Last week on our April Tool's Day post I mentioned Fork Pins. Well actually ... I mentioned them on the Moda Lissa blog. Anyway ... since then I've had lots of quilters ask me what they were. Well ... they are a quilter's secret weapon when it comes to getting perfectly matched seams!
Clover is a genius at making great tools ... they are clever ... well made ... and they always have some kind of reusable storage. You can't beat their seam ripper ... or the Fork Pins!
To help understand them I took a page from the book ... the demo book we keep at the counter in case quilters have questions. Need to know how to make half-square triangles ... or use Fork Pins? Stop in and ask to see 'the book'!
I think pinning is important to getting nice, sharp points on quilting projects. But sometimes straight pins don't always do the job ... they may shift a bit or don't stay put as the fabric is moving along. Fork Pins really keep the seam stable with the bonus of keeping the seam edge underneath from flipping back.
After you nest your seams, poke each leg of the Fork Pin on either side of the seamline, 1/4" down from the raw edge. Make sure you go through all the layers ... including the seam edge. The pins are flexible ... a little bit bendy. That allows you to spread them apart to get them in the exact spot you need them. They are terrific for those diagonal seams that are a little hard to keep in place.
So then the other day I was struggling with stitching this curved project I'm working on ... its the new bottle shape die from Sizzix that we got in recently. I wanted to keep the straight edges even while I sewed the curve. Fork Pins to the rescue! They solved the problem ... especially on the longest edge. I'm going to use them on the Drunkard's Path shapes, too. I know they'll work to keep everything in place. Oh! And you know how I love making those darling Dresden Plates? They are perfect for putting the plates together!
I use them when I'm working with large pieces of wool applique, too. For handwork like this my thread doesn't get tangled on the pin head ... well probably because there isn't one! The pins are shaped like a big U so really there's no where for them to catch.
I wish I could brag and say that I knew about these since they came out ... but I can't. Chris who retired from the Cottage last year was the one who turned me on to them and showed me how to use them. I can't even think how long ago that was!! They've become such a piece of my quilting life that I can't remember a time we didn't use them. I can't even think about making a quilt without them now!