Of all the quilting supplies, straight pins are probably the ones we take most for granted. If you’re like me, you might still have some from your grandmother’s or mother’s sewing kit. When you replenish, you most likely head to the quilting notions aisle at the fabric store and choose ones with colorful plastic heads.
But, like sewing needles, pins come in a range of sizes and quality than can affect your fabric and quilting.
Expert quilter Amy Ellis shared some of her tips on choosing and using straight pins in an episode of QATV Series 1500 while she made a pinwheel pincushion.
Amy’s Pin Tips:
1. Choose fine, or extra-fine pins. These will glide easily through your fabric without leaving holes, says Amy. They usually have glass (not plastic) heads.
2. Weed out bent or worn pins. Like anything else, pins have a lifespan, and if they don’t slide through your fabric easily, they are slowing you down-and may damage the fabric, too.
3. Remove pins as you stitch. Sewing over pins can break your needle, bend your pin, and throw off your stitch line.
4. Pin seam allowances. Hold fabric together by sliding fine pins into the seam allowance. This will stabilize the fabric pieces for more accurate stitching.
5. Use walnut shells to fill pincushions. The texture helps keep pins sharp and the weight keeps your cushion from sliding away as you insert pins. You can find walnut shells at your local pet store; they’re used as lizard bedding.
Learn to make Amy’s pretty pinwheel pincushion and find out more about the quilting products, quilting tools, and other supplies to make quilting easier in QATV Series 1500.