It took me years to realize how great magnetic pin cushions are.
I had used the old stuffed “tomato” pin cushion during my youthful sewing years.
I still use one for my needles as you can see. That way, I can see the eye of each needle at a glance and grab the one I need.
But, for years, I used the tomato to hold my pins.
That’s all I knew.
And when that’s all you know, you’re fine with it.
Then, I realized, that I needed to have more pins on hand than what the tomato would hold.
So, I kept my pins in the box they came in.
I figured they’d be easier to grab than pulling them one by one out of the tomato.
That worked great except for the times I dropped the box all over the floor.
And picking them up wasn’t so bad, except that it became a regular habit….
like twice a week.
I had heard about magnetic pin holders, so I determined to go and look for one.
I found this one at the Bernina store:
It has a powerful magnet.
When you drop your box of pins on the floor, you just wave this pin cushion over the pins and it picks up every last one of them in seconds.
I’ve been tempted to keep dropping boxloads just to watch this thing in action!
Since I alter clothes for other people, I need both hands free to pinch and pin the garments that folks try on.
To do that meant that I had to put the pin holder down on a table or on the floor while I worked.
That meant bending over to get my pins, one by one.
Or, sometimes, my customer would hold the pin cushion while I pinned.
Neither option was great.
About the time I began pondering my little dilemma,
I noticed this brilliant invention at JoAnn Fabrics.
Here is an updated version from Michael’s craft store.
You wrap it around your wrist and then secure it with the velcro strap it comes with.
And, of course, it’s magnetic.
And your hands are free to pin garments, pin fabric, pin quilts, pin whatever.
And you can use it while working with customers and you can use it while sewing at your machine.
And, and, and!
Many customers have raved over it.
They want to go right out and get one, even though they don’t sew!
That’s the sign of a good invention.
I only wish I had thought of it first!
***Update: My friend, Mason, had an important thought about these magnetic pin holders.
Here’s part of what she wrote:
“Hi Linda, just a thought on this magnetic pin holder. I could be completely off base on this and hope I am. I purchased a Singer embroidery machine a few years ago that takes cards to get patterns from (a computerized embroidery machine). Like I do on many of my new gadgets I had to have…I didn’t use it for a long time. A few months ago, I thought, ” This is ridiculous, I need to learn how to do this and actually use it!” I found that the machine will not read the card…it acts like there is no card in there.
I haven’t taken it to a repair shop yet as I’m scared the whole computer section is screwed up. My thought was that maybe I messed it up by using the magnetic pin holders close to the machine when I was sewing other types of things. I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t get a magnet close to your computer.”
So, she Googled the question and came back with all sorts of answers, both pro and con. It looked to me like there are just as many people out there saying it could happen as those that don’t. Maybe it would be best to call your sewing machine company and see what they say. Of course, you may not get an accurate response if the technician doesn’t know their product or they are, heaven forbid, trying to hide that info from you. But here is one response from her Google search:
“Magnets can damage magnetic computer data, therefore, use caution. Do not put them in direct contact with diskettes, and memory sticks. Some design cards are susceptible as well. To be on the safe side, watch where you put your magnets! The manufacturer of the Magna-Hoop does not take responsibility for damaged diskettes, memory sticks, design cards or other media that is damaged due to user error.”
So, I hope that helps those of you who have computerized machines to show some caution before using these. If it’s true, it is a bummer because there are several magnetic products out there that make sewing much easier.
Thanks, Mason! We really appreciate this! 🙂