When I was young, my mom has one of those tomato pincushions with an attached strawberry for the needles. I’ve made the tomato pincushions before, and now want to have a go at the strawberry.  It is usually filled with emery, not something that I have on hand. However, my favorite quilt show is coming to the Philadelphia area this weekend, and in the past, vendors in the marketplace have offered either emery or ground walnut shells to use for this. I’m hoping someone will carry it this year too. I will be going to the opening day on Thursday, and while I have tried to put myself on a fabric hiatus until I can use up some of my stash, I do like to pick up one or two things that are difficult to find. I also like drooling over the long-arm quilting machines.,(Seriously, If I ever strike it rich, one of these will be mine.) It is probably heresy in the quilter crowd, but I like this show better than the AQS show. There seems to be more variety in the quilts on display, and in the merchant marketplace too.

To prep for this, I made a quick version of the strawberry needle holder using fiberfill. I did this to give me an idea of the size, and also how hard it would be to sew the top closed and attach the leafy top with something sand-like as the filling. This little berry is a bit larger than I would want it to be, so I know I need to size it down.  I also learned that I will need to sew the top closed over some sort of baking sheet or dish since I think there is no way the emery will not try to escape. And maybe not fill it as full as I did with the fiberfill.

I hand-sewed all of this, but if I am using emery or crushed shells, I will sew the side seam on the machine to make sure it is good and tight. I may also resort to a dab of hot glue across the gathered top to really seal it.