The Tomato Pincushion

Think......

Remember back to your mother or grandmother. Do you remember seeing a tomaoto Pin cushion sitting around their home somewhere? I bet you did. I bet you at least have seen one in someones house you know.
I remember my mom had one. In fact, I think she still uses it.

(source)


Back in the middle ages, Pins and needles were costly. Women would use pin cushions not only to store their pins and needles but would also use pin cushions to display these expensive necessities. By the 1700's pin pillows were more for decoration than for use.

Back in the Victorian era, A tomato was placed on the mantels of new homes. It was a folklore that they were used to ward off evil spirits. When they realized that tomatoes were not always in season, people started makeing pillowed tomatoes out of cloth and stuffed them with sand or saw dust. Through out the years, the stuffed tomato became a good luck symbol eventually doubling as a pin cushion. this is why most pin cushions are still round.

(source)

Attached to the top of the tomato pin cushion, is a small stuffed strawberry. This was filled with sand or originally emery which was fine metal shavings. The strawberry was used to sharpen the pins and needles.

Pretty cool huh? So, if your mom had one, it was probably because everyone else had one. If she sewed, It was used a lot, and my moms did just that.

I bet your thinking back or looking around the house right now, huh?.





10 comments

  1. Thanks for the history and folklore lesson. I did not know that, but I have lived with the tomato pin cushion, there is now one in our sewing box. I thought it was on the wall, just went back to check. There is a heart hanging instead of the tomato. But yep all my life!

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  2. My mom and my wife's mother has one

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  3. I still have my mama's...:)

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  4. Hello Lisa, a pleasure to meet you. My Mother may have had something like that. Memories are so precious..Good luck on the giveaway, if you don't win, I can help you out. I see a blogger template here that needs to be updated. I love making blogs pretty and to reflect their owners. Happy Spring and thanks for visiting.

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  5. yep i still have one. loved the history lesson.

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  6. Arlene had a couple of these. She was a great seamstress. Thanks for the history.

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  7. Guess what!?! I HAVE one and still use it all the time. Love that you included a history lesson here. I did not know that...and who said an old dog can't learn something new? xo Diana

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  8. My mother-in-law had one just like that. It made me think of my mother''s button can. It was shaped like a football :)

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  9. Yes, my mom had one and so did I but have no idea what happened to them.

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