Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Do you Pin?

As I was unsewing a border on a quilt today for the 3rd time I started to wonder.  What is the consensus out there?  Do you pin or not pin.

Some say not to pin.  It scratches the surface of your machine, you hit them with the needle and break needles, and pins,  and really if you think about it, really should it be that hard to maintain a 1/4 inch seam?

Opponents to pinning state you lay your largest piece underneath then the smaller on top, and should have no problems without pinning.  I find many times I am more successful with the smaller on the bottom. 

Since I originally was a seamstress (yes I think I can use that term since I made most of my children's dresses growing up) you pin, and if there is a curve you pin the bejeebers out of the pieces to get them to "ease".  My problem is that I have a hard time pulling pins out before I get to them.

I pinned this seam last night before I sewed it.

As I sewed I started to have my border kind of scootch into a little mound, so I would slow down, remove the pin, realign the border and sew on.  Um yeah...I ended up with about  36 inches of seam that was way less than a 1/4 inch.  Out comes the seam ripper and out the offending stitches come.  I realign and sew again. 

Several times with the same result.  Now the offending seam was not down to  1/8th of an inch or less.  But I still wanted a nice strong seam since it is a border and they take quite the beating sometimes.  I finally got it on so that I could live with it.  But who would have thought that having that 1/4 inch off would result

Yep my border now needs to be retrimmed.  It is more than 1/4 inch off but less than a 1/2!
Off to press the border seams and trim again, here you thought I was asking you if you were on Pintrest huh?

Have a happy Wednesday!


  1. I do pin most times especially when dealing with borders. I measure my quilt on the outsides and the middle and average the length of the border. Then I pin in the center and the out edges first.
    Then I pin in between those pins. Sometimes a lot some time not.

  2. I always pin borders. I do the same thing Carrie P does but I have an advantage: I am left handed! The pins are -according to those who watch me sew- backwards and I pull out w/my left hand. There is more room to the left of your machine and my pins are about 1/8" to the left of my seam so if I miss a pin I do not go over it with the needle. I just found your blog. Nice!


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