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Conversational Threads

Needles, Patterns & a Pin Cushion

dsrtrt2 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi Everyone!

I haven’t been here in awhile but I recently discovered afew tips and a really cool pin cushion project that I wanted to share with you.

First the needle.  I am noticing that it’s getting harder and harder to thread my machine needles.  The automatic threader doesn’t always do it’s job.  I discovered that if I put a little white piece of cardboard behind the machine needle, I can see the hole in the needle much better.  I actually cut off the end of the cardboard that comes with bias tape.  Be sure to keep it small so it will fit behind the needle.

If you are into making your own patterns, a really inexpensive paper to use are the end rolls from newspapers.  When they print newspapers, they do not print all the way to the end of the roll.  They get rid of what’s left & start a fresh roll.  These are called end rolls.  It is clean newspaper paper without any print, etc.  If you call your local paper, they can tell you where you can get them free or just afew dollars a roll.  These rolls will last you along time.

And finally, the pin cushion.  Like alot of you, I have alot of pins that I use for sewing.  I really wanted a larger pin cushion–one that would hold alot especially the big quilting pins.  I took this minature hat box, about 4″ in diameter & 3″ deep and made a matching liner out of the same color as the box.  Mine is a Red Hat box so the lining is red.  I filled the liner with clean sand and sewed the opening in the lining completely.  I placed the liner filled with sand in the box and it works great!  Because the sand is fluid, it will mold to whatever shape your box is.  The pins are easy to put in or remove.  Be sure to use only pins with heads on them.  The top of the box has a little pin cushion that I use for sewing needles.  It also works great as a fabric weight!

Happy sewing!




  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas.  I do the same as you do, but with a twist -

    I paint the area behind the needle with white-out for easier viewing of the needle.

    I use recycled isle runner (given to me by the bride - after the wedding, of course) for pattern making.

    For the pin cushions, I use aquarium sand for reptiles as filler.  Maybe a little more than what the building supply charges for a bag of white sand, but not a lot of waste - unless you want to make about a million pin cushions.

    My favorite pin cushion is the one with the hanging scrap bag for thread snips and such.

    I have found thin or small pin cushions need a solid bottom to keep the long pins from coming though - found this out the hard way when using a wrist pin cushion.  A piece of plastic template material under the pin cushion solved my prickly problem!

    More favorites are sure to come from other members!

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