Best Practice – Bobbins, Pins and Folding

Here’s the next installment in my best practice series – pins, bobbins and folding! It’s not a crafty business-related tip; more like reminders about being organized and efficient. If you have been sewing for awhile, these time-savers may seem like no-brainers to you. But sometimes I get lazy and neglect these simple tasks, so I thought you might have similar issues.

First up, bobbins. I use white, cream and grey bobbins a lot. But dang, I hate it when my bobbin runs out, I reach for a new one, and this is what I find in my bobbin basket – empties!

Take the time to fill up a good supply of bobbins, leaving a couple empty ones for those colorful projects that call for a different color. You will thank yourself when you are on a roll in the middle of a project and you have a supply of bobbins ready!

Next up, pins. The idea popped into my head after reading Amy’s recent post where she asked her readers what kind of pins they use. I was working on a patchwork project lately, using a lot of pins. I found an extra stash of pins in this box, and decided to use them. As I was pulling pins from this box, I wondered why so many of them were bent! So I sorted them into two piles, using the cover  for straight pins, the black box for bent pins. If you have bent pins, quit putting them back into your pin cushion!

I never throw bent or dull pins in the trash because they could be dangerous for whoever is handling the trash. For this batch, I secured them to a paper plate using packing tape so they aren’t floating loose in the trash. You could also tape them to piece of cardboard.

Finally, when you bring your fabric home from the fabric shop, don’t shove it onto your fabric shelves like I did with these remnant pieces of muslin.

At least take the time to peel off those labels and refold them properly. I’m not a perfectionist, so personally, I don’t think it matters how you fold it. Just get your new fabric ready for proper storage, especially if you aren’t going to use it immediately. I had to press this pile to get it back into useable shape.

Do you have any sewing tips you do to keep your groove going? Feel free to share your best practice ideas in the comments or link to your blog.

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Previous posts about my Best Practices:

Business Cards

Carry Your Product

18 comments

  • I have three pin cushions that all serve different purposes. This cuts down on the “Shoot, I need…” part of sewing.

    One is the sewing caddy from AMH “Seams to Me” and is filled with all my “stuff” so I can cart it to any part of the house and still have everything I need. Hand sewing needle, few pins, scissors, thimble, etc. I find myself hand sewing in the corner of the couch and this keeps things contained.

    Another is a heavy, emery filled one kept on my cutting/pinning table. It keeps those pins super sharp and it is weight-y enough to toss on the end of long pieces of patchwork to keep them on the table (instead of sliding onto the floor).

    The third is an old red tomato of my mothers. It hangs out behind my sewing machine so I can easily stick pins in it as I go.

    Maybe this is how everyone sews-I don’t know. BUT it works well for me!

  • Great tip about disposing of pins. I’m always trying to find a safe way to do that, and I’ll give your idea a try.

    I like those magnetic pin holders. I can just toss my pins in the general direction as I remove them and they fly right to it. And I sweep it over the table, around the machine, and around the floor where I’ve been working and it quickly picks up any that I’ve dropped.

    • I have always wanted to try one of those magnetic pin holders, Joan. They seem so slick to catch all those pins that slip out of your hand, and then you can’t find them on the floor! Great tip!

  • Great tips Terri…I do have a magnetic pincushion and love them…but recently have decided not to use it near my machine…as I’m afraid the magnetic pull could possibly damage the computer in my machine…so it’s a homemade pincushion from now on next to the machine!

  • i was just talking about stocking up on loaded bobbins! really need to do that. love all these tips, thanks!

  • I have one of those plastic 4-drawer carts on wheels wth a compartment tray on top (bought at Menard”s for about $15) which holds all my elastic, buttons, zippers, trims, embellishments and embroidery supplies – Whew! I keep most fequently used implements on top and it follows me around the room! I’m not a fan of plastic, but I wouldn’t want to be without it!

  • Great tips! I’m guilty of empty bobbins and bent pins.

  • I never would have thought to tape those pins down before tossing them! I always throw them in and hope that nobody gets poked! Love the ideas. I really hate refilling bobbins, so I am loving your basket full of bobbins!

  • These are such wonderful reminder! I really need to fill up my bobbins! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

  • Great tips! I use a magnetic pincushion for my pins (I like the flower head pins) and try not to put anything else in with them. I use an old pincushion of my mom’s for spares and another for needles. I dispose of my used pins and needles in a pill bottle or old film canister.
    Love that bobbin basket! I try to wind a bunch of bobbins when I start a large project.

    Two of the things I keep handy are my machine manual and a quarter which I use instead of a screwdriver to change feet and such.

  • You’re so organized! PS. . .love your Kaffe fabrics for the Hexagon -Along. . .which ruler are you using? I have the single 60°, but I’m thinking maybe I should purchase the multi-cut ruler. . . Have a good day. . .two work days left!

  • your post was so timely… i’ve been so frustrated with all the bent pins in my pincushion – after reading this, I went through them all and finally got rid of all the bad ones! thanks! 🙂

  • These are great tips! I am extremely disorganized in my studio and I only do a deep cleaning about once a month or so….so, I shouldn’t impart my knowledge here..;) ha! I am going to straighten out my pin situation right now!

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  • i really like your bobbin basket idea. my bobbins are all over my sewing desk and it drives me nuts.

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