Friday, October 5, 2012


Do you use pins when you sew?

Really, I want to know.

A few months back when I reorganized my work room I was amazed at the number and variety of pins I have.  Truthfully, I was shocked.

I don't mean decorative ones either....and I do have those.

I mean the kind that you use to hold things together or in place.  The kind that requires me to have a box of band-aides in my sewing kit, and my children to rue the day they decided to walk barefoot through my space.

I have flat headed, and glass headed.  I have long pins, and short pins; skinny pins and fat, pig sticker pins.  (You know the ones.  They come in dress shirts and could probably be used to hang pictures.)  I have safety pins, basting pins, corsage pins, and applique pins.   I even have funky double pointed pins that look like tiny elongated horse shoes.  They all live in their own little boxes or cushions....except when they escape and poke said family...but hey I've stepped on their Legos so I think we are even.)

Funny thing is, aside from the fact that they are never handy when I need them, and that they multiply when left in dark places, I don't use them when I sew.  Really.  I hate pinning...unless we're talking Pintrest or mini quilts.

I've been thinking a lot about that lately.  (I am that exciting.)  I've decided that it is Euclid's fault.  You read that right, Euclid as in the father of modern geometry, it is definitely his fault that I don't use pins.

I don't talk about it much.  It is a period of my life that I can't quite get my head around, both fantastic and terrifying.  I am both tickled and appalled that my parents not only consented to my participation in it but footed the bill. the tune of $40,000....that is no small chunk of change, even now.  In 1985 it was a fortune.

I am a graduate of a very small liberal arts college.  In quilty terms, we're talking smaller than one charm from a Candy Charm pack when compared to all of the fabric that is produced in any given line.  I think there were 70 people in my graduating class...maybe.  In said college we studied something called "The Great Books"... and one of them, perhaps my favorite, was Euclid's "The Elements."  It isn't a very big book, nor is it a literary masterpiece.  It most certainly is NOT a New York Times best seller....NOT a best seller on anyone's list for that matter.  It appealed to the way I think, and has become the standard upon which I base directions.  Consequently, I became a believer in modern geometry, in spite of the misery that was my high school geometry class.

Geometry tells me that things that are square, stay square unless some outside force acts upon it.  When I sew two squares of fabric together I get a rectangle as long as I don't manhandle them in the process.  When I piece I look for seams to snuggle.  I feel them nestled together with my fingers before I let them move through my machine.  In short, I trust my fingers...not the pins.

So tell me....why do I have so many pins?


Susan Standen said...

You have that many pins to keep your boys out of your sewing space and remind them to pick up their Lego?

Tisha said...

I have tons of pins also but I rarely use them I even have the itty bitty applique I use them...nope I use applique glue lol. I love your little hex pin cushion...adorable....that must be why you have pins for all the cut pin cushions not to revolt against you bc you don't have pins in them lol

Renea said...

I don't have alot of pins but I don't need them. No, I do not use pins very often. I also use my fingers. The most often I use pins is when working with curves. I have also stepped on many a Lego.

Jennie {Clover and Violet} said...

I have a ton of pins, but only use the yellow headed kind because the rest are prettier and I don't want to lose them. I also use mine all the time. I went through a "great books" program at my college. While my school was probably much larger than yours, only five of us finished the program my year. We did not read Euclid. However, we did read all manner of other obscure classic works. I have never regretted it. Maybe you keep the pins around in to keep your pincushions company?

Mina said...

I am a pinner. I pin everything.

Fabric Warrior (aka Amie) said...

I need a bigger pin collection, especially since many of mine are bent and janky. But, I do use them a lot, especially when sewing long strips and borders.

Lynne said...

I don't use pins for small piecing but definitely for basting quilts! I don't have a lot of pins and the pins I do have are getting less and less as I bend pins. I need to replace the round headed pins with a less cheap brand I think!