Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Best Pins for Piecing?

I sew over pins. There, I've said it! I know it freaks some people out and I have to be really careful when I teach my Borders & Bindings class to remember to take the pins out in my demonstrations so that my students don't wreck the beautiful machines that the stores have brought in for them to sew on. Because there is a technique to sewing over pins and they have to be the right pins.

For a long time, I used the finest flower head pins I could find, then I started using the blue and white headed fine pins (I think they are from Clover) and was happy with them. Then last year at Thanksgiving, I was sewing in Salt Lake City with my friends Rhonda Lopez and Josephine Keasler. Josephine is one of the very best piecers I know and she recommended the fine patchwork pins from Clover. She told me that she uses them all the time and tells all of her students that these are the very best!

We were sewing together for a couple of days, so she brought me two boxes on our second sewing day. I tried them and loved them! Here's a comparison between what I was using and these:

The pin on the left is the one I used to use and the one on the right is the fine patchwork pin. A bit shorter and quite a bit finer. My new quilting love! Thank you, Josephine!

So what is your favorite straight pin when you are piecing? And do you sew over pins?


  1. I have used the fine patchwork pins for awhile now and they are great! Yes, I sew over them all the time. =)

  2. They're so fine, they just sort of scoot out of the way of the needle when you sew. Of course, I slow down a bit when I approach one....

  3. Oh yes! I sew over pins, too. I have 4 magnetic pin cushions on my sewing cabinet all with 4 different style pins for different applications. I have been piecing with the pins you have been using butI am going to give the Clovers a try.

  4. I use a dressmaker's pin. I think they may be called "silk" pins as well. They are very fine but I still take them out as I sew rather than sew over them. I do this because I still manage to hit them. Yes, I know; it is a skill that I have perfected over the years.

  5. I recently found some Dritz #172 Ultra-Fine Glass Head Pins, size 22, 1 3/8". They are ultra-fine with a .4mm shaft. They do bend easily though. My favorites have been Super-Fine Sharp Pins, size 20 (also Dritz)with a .5mm shaft, but I'm having trouble finding them (not glass head). I will have to see if I can find those you mention.

  6. I'm going to try the Clover pins. The ones I have are dull and sometimes it's difficult the pierce the fabric. I don't sew over pins after I heard Alex Anderson had damaged her Bernina and it had to go back to the hospital where it was born. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    1. I remember when Alex did that! I did start sewing slower over them, but still haven't kicked the habit.


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