato. ;o) Love your collection! HUGS… and stitches

  8. Moe Baly

    Hi Mary, your collection is wonderful ! I too am enamored with tomatoe pin cushions, I have them in a jar too, I think I got the idea either from you or from CLM too. I’ll have to take a picture for you. I own several of your pin cushions too, made by you and others at CT, they are my favs. Love how your piano is from your sewing.

  9. Ann Gupton

    I bought one of your pincushions…I love
    The different shades of red, pink and purple.
    I keep all my collections in glass containers…
    my small stuffed animals and Alice doll…helps keep them clean.

  10. Beverly

    I’m the the proud owner of one of your star log cabin pin cushions. – it’s one of my favorites!

  11. bernadette

    I commented on your collection months ago when I first saw it in a photo. What a wonderful display. I wouldn’t mind collecting and displaying them, as well. I have one from about 1980 (that is how old my Singer is). Love, love, love your collection. Today, I use a plastic tray that has a magnet which keeps the pins in place.

  12. Paula

    Mary, I noticed the jar in one of your other posts and thought it was a wonderful idea.
    I have a question.
    I saw your post about quilting on the long arm with the straight stitches and they are random. Have you washed the quilts to see how they looked after? I would assume the same as if doing diagonal but diagonal is so hard to do. I am thinking about doing the horizontal random rows but thought I would ask first. Also, I must have missed the hype about The Gypsy quilts, it is beautiful. I googled it yesterday but just wondering the story behind it. I did not see a search here on your blog. Thanks Paula in KY. (I visited your shop once years ago)

    1. Mary Etherington

      straight line quilting is enhanced by washing and drying, I think. Gypsy Wife by Gen Kingwell is a project I started as a quilt-along last June. Once a week we tackled one block at a time and we finished late last fall. Go back to June 2015 in the blog to read all about it.

  13. Mary McCarron

    Thank you so much for sharing your collection in pictures So like My Aunt Carol’s collection down to the jar Been missing her alot lately This reminds me of her so much

  14. jennifer

    I love the pincushions! how wonderful they all look together- not all sad and dreary like they are when they’re alone. you should upload one of those (fantastic!!!) pictures to shutterfly and make a puzzle!

  15. Beth L.

    I love this collection. I have a much more modest collection and I have made a few too, though no tomatoes. You may have inspired me to start a new collection… I “really Need” a new one… LOL

  16. Diane

    Oh, Mary, I do enjoy your blog:). The red and sort of red pin cushions are great!! Isn’t it fun to collect? I collect thimbles from my Nana, and states and countries we’ve visited.

  17. Arla Ballesteros

    I thought I was the only one collecting tgem. I like the jar keeps the dust off, gonna get one this week

  18. Marian

    Very wonderful collection. I so enjoy your blog and look for it every day or whenever you fire up the computer!!!!! No cats or dogs today but entertaining nonetheless! Ha!

  19. Cindie Gapinski

    What a beautiful collections and stunning colors. I am going to start collecting!!!!!

  20. Lora Duffield

    Such an entertaining blog! Just yesterday I was searching “high and low” for my tomato pin cushion!! It’s the same one I received as a child (I was 10 so that would be 47 years ago) and I was stressing that I may have lost it. Long ago the strawberry fell off – have no idea where it might be. I received the pin cushion the same day I received my (non-electric) treadle sewing machine. The sewing machine was given away when I left for college. (I’ll never forgive my Mother for that decision! LOL) … but I still have the pin cushion! (I found it last night!)

  21. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for sharing that. Aren’t those pincushions great? But I think the green one is a pumpkin….

    Regards Fiona.

    PS: I thought I had accumulated a lot of pincushions, but can de now that I’m just an amateur!

  22. Dorothy Sheldrake

    The tomatoes are wonderful! I’m going to dig out my mothers.
    What wonderful stories they could tell.
    Wish you had a picture of the ones you made. And a few pictures of your grand piano would be enjoyed too.
    Dorothy Sheldrake

  23. Tina W

    We were able to visit your shop several years ago and my most favorite thing I bought there was a set of note cards with photographs of pin cushions on them! I would love to have more of them to keep for myself and frame. My friends enjoyed getting them in the mail.

  24. Karen

    Do you still make the Grand Pian Pincushions, Mary? Do you have a picture or pattern for one? A pattern for sale? You’ve got me fascinated and would love to see/buy or even make one.

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