December 1, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Pins

When I started with my longarm I used the pearl head corsage pins to pin the quilt to the canvas leader. They worked perfectly as it took me awhile to get the pinning rhythm down and the corsage pins were big enough for me to handle. Then, I realized I had best control when the take-up roller would just hover above my machine, I liked the drag. Only thing, when I had my base on and would come to the line of pins which were rolled into the take-up, the machine would blimp as I went. I started to use the flower head or butterfly head by default and found they worked better to combat the blimp. They would bend easy, but I liked using them anyway, plus the butterflies were really cute.

For some reason I thought I would try a new pin. I love them and they are my new favorites. They are thick, sturdy, sharp and flat. They poke easily into the canvas without bending. On the box BOHIN/France is written.

For sewing and quilting I love a long, thin, glass-head pin. They have to be really long and really sharp. And last but not least for applique I love the minuscule pins. The smaller the better. The tomato pincushion pictured above is a sweet, antique pincushion one of the 'sistahs' gave me. I love it, it's silk and has the old emery strawberry attached.

Do you know the history of the tomato pincushion? Apparently, hundreds of years ago when someone would move into a new house, the first guest would bring the gift of a tomato. The tomato was set on the mantel to bring the owners or occupants prosperity. When tomatoes were not in season the tradition was not halted as a stuffed tomato was brought. Over time, the tomato on the fireplace became the woman's pincushion. (This is probably lore, but a fun story anyway.) Original pincushions were stuffed with sand, dirt, sawdust and emery. Today, it is said we should not use antique pincushions or emery strawberries as our needles and pins are made of different metals and the emery can be damaging. I don't care, I like using it and it hasn't seamed to be a problem.

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1 comment:

lizap said...

I always wondered about the origins of the tomato pincushion. Thanks so much for solving the mystery!