PINS ARE A SEWING STAPLE

pin cushion

Us sewers all use pins almost every single time we sew so even though we don’t talk much about them, they are VERY IMPORTANT. I thought it might be good to have a post focusing just on pins.

magnetic pin cushion

The lovely Japanese pin cushion at the top of the post was a gift from a co-worker a while back and I love it. It has a wooden base and then what looks like maybe silk fabric over the puffy part. It is just heavy enough not to go sliding all over my sewing table but not too heavy to be a hassle to move around. I also have several magnetic pin cushions (above) at work and at home. They are great……until they drop off the table. I think every one I own has a chip or major ding! They still work but are not so pretty anymore. I also have a shallow magnetic bowl which holds a LOT of pins. I’m thinking this was originally an office stationery supply thing for paper clips or something similar so that might explain why I poke myself every time I reach for a pin as many of the pins get caught head end down & point up with the magnet. Ouch!

pins 3

After my recent 3 day sewing marathon (yes…..some people report they run marathons and are sleek & super fit. I sew instead!), I really got irritated by my motley and sometimes painful collection of pins & pincushions. So I set about tidying up in true type A style:

pill bottle for broken pins

I have an old pill bottle which gets filled up with used, bent & broken pins & needles. When it is full I give it to my daughter who is a nurse and she disposes of the contents in a sharps bin. I understand that some drug stores will do this for you, maybe your Doctor’s clinic? or failing that I see sharps bins on the walls of some public washrooms so you could put them in there too I suppose? Hopefully no-one will get the wrong idea about why we have so many “needles” to dispose of?!  But so long as we dispose of them responsibly and they don’t end up in the landfills where they might injure a person or animal, it is all good.

I'm am definitely going to buy more of these....they are long, sharp and have a clear glass head. I like them for every day sewing & quilting.

I’m am definitely going to buy more of these….they are long, sharp and have a clear glass head. I like them for every day sewing & quilting.

I have many different types of pins, some good and some not so good. I am currently weeding out the ones I don’t like and they are going into that little pill bottle together with BENT PINS…….WHY do we persist in keeping those as we just end up putting them aside every time we pick them up???   TOSS…no use in keeping bent, rusty or blunt pins…..they are just annoying as they break the creative flow of sewing.

The flower head pin (which is on very thin ice in my sewing room as it has already got a little bent!)

The flower head pin (which is on very thin ice in my sewing room as it has already got a little bent!)

I also noticed recently that my different types of pins had got awfully mixed up so when you think you are reaching for a fine silk pin, you get a cheap plastic head pin instead…….again: a minor annoyance.  A flower head pin is wonderful for whenever you do not want the head to be in the way (such as cutting pinned sections of fabric with a rotary cutting ruler) but they do bend quite easily as they are so long so I prefer not to use them for everyday sewing. I keep these in a cute little vintage box for occasional use.

I’m all for a peaceful, stress free life so OUT goes the jumbled up collection hence my nicely ordered pin cushion at the top of this post.  Plastic head pins are now SO yesterday in my sewing room. And blunt points have also been given their marching orders. WHAT is the point of keeping a blunt pin?? …..pun intended. SO: toss the junk, buy good quality pins only and keep your types of pins separate as they truly do have different functions.

Metal Heads

Metal Heads

I love these metal head pins as they just appealed to me, I thought they were pretty (I swear I might have been a magpie in another life!)  I think they came on one of those wheels. Come to think of it, I have not seen them very often so they might be hard to find? I have used mine a lot and have a collection of gold, silver & bronze colours.

I remember thinking these were quite expensive and so I bought the little box rather than the bigger one......mistake! I LOVE them so the little box doesn't make sense now. Note to self: cheap pins are probably more expensive in the long term so buy better quality!

I remember thinking these were quite expensive and so I bought the little box rather than the bigger one……mistake! I LOVE them so the little box doesn’t make sense now. Note to self: cheap pins are probably more expensive in the long term so buy better quality in bigger quantities!

Good quality glass head pins with strong fine and sharp points are what you want. I have been very happy with my little boxes of Clover glass head pins – I think I have an assortment of white, blue & red heads.

red clips

I could not talk about pins and not mention the Clover Clips. These are not strictly pins but little clips which are absolutely incredible for holding any edges together like quilt bindings, seams etc. I like the little red ones. I bought the big jumbo green ones…..mistake, I should have bought more red ones…..LOVE them.  Again, don’t make my mistake. They are quite pricey so I bought the little packet rather than the larger quantity. I ended up going back for more. save yourself the time!  And NO, Clover are not paying me to say this although that is not a bad idea!?

green clip

PLEASE SEE YOUR LOCAL ELNA DEALER WHO IS SURE TO HAVE SOME OR ALL OF THE ITEMS MENTIONED IN THIS POST IN STOCK……if not they can order in for you.

DISCLAIMER:  Here at Elna Canada we do not stock or sell pins to our dealers so any information offered in this post is purely my own opinion. I am very aware that there may be many other brands of pins and pin cushions out there which are equal or better quality. If you have thoughts on pins, send us a comment….we’d love to hear what worked for you.

 

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About lizafrica

I work in the Education Dept at Janome & Elna, Canada and LOVE to sew. I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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