Sewing Tools--{Pins}

Imagine that you are planning a romantic picnic. (Okay, first imagine you have no children, then imagine the picnic. :) You have packed your picnic basket full of goodies.  Gotten together a blanket, some wine and a nice relaxing playlist for your MP3.  Everything you will need for a beautiful picnic together in the park.  You arrive at the picnic location the sky is a beautiful shade of pale blue, the sun is bright and warm, the perfect day for a picnic.  As you unpack and set up your amazing spread, you complement yourself on your fantastic job, you really are quite the culinary genius. You suddenly realize you have no utensils. What do you do?  Use your hand?  Improvise with sticks? Run down to 7/11 and pick up some plastic wear.

Tools are something we take for granted until suddenly we need them.  What then?  The same can be said for having a tool and then getting a "new and improved" version.  How did we ever survive without the rotary cutter?   Use scissors! Well, last week I ran into just such a circumstance, minus the romantic picnic.

I have lots of quilting supplies.  I have tons of rulers, needles, scissors, measuring tapes and pins.  Pins!  I go through them like mad.  I sew with them in my fabric.  I know that is supposed to be dangerous, bad for your machine and all.  It is how I learned to sew.  Since I started sewing with garments, I pin.  And pin and pin.

When we moved here from El Paso, TX I thought I had brought with me all of the quilting tools I needed, the rest I put in storage. (silly me.)  What I found I needed more of was pins.  Who knows where they all go?  Kind oflike socks that way.  I purchased pins at the local Wal-mart and have been using the same batch ever since.  Several years ago I was at Tuesday Morning when I found a box of glass headed pins.  There were 200 of them that came in a cute little tin for 3$.  I brought them home and set them aside for when I should need them.  And promptly forgot about them.

In my spring cleaning, fabric organizing, re-arranging mood I stumbled upon them last week and decided to open the box.  My pins were getting low and I had a few crooked pins that needed tossed.  I usually throw the bent ones out immediately, but somehow I always manage to find one more bent pin in my pin cushion.

I was working on the Simply Woven quilt pattern, which requires pinning to keep the rows and columns in alignment. I reached for a pin and picked up one of the 'new' pins I had just pulled out.  The first thing I noticed was how much smaller the pin was than the older pins.  Not the length, but the width or diameter.  As I slid the pin into the fabric I noticed that these pins were much sharper than the ones I had been using.  WoW! What a difference.  I imagine that pins like needles come in sharps and ball points.  I have no clue what the original pins were classified as but now they are definitely 'dulls'.  I suppose, like needles pins also loose their sharp point.  This is something I have never considered before.  As quilters, sewers or crafters how often do you need to replace your pins?  Ever?  Do pins go Bad? Sounds like a bad reality series,.."When good pins go bad!"

The new pins also stayed put when I used them.  With the older pins I often have pins that will slide out of one or both sides, scattering themselves randomly all over the sewing room.  Is this a sign that the pins need replaced? or that the wrong pin is being used?  I don't know but I believe as another tool in my proverbial tool belt, I need to be doing an investigation.

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