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Thread: Sewing Tomato - Sewing Strawberry

  1. #1
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    Sewing Tomato - Sewing Strawberry

    Just about anyone who sews has heard of and may even have the tomato/strawberry set. We know the tomato part is to hold the pins, and the strawberry is for sharpening.

    However, no one has ever told me how many times to poke the pin into the strawberry to make it sharp again, or even if it works.

    Do you bother, or just go buy new pins?
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  2. #2
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    my pins bend before they ever need sharpening, I just bought a tomato today for my GD's new birthday sewing kit. It is a necessity when starting out. I always used the strawberry for needles.

  3. #3
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    I just bought 2 different types of pins and mine are not sharp. I am really disappointed. For our quilt show coming up in Aug. 2017, I have made about 15 pin cushions with the English walnut crushed shells inside. I had to order it online from a pet store. But that is what is in the strawberry. I will put my pins in it, and use it. Every time you put the pin in, it will try to sharpen it. With continued use, they should all stay sharp. I made some out of denim, one of a kind patchwork pieces, other nice fabric, etc. I have to decorate them yet. On some, I put a little pocket for a thimble.

  4. #4
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    The best strawberries have emery grit in them. THAT will help sharpen your pins.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i use the strawberry for my needles
    Nancy in western NY
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  6. #6
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    My cats love to steal the tomatoes and chew on the strawberries - I think it cleans their teeth.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston1954 View Post
    Just about anyone who sews has heard of and may even have the tomato/strawberry set. We know the tomato part is to hold the pins, and the strawberry is for sharpening.

    However, no one has ever told me how many times to poke the pin into the strawberry to make it sharp again, or even if it works.

    Do you bother, or just go buy new pins?
    Learn something new every day!! I did not know that....oops..cut it off!

  8. #8
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    Have to agree with you, Jane Quilter. Maybe it's just because I buy the thin 1 7/8" pins; they sure go through fabric smoothly but the teeniest bit of resistence and they bend all wonky. The tomato pincushion with the strawberry sharpener sure brings back memories. I only put my pins and needle in one time but, consider how many times you take them out and reinsert them in a day just in normal use.

  9. #9
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    You can buy emery from ebay and amazon. I love it for my pin cushions. I also make pin cushions from 100% wool yarn.

  10. #10
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I use the strawberry for needles too.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  11. #11
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    As far as how many times to insert the pins, I was told, many years ago, to do it 3 times in and out. It works for me.

  12. #12
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    I use the strawberry to mainly clean the needle as with multiple handling it gets "dirty"(maybe skin oil?), like a film on it, and harder to use. I do feel that it sharpens as the needle glides much better after but whether that is from sharpening or "cleaning" I don't know. My strawberry is full of sand as far as I know but it could be emery grit. I just poke into the strawberry 4-6 strokes.
    Sally

  13. #13
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nammie to 7 View Post
    My cats love to steal the tomatoes and chew on the strawberries - I think it cleans their teeth.
    SO that is who Kola the cat learned that from! I had to give her one for herself.........lol and buy me a new one.
    Everyone is born right handed, only the gifted overcome it.
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    “If you can’t see a mistake from 12 feet away, it doesn’t exist, and there are no perfect quilts and that helps a lot,” .......Greg Biornstad

  14. #14
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    I use a pad of plain steel wool (snagged it out of my husbands paint cabinet), wrapped it in a piece of fabric hand sewed it shut. Then when my needles need a quick sharpening or clean up I jab it a few times. As for my sewing machine needles I un-thread the needle and place the pad under the foot and run in back and forth a couple of times.
    Everyone is born right handed, only the gifted overcome it.
    I have already committed my felonies, so people don't have to worry. (Russell Means)
    I swear to you, I am guilty of only being Indian. That's why I am here. (Leonard Peltier)
    “If you can’t see a mistake from 12 feet away, it doesn’t exist, and there are no perfect quilts and that helps a lot,” .......Greg Biornstad

  15. #15
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    You can use emery grit to sharpen your needles or you can use raw wool which has been cleaned but the lanolin has not been washed out of it. The needles will not rust in the pin cushion and the tips of the pins will be preserved.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Thanks Chasing Hawk about using steel wool to sharpen needles and pins. I will have to get dome out of my painting supplies. My organ machine needles get burs on them, from sewing over pins.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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