Friday, July 1, 2016

The Early Workbasket ~ Tomato Pinkeeps

Welcome dear needlefolk friends
and hello to summer in July!

The weather today in my neighborhood is
 absolutely gorgeous with cool summer
 breezes flowing through my Studio
 screen need for air
  conditioning today...Yay!


The Early Workbasket 
Tomato Pinkeeps...

The earliest recorded origins of pincushions 
dates back to the Middle Ages of Europe.

In the English language, 
they became know by many names ~

~ pimpilowes
~ pimpilos
~ pimplos
~ pimploes
~ pin~pillows
~ pin~poppets

I love the modern updated version...pinkeep!

During the Victorian Era, according to folklore,
when a family moved into a new home,
 a fresh tomato was placed on the 
 mantle to ward off evil spirits and thus
bring prosperity to the new homeowners!

If tomatoes were out of season, 
families improvised by using a round ball of
 red fabric filled with sand or sawdust and made
to look like the real thing with embellishments such
 as leaves and veins.

The good~luck symbol also served
a practical purpose...a place to store pins!

Typically, the tomato is filled with wool roving
to prevent rust, and the strawberry is filled
with emery (an abrasive) to clean and
sharpen the pins and needles.

These two plump tomatoes I made years
ago using red and green wools, they
are filled with wool roving. 

The strawberries are embellished with
random backstitches to resemble the seeds.

Here is my sewing machine companion...
This one I made using the same basic materials,
but used a flatter pattern design.

These three are the only tomatoes made by me, 
the rest are all old vintage tomatoes!

A group photo of my tomato harvest...
Collecting tomatoes is such fun!

With all my many collections,
I always seem to have a favorite...
This sweet little tomato all dressed up with a
sterling silver cap and silk tassel wins my
first place "Blue Ribbon!"

Hope you enjoyed this months 
Early Workbasket feature on Tomato Pinkeeps!
The next featured topic is scheduled for 
Friday, August 5th.


Little Sparrow Pinkeep Club Update...
"Mend Thy Soul" kits 
have shipped and are on their way!  

Please keep in mind there will be no 
mail delivery on Monday for (4th of July)
for kits to arrive either Tuesday or Wednesday.


Oh the joy that summer delivers...
Fresh garden veggies at their best!

All this writing about tomatoes is making me
hungry for something like spaghetti...
Or, maybe homemade pizza!


Weekend Soul Food...

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink,
or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God."

1 Corinthians 10:31...KJV


Blessings for a safe and relaxing
Fourth of July weekend!

Kindly, Tammy


  1. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog every week!

  2. I love all the interesting things you post about, thank you for sharing!

  3. This was a wonderful essay about tomato pincushions! Thanks so much for taking the time to share it with us.

  4. Tammy: Look at all the wonderful veggies, yummy I would rather eat vegetables then chocolate.
    Love the new design.
    The tomato pincushions are adorable, I like the story that you tell about them.


  5. Please never stop blogging !! You make all my days enjoyable !!

  6. Thank you for yet another incredible post. So wonderful. Can you share a good home made pizza recipe?

  7. That's quite a collection!
    I love the one in the basket, so cute.
    Wishing you a great 4th weekend.

  8. Thanks Tammy for the education on pinkeeps. Your collection is outstanding. Wish we could grow veggies like yours...they do look delish just as they are. Veggies have been my mainstay lately, trying to loose some #s. Not doing too well...
    Anyways...HAPPY 4TH...keep safe.

  9. Hope your 4th is great! I picked green beans early this morning with my poodle Mabel. She loves to eat them!

  10. Your collections are amazing and you photograph them so beautifully.
    Happy 4th!

  11. Great post. Now I want to start collecting the tomato pincushions. Happy 4th to you and yours.

  12. Hi Tammy,
    I am always so amazed by your fabulous collections and appreciate how you always share such interesting things about them!! I, too, collect tomato pincushions, and loved seeing yours.....especially the ones with the silver caps!! I have not been fortunate enough to find one yet, but I will certainly keep looking!!! Thank you for the lovely post and the beautiful pictures!!!
    Wishing you and yours a most Happy 4th!
    Heart Hugs~

  13. Love all your tomato pinkeeps! Is there a tutorial?

  14. My tailor's roll kit arrived, and I think I am going to stitch it for my 15 year old Darling GrandDaughter, who is fascinated by fashion design. She is designing her Senior Prom dress for next year without using a pattern! Going to add a couple of butterflies in the space above the birds, and her initials. I can hardly wait for you to finish the sampler, I already have a piece of 40ct. Tin Roof waiting. If I stitched everything on larger count linen, I would run out of space on the walls to hang everything! LOL!