Introduction: A Better Way to Hold Sewing Pins Mid-Project (Or Whenever, Really)

About: I work as a musical instrument repair technician. Outside of work hours I bury myself in art projects, work out at the gym, waste time on the Internet, play French horn in a band, play trombone in another band…

I have never much cared for using pin cushions. They would always slide away from me when I tried to insert a pin when in the middle of stitching, or I'd have to do some awkward one-handed grab to get a pin while holding the pieces of my project in place with the other hand.  While sewing, I'd pile the pins next to my machine in an untidy heap of pointy things as I removed them, but that is an invitation to trouble if a wayward bit of fabric knocks them aside. It's usually the feet that find them later.

A better option? Magnets.

I use a 10mm neodymium magnet because that's what I had lying around, but any decently strong magnet will do the job. The countersunk side sits nicely on the under-thread spooling guide on my current sewing machine. If there isn't anything metal in a convenient location, just glue the magnet wherever works best.

Now there is no more need to pause every few centimetres' worth of stitching to poke a pin back into a pin cushion. I just need to get it somewhere in the general vicinity of the magnet and it'll get pulled right in. Need to grab a pin? No more fumbling to hold a pin cushion down and pull a pin all with the same hand. The magnet is firmly stuck to my machine and isn't going anywhere, but a single pin comes loose easily.

Alternately, put a container on the magnet, with a few pins in it to hold it in place. This works great for projects with a lot of pins in it. Instant clean up. Just lift up the container and put it away, because all the pins are already in it.

Magnets. They're awesome.