The Things I Learn…

Pin Catcher Donna Robertson from Dallas, TX shared a great way to carry pins to a workshop this last week-end. She took her favorite little tin with a hinged lid and threw in a Needle Nanny and a silica gel pack.

The Needle Nanny is a magnet you can wear to keep track of your needles. Any magnet will work for a pin tin, but Donna likes the Needle Nanny because its thickness makes the pins easier to grab. Silica packets come with most electronics and absorb moisture (so the pins won’t rust).

Should you knock your pin tin off your table in class, most of the pins will stay in. Those that don’t, are easily retrieved by passing the tin (with magnet) over the area where they scattered. So are stray needles (with and without thread) and the occasional staple.With moe pins

Surprisingly, you can keep quite a few pins in the tin!

Donna also uses a Wahl compact cordless trimmer to rip seams.  Wahl "seam ripper" More on that as soon as I get one of my own and get some good photos for you. I will tell you that Wahl assumes you’re going to be trimming beards or sideburns with this baby. Don’t tell them otherwise; they might raise the price!

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16 thoughts on “The Things I Learn…

  1. Hi Ami! I got a multi -head trimmer ( at Best Buy of course). It has a little mustache trimmer and that is much easier to use. I use the other pieces for my son’s head and for taking out embroidery stitches. (PS lots of little netbooks are available now.)


  2. Ami,
    When you find the trimmer buy two, that little Wahl trimmer is also a great tool to keep the fur trimmed between the pads on Madison’s paws. We have used one over the years on our long haired buddies: Chloe, an English Setter; Nugget, a Golden Retreiver; Luna, a Spinone Italiano; and Max, a Mini Dachshund.


  3. I take used mint tins and glue in a know those ones that have advertising on them. They work great. I glue one in the lid as well. That really keeps track of my pins. The members of the Missouri State Quilter’s Guild are getting one of these when they come to the Annual meeting in June. Linda in Mo


  4. Brilliant! I do use a candy tin, but never thought about using one of those silica gel things in it….the magnet I have came out of the back of a refrigerator magnet so it’s about an inch square and 1/4 inch tall, so it works fine.

    Also in my “tool kit” is a telescoping magnet wand from the hardware store. It cost under $2. Don’t tell them, either, that stitchers use them. The hardware guy probably thinks I use them for carpet tacks and brads and 10 penny nails…


  5. I use one of the tins for a travel hand sewing kit. I have a small pin cushion (flatish – made specifically for this purpose) with needles, a leather thimble, a bobbin, a rubber needle puller & a tiny pair of scissors in it. It’s traveled all over Michigan and a few other states without incident. I use another one with a magnet for the pins. I’ve even made a few dolls with them. I love these tins!


      1. Hi Sharon, I think the reason mint tins are mentioned is because of the soze. Usually they are small and do not take up much roo. Otherwise, you probally could use almost anything. Of course, I would think it should me metal. Other then that, I do not know.


  6. I also use a Wahl trimmer as a stitch ripper. It’s a great tool. I agree that if the word gets around, quilt shops will probably sell it for double the price. ;-))


  7. Those trimmers can be found at tack shops….they are used for last minute touch-ups on show horses and the price may be even better…just like the “jewelry making tools” can be found at most hardware stores for half the price, so can many other things like the trimmer be found at a better cost to you. You may want to save some money for more fabric!!


  8. Hi all –
    I agree about the telescoping magnet – they’re in the car parts dept., like at Sears, and save you getting up to retrieve things you’ve dropped. Just wave that magnet around and presto! It’s back in your hand where it belongs.
    Love the tin/magnet and also the trimmer idea. Check these out and let us know after you’ve used the trimmer for a while (for seams, not for Madison so much!).
    PS Hi HelenMarie! /\/\/\/\*\/\/\/\*/\/\/\/\


  9. I make a point of collecting small tins, whether pocket size or bigger. In my sewing room, I use them for buttons, iron ons, small ribbon and trim, pattern pieces for miniature quilts, or small applique pieces., among other things. They look nice on open shelves, can be labeled, and dropped in a work bag with no problem.


  10. I use the Wahl trimmer to trim dog whiskers for dog shows, also to tidy up stray hairs along the belly line. They are definitely cheaper at Sally’s than at the dog show vendors, if it’s for “show” then up goes the price. Same thing for nail grinders – get a Dremel MiniMite at WalMart . . . Can’t wait to try it for seam ripping, great tip!


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