Whether I'm stitching or quilting, it's never a good thing to lose track of your needle.
Some folks like to stick their needle in the fabric, which is a perfectly acceptable option. I like to use a needle minder - a bauble with a magnet on its back and a second magnet that is loose. The fabric is sandwiched between the two magnets. The magnetic needle minder attracts the needle, keeping it from getting lost.
I purchased this one online (Etsy, I think) and it came all the way from somewhere in eastern Europe, I can't remember exactly where. No surprise, the bird theme pulled me in and I had to have it!
When I got it, a closer look on the back, and, as I already expected, this was once a pin. You can see where the pin clip was removed, shaved, and buffed for a smooth finish.
And then a heavy magnet was glued in place, its magnet twin is used to hold the minder in place. The pretty part on the front of the work, and the plain magnet on the back of the work, with the fabric in between.
Needle minders seem to be one of those things that you stumble across. If you are looking for one, particularly a cute one, they are no where to be found.
On Sunday morning, a thought popped into my head. Mind you, I hadn't been worrying about my needle minder situation, but the idea came, and I ran with it. But first I had to search.
Years ago, we took a family trip to Disney World. I don't know if they still have the pin vendors situated about every ten paces throughout the park, buy they did at the time we visited. And we all bought pins, several of them.
I put mine on my fanny pack. And they stayed there.But where did I leave that fanny pack? (We're talking YEARS and YEARS since I last used it!) Fortunately, I opened the right drawers in dressers and found it. And as I had imagined, these little stick pins would be a perfect way to try my idea.
A little online searching helped me to identify the how-to and the tools. Under normal circumstances a trip to the craft store and a wander through the aisles would have turned up what I needed. But these aren't normal times. Thank goodness for curbside pick up!
I ordered online and waited for my pick up email. I needed:
E6000 contact glue. I got something called Quick Hold. The package said they were basically the same thing.
Neodymium Magnets. They're pretty strong. You want them to grab each other firmly and stay put with the fabric in between.
A plier/wire cutter tool. Generally for jewelry making.
I spent, maybe $20 on the whole she-bang. Not a lot of choice on the magnet size, so I got some 1/2" diameter and some 1/4" diameter to give it a try.
I didn't take pictures of this next step. The plan was to use the wire cutters to remove the stick pin and then buff it down. The reality was that the stick pin, with a little coaxing popped right off!
So, I really only had to buff the surface down on the back of the pin once the stick pin part was removed. Nothing a little insistent rubbing with the emery board couldn't handle.
The way the contact glue works . . . you put a blob on both surfaces -- the back of the pin and on one of the magnets, wait a minute or two for the glue to get tacky, then place the two glue-loaded sides together. Then squish.
A couple warnings, the glue is slightly thicker in consistency than super glue, so a little squeeze is all you need to get the stuff gushing out of the tube like nobody's business. Note to self, cover the work surface with a couple sheets of paper towel, before getting started. And another thing: once you get the magnet positioned and squish the two parts together, there's a bit of a mess where the extra glue blobs out. Use a little corner of that paper towel to clean up the glue-blobs while they're still fluid.
Then let the pins with magnets set over night, far away from other magnets.
Next morning, pair the magnet with another, and put it to use on your project.
I ran out of magnets, long before I ran out of stick pins!
And this is the part where things got a little obsessive.
I now went digging through all my previously-loved costume jewelry to envision stick pins, regular pins, and post earrings as potential needle minders.
I think I need to make another curbside order for more magnets.
Speaking of obsessive behavior. (I am beginning to worry about myself, but I *think* I'm okay.)
Puffy Pin Cushion number 8 in the series. Featuring Thorn stitch (although I think the fabric print is a bit too busy to really showcase this stitch), Pekingese stitch around the outer seam, and whipped backstitch along the 4-patch seams.
And a quick update on furthering evidence of my current level of 'insanity.' I mentioned last week that I pulled out the Nearly Insane book by Liz Lois. On the left is my block, on the right is where I started. That's all the instruction you get for each 6" block - the framework only. Nonetheless, I enjoy a scrappy challenge and the math. I've got some quilting to do, so I may not get back to these blocks for a little bit. . . . Or might, we'll see.