I do have my mom's old tin pin box, which I love (thanks, Mom!), but the cushion on top has lost a lot of its springy, cushy, pin-grabbing properties.
The top of the box doesn't screw on, so it doesn't always stay on either.
I don't want to store my extra pins in it, as I seem to recall they have a tendency to end up in a pile on the floor when the top pops off unexpectedly. I keep my thimble and such in it instead.
So I was going to go for a tomato, as I mentioned, but no dice. Or rather, no tomatoes. No diced tomatoes, either. Or salsa. But I digress.
The shop (Quilt Ventura) did have some of those big, red, magnetic, metallic holders, which I like because they attract pins and make it easier to find dropped ones, but I don't like the jumble of potentially finger-piercing pins that is stored in a pile on top. I have already pierced far too many of my fingers in my day. Or rather, I have pierced one or two fingers, too many times. (I'm just trying to be precise here.)
The shop also had some felted pincushions, larger and heavier than I wanted, and a knitted one in the shape of a cupcake, which was cute, but I thought, "Um, I know how to knit. I am learning to felt. Surely I can make a pincushion myself."
Gauntlet thrown, challenge accepted.
I researched pincushion patterns. There are lots. Then I got one of those magnets in the mail, with advertising on the front for something I neither wanted nor needed. I had some leftover batting and nine-patches from My Very First (Finished) Wonderful Quilt. Surely I could find a way to use the magnet to make my own version of a pincushion that would have all the properties of the Perfect Pincushion of my dreams!
It took a little experimentation, but this is the result. It looks like a tissue holder for your purse, doesn't it? The magnet isn't very strong, so after a quick trial, I saw I couldn't put it inside the fabric of the future pincushion. So I made little pockets for it instead.
If I drop a pin, the magnet underneath can find it for me. On top is a nice, cushy place in which to poke pins. Plus, the fabric is so gosh-darned pretty.
The day after I finished this, I got another of those magnets in the mail. I know I could buy stronger magnets, but I do love repurposing things. Reduce, reuse, recycle! (Yarn in, yarn out, after all.)
Could there be more pincushions in my future? Fabric in, fabric out!