I remember when a pin was just a pin

     I remember when a pin was just a pin and a needle was just a needle.  I'm trying to order pins for the notions wall, so went to my vendor's website and did a search for pins.  Eleven pages?  No you can't just buy "pins" anymore.  What do you want? 
     Applique pins, quilting pins, patchwork pins, silk pins, satin pins, bridal and lace pins, sequin pins, flathead pins, flower pins, longarm pins, butterfly pins, T pins...... and they come with ball heads or glass heads, no heads, button heads...
     "What about plain old pins like Mom used for years?  Would that be an "all purpose" pin?"  Nope, the all purpose pin has a ball head.  The plain old pins are "dressmaker pins."  Ok, do you want a dressmaker pin that is x-long, x-fine, a "straight super pin," or a "straight super pin fine?"
   I used to know what a silk pin was, a little longer and finer than a dressmaker pin.  Now they no longer come as "fine,"  they are extra sharp, extra fine, ultrafine, and I imagine the one described as "superfine sharp" must be the thinnest one of all?  Are the "satin" pins and the "bridal lace" pins finer than the silk pins?  I don't know.
     There is a new "power pin" for sale.  Wonder if that is better than a "super pin?"  Maybe I need to buy it to see what it is!
     I had a customer in the shop (a plain lady) who just wanted a plain pin.  Embarrased that I did not have any plain pins on the notions wall, so I gave her a small packet of plain dressmaker pins from our sewing stash.  I purchase them by the pound from a supply house for general use.  When we sew first step of binding  for a customer, these are the pins that go out the door with the quilt.
     I do not deny that the right pin makes a specific job easier.  My ageing fingers have gravitated to the longer pins, with glass heads, and a fine shaft.  I liked the flower pins but the heads fall off.  Maybe it's because my pins get a  hard workout with sewing and binding every day.  Applique pins are shorter and do make that job easier because it avoids getting stuck with long pins. 
     With all the different pins on the market, you now need a way to organize them.  Welcome to the pin tins, and the new stacking pin pals.  And if you don't have a magnetic pin bowl or holder, you will need a magnetic pin picker-upper to collect them when the pin tin falls on the floor, or maybe a lighted magnetic pin picker-upper.  Or you could forsake the pin altogether and go to the new "wonder clips."
     The most important thing to remember is if the size is given,, then the larger the number, the longer the pin.  A size 20 is about 1 1/4 inches long, a size 32 is 2 inches long.  Other than that, buy what works for you and don't get trapped into having to buy a special pin or clip for a specific class. 
     I remember when you could buy regular pins, stuck on a paper strip, then you removed them and put them onto a tomato pin cushion.  They seemed to last forever and never needed to be replaced.  Mom's luxury item was the day she bought a magnetic pin holder.  I am sure some of the pins on that holder are still from the 1950s.  They still work.
Enough about pins.  We'll delve into needles another time!

The solids sale is still on for this week.  $5 a yard.  Buy 10 FQ, get 2 free.

New in the shop:  2 boxes of batiks.  I am not a batik fanatic, so I have to really love the print/color before I buy, so these are really nice.  Also, two new ways to package them...  Nine FQ are wrapped up into a flower shaped packet and 14 pieces are wrapped up and stored in a nice round fabric covered box.  I have to admit I ordered them because of the packaging.  Great gift or door prize.
     American Heroes is a patriotic collection from Windham:  Great panel of firefighters, policemen, military servicemen along with red, blue, white stars, and stripes.  Sample and kits are coming.
     Andover's High tide is nearly gone (even before the kits were cut).  What is left has been put into the SeaSide Section with the other Florida/water bolts.  It is NOT being reprinted.  This collection makes a dynamite batch of contemporary pillows. 
    Easter fabrics, chicks, bunnies and some of the yellow and pink marshmallow peeps fabric.  I  tucked the peeps away from last year when the second printing arrived in June.
     Also good for small gifts to take home to quilters, Carol Wilson note cards with quilt images (made in the USA), quilting puzzles made in America with soy ink (niche), key chains with the fob being a 2 inch quilt attached (hand made locally).

Ella M. Toy for Alma Sue's Quilts