As much as I love piecing, applique is my thing. I do some sort of applique every single day, maybe wool, maybe needle turn with cotton. This makes applique pins a very important part of my daily routine. Long ago I found that Clover applique pins were a great choice for me. I buy tons of them. Usually when I teach a class there will be one or two folks who don't have the right pins and I need to supply them with ones that work.
I don't baste my applique shapes onto the background, too lazy, and don't care for glue so pins are crucial. When I start a block I like to cut out all my pieces and pin them in place. This allows me to grab my block, needle and thread and go. I can stitch anywhere and I do.
The Clover pins are great because they are SHORT. This is key because when I applique, my block gets all bunched up in my hand and the short pins don't poke. There are other brands that make short applique pins but I have found these to be superior. The pin itself is a little thicker so it stays in and holds the pieces nicely. Also,the head of the pin is an oval so it is less likely to snag your thread when stitching. The pins come in this little snap close box that is handy and there are about 150 pins in a pack.
I am not one to buy a lot of gadgets or notions. If I find something that works I usually stick with it. But........
I kept seeing these Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Pins and being a fan of the Perfect Scissors I thought I would give them a shot.
So they come in this little test tube type container which I love just because I am a geek and love unique packaging. There are around 45 or 50 pins in a pack. So I was a bit hesitant to buy a pack of pins that held a third of what I normally buy because I go through a lot of pins in my classes but I decided I would just keep these for me.
First thoughts- these suckers are the finest, thinnest pins I have ever seen. I love that about them, They have the teeniest little heads on them so absolutely no thread snagging.Big win! I don't know how they are made so thin and flexible - think acupuncture needles. Not that I have actually ever seen an acupuncture needle in real life but these are how I imagine them to be.
Second thought- "Oh man, these are really stinking long". "Not a win" I am thinking but Karen K. Buckley is something of an applique guru so who am I to question her wisdom. I decide to give them a shot.
The skinny is- I really love the fineness of the pins and that super tiny head. (extra points for cool packaging) I have a love/hate relationship with the length. The long, fine pins hold your applique in place very securely. There is no slipping and things stay nice and flat but, they are super, super sharp. You pair the super sharp point with the extra long length and you get super stabby hands. They were miserable to work with. Constant jabbing resulting in some less than proper language on my part. As much as I want to love these pins they are just too painful to work with. I work on big blocks with lots of pieces and I could not find a way to handle the blocks with out being constantly jabbed. So for now I will stick with the Clover pins.