I hate those tomato pincushions that come from the fabric store. You know what I'm talking about, right? If you sew you probably have one, or you remember your mom or grandma having one. In fact the first one I had was handed down from my great-grandmother. I hated it, but I used it until the cotton cover started to disintegrate from sheer age.
I was very poor at the time, but one must have a pincushion, so I scraped together some change and bought a new crappy tomato at Joann's. Probably used a coupon for it, too--that's how poor I was. The crappy thing developed a hole within weeks of my buying it, but it was all I had, so I put up with it.
The last couple years I could certainly afford a new one, but I've either been reluctant to buy another crappy one, or unable to find a good one that I liked or was willing to spend money upon. There are a LOT of pincushions for sale on Etsy.com, but most of them are decorative rather than functional. The best functional one I have seen was filled with glass beads for weight, and cost $45.
That kind of inspired me to make my own.
The black-and-white fabric is a rather thick, tightly-woven cotton. I bought it to make a handbag, which is not likely to happen any time soon, but anyway I had enough to sliver 4 inches off the end for a pincushion.
The back is a scrap of fine black suede I've been hoarding for years.
This sucker is about the size of three crappy tomatoes, about 4x8 inches and a couple inches tall in the middle. It's filled with polyester stuffing beads and a bit of craft polyfill. It's heavy, and slightly grippy on the bottom so it doesn't slide around when you grab or stab at it.
This should last me a while. The only funny thing is, my eye hasn't yet learned to identify it as "pincushion." I keep overlooking it, in search of the crappy red tomato.