Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Pin or not to pin...

This is one of those no right answer questions. But I pin. Why? Because that is the way my Grammy taught me. Like measure twice cut once, she and many others believe it reduces errors. Some people think it is a waste of time. I made this very protest to my Grammy, her answer was: Well, you can pin now or seam rip later, that takes much more time. Which if you make a mistake is true. Rip the seam, pull all the threads, re-iron…time time time. So I pin.

This rule saved me a lot of time last night. I was sewing the last row of blocks on the mystery quilt. And I pinned the row to the wrong side…luckily the quilt was not yet square so it was obvious when I had a whole block left; so I just had to unpin instead of rip a whole seam out. My daughter exclaimed that my Grammy was looking down laughing her head was pretty funny. Such a silly mistake.

But on the subject of pins and pinning….like all things in sewing there are different pins for different purposes. It really does make a difference. Pin sets area an easy was to try different ones.

Some machines do not like to sew over pins… broken pins can hurt your machine. I always try to pull the pin before I get there, but accidents happen. I have to wear glasses all the time so never had to worry much about the chance of a broken piece hitting the eyes. But make sure if you break a pin or needle you account for all the pieces. On the floor, if you sew barefoot like many of us, they hurt when you foot finds them. In your machine they can do major damage. I use a magnetized telescoping pick-up tool to make sure.

Also, if you nick a pin—throw it away (make sure you know your areas sharps disposal rules—sewing needles and pins count as sharps.) I also change my needle (if it didn’t break), because nicking a pin will normally cause a rough spot on the needle that can snag your fabric and break your thread. Replacing the needle is better than replacing the fabric. You will always see the snag, even if no one else does

And the mystery quilt from a retreat class my favorite sewing store in Reno, Sierra Sewing Center is getting its borders now, so closer to a picture.