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February 17, 2022


Nancy Watkins

I love my Clover pins but I want to try the Little House pins now. I have not noticed my pins getting dull because I bend them so often that they get replaced often. 😊

Cherie Moore

I have a Tic Tac container near my machine and any time I come across a pin that catches the fabric, I put it in there. My dull or burred sewing machine needle go in there two. Easy and safe way to dispose of them. I prefer 3/4” appliqué pins and always make sure I have a new container in my drawer!


I love those extra fine pins that bend- I find that they don’t distort my fabric when doing miniatures…. Just my two cents. I use a Parmesan cheese container with the shaker top for all my bent needles as well as used rotary blades. I drop in all those pins that snag my fabric.
Please post if someone posts about a pincushion filling that prevents rust and dulling. I’m thinking of trying some wool filling- maybe the lanolin would help….didn’t they use soap to help pins ‘ glide’ years ago?Anyway,it’s an interesting topic

Wendy Currie

I love really fine pins for piecing and I use the clover size 30 1 1/2” they don’t distort my fabric when piecing. The little house pins are news to me so will check them out as well. I keep mine in a little magnetic bowl so haven’t noticed any damage on mine.
I have a few bowls of pins one of corsage pins I use on the Longarm…they last forever or so it seems. Another with odds and ends pins that are not fine that are also used for longarming…they get bent and am doing my best to get rid of them when damaged.


I keep buying pins, too, until I find that perfect one. As far as the old ones go, I move them to another pin cushion to be used for pinning on paper or on my design wall (made of rigid wall insulation) because it doesn’t matter if they’re really sharp. For sure they get duller when not used on fabric. But I have about 4 cushions/magnetic that get used in different areas of my studio.
I do like the Little House pins… of my favs!


Thanks for today's post! I recently opened a package of pins that I discovered as I was cleaning out and I swear they were all blunt tips (and no, they were not rounded tips for knits). They have gone to the trash. And I've had some really fine pins that, like you, bent when I tried to use them, especially in batiks! I have been thinking about buying some new pins and will definitely look for the Little House pins! Thanks for the recommendation!

Jane Eilderts

I love the little house pins!! They are the only ones I will use. If I come across one that is bent or seems dull I just toss, rather than toss them all. Guess I really never thought about dumping them all and starting over.


I never pay attention to pins. I use whatever is for sale. I never sew over them. I also use only magnetic pin holder. I like being able to toss my pins in the general direction of the pin container as I sew, and the fact that it isn’t a big mess if I drop it. I have been considering watching for numeric pins to keep track of my cut pieces.


I use Clover pins with white/red heads that I like but just purchased Little House pins which are terrific! I also use a magnetic bowl which is ideal as I can “wave” it over pins I have spilled on my table and It picks them up. Also I can pop the bowl in my sewing bag for retreats and everything stays put!


I love the Clover transparent blue and yellow heads but not the opaque
Blue and yellow. My former quilt shop recommended Little House and ordered some but they seemed thicker than what she bought originally
From quilt show.


I use Clover extra fine pins (you're right,sometimes they bend, but they are quite forgiving when you sew over them). I toss them when they catch on fabric or are "too" bent, and I buy new ones once or twice a year...whenever I've thrown enough away to feel like I don't have enough!

Pamela Dempsey

Enjoyed this post on pins. I searched for some on Etsy and ordered from Kimonomomo. They have the tins, little bottles with shorter pins and then replacement box of pins. I usually use the Clover fine glass head pins but have noticed they bend easy on batiks. I read that wool scraps in a pincushion or rolling scraps into a pincushion is good for the pins. I have been using my magnetic one.


I also like the Little House Pins but I have another question that your post did not address so this may only apply to me but I wonder; Where do all the pins go? I start out with a box that I use and then they are put in my 2-3 pincushions and over time they just seem to disappear. It's a mystery. Maybe I'll find them when the time comes at the pearly gates with all the single socks and my missing spoons!

Amy L.

Do a web search of this Japanese celebration: Hari-Kuyō, the Festival of Broken Needles. Sewists go to their temple to thank these tools for their service. It's a lovely show of gratitude. I save my used pins and needles in a special pin cushion, and then put them in a container for disposal after I honor them. And I also thank the Japanese for this lovely practice.

P.S. Sometimes those little strawberries attached to a tomato pin cushions contain emery grains. They are used to sharpen needles and pins. Mine is long lost... but I would love to have another.


Coincidentally, we had 'the pin conversation' last month at quilt retreat! The green & orange glass head pins were most popular & my long arm quilting friend told us she only keeps those in a wool pin cushion. But...they are scarce right now & our local shop owner has been unable to order more in. I have a new box that I'm not opening until I absolutely have to! I do discard bent & gouged pins that drag through fabric, so sooner or later I'll have to use them!

Rebecca Ball

I like the new wonder pins. Arthritic fingers can pick them up and manipulate them. I have the extra fine, short, but not as short as the applique ones. Yes, they bend when you try to put them through tough stuff, but you learn to bend the fabric, not the pin. They are very forgiving when the granddaughters run over them with the machine needle. I used the clover transparent blue and yellow pins before these and I really like them except for trying to pick them up from a magnetic holder. I take out too many pins at a time to actually use a pin cushion. I have a Zerkel, but you have to drop the pins back on it just so -- or you end up with pin tips sticking out stabbing you. I regularly discard burred or bent pins - pill bottle with hole drilled through top. One at each sewing machine and the longarm. I think pins go into the 4th dimension, much like socks.....

Lisa D.

My favorites are the green and orange glass head Clover pins that you show. I like their length, but one hit with the sewing machine and they bend horribly. I do throw them out when they are dull or bent. I use a felted wool pincushion and have never had a problem with rust. Good discussion!


This has been a great dicussion, Nicole. Thanks for the post.
I use Dritz satin pins size 17, 1 1/16" long. I buy them several boxes at a time at JoAnn when they have a notions sale (buy one get one free, or whatever the sale is). I've tried other pins, other lengths and like these the best. Maybe I'll try the Clover pins and also try to find the Little House pins.
As far as pin cushions, I only occasionally use them for needles. I keep my pins in old hinged-lid Whitman sample tins (that were sold with four pieces of chocolate). I have them sitting in all the places I sew. My needles are in a small spool of crochet cotton but in the past I've used a roll of wool (cut about 1 1/2" wide). No rust with any of those.
I have several vintage/antique paper/cardboard folders of needles that I notice have rusted (even though "rust-proof" seemed to be one of their selling points.
Thanks again for the discussion.


I switched to Little House pins years ago and love them. They do lose their finish over time which makes them more resistant to going through the fabric. I keep a bunch in reserve so I can discard old ones at my pleasure.

Have a lovely weekend with your dad....the weather here is just lovely.


Thank you for the pin discussion! I have thought about pins and tried various ones many times. I do like the Clover pins, but will try your little house pins. I bend my pins all the time— I always think I will go through my little magnetic dish and sort out the good ones, but never have time for that, so I am a wholesale throw out all of them and start over girl. I don’t think there is one perfect pin— different situations call for different pins, such as block piecing vs. sewing long rows together. Xoxo

Jane Phillips

I needed a pin cushion and did not have time to go buy a new one. I had made a pair of wool mittens from an old sweater. I still had lots sweater fabric left over, so I cut off and rolled the double edged hem in a tight spiral and pinned it tightly so it would not unroll (with the intention of sewing it securely later, that was three years ago and the pins two pins are still holding it tightly) it works great for me and it was free. I have not had any rusting and it took a total of 3 minutes max to make it.


This has been an interesting read. I use the flower head Clover pins mostly because they are easy to keep track of. I have pulled sever out of the puppy mouth over the last few months. I'm not sure I could have gotten small head pins from her. I keep them picked up but she has a tall reach and is everywhere. Once she is done mouthing everything I am going to give the Little House Pins a try.


I have had the same problem with pins that are no longer sharp. I usually just throw them away and buy new pins. Have tried all kinds. The ultra fine pins tend to bend. Just purchased Magic pins. Appear to be very sturdy. Like them so far.

Debby Gorman

You ladies gave me an idea that I hope works. I have a felted wool pin cushion that I got at Road to California Quilt Show years ago. I need another one for my ironing table but can’t find one. Anyway, I’m going to try cutting a wool dryer ball in half and cover it with a layer of cute fabric. I hope it works, I’ll get two small pincushions from one dryer ball! Wish me luck!

Jody Randall

I had an old butter container of pins that I used for almost 30 yrs. Didn't realize how bad they were until I got some new ones. I pitched them all. From then on I do as you. As the pins start to catch or not feel sharp I pitch and start over. I don't use pincushions but a magnetic bowl and a wood bowl (looks better than that old plastic container).

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