In this post I wanted to share with you some resource information you may find helpful. Most of us sewers and quilters have our own preferences for the tools and methods we use. Thank goodness for that because each of us can find our own way to be successful learners and makers.
Given the plethora of notions, stores, teachers, fabrics, and opinions, in today’s creative world, I have observed it takes a good amount of mindfulness to stay true to the value of Simplicity, especially when it comes to watching what we spend and consume.
Lately, many folks out there in Blog Land are promoting Little House Glass Head Pins, manufactured bya Japanese company Kinkome, as the best pins for piecing and patchwork because they are 4mm in diameter and 1 1/4 inches in length. Most everywhere I’ve checked the cost is roughly $9.95 for a tin of 100 pins. Now I am sure these pins glide effortlessly through fabric and make piecing a snap but should I purchase them just because my favorite blogger, teacher or store owner swears by them?
Clover, also a Japanese company, manufactures 4mm and 5 mm shaft Patchwork Pins, and for the same number of pins, these sell for half the price of the Little House pins. IBC and Clover Glass Head Silk Pins are also similar in price, around $5.50, and have a 5 mm shaft at 1 3/8 length. I use these for both piecing and garment construction. I like to keep life simple.
Another area of blogging bombardment is around quilting and sewing thread, with Aurifil being the most promoted it seems to me. So I decided to do a little research.
From left to right, you are seeing Gutterman, Mettler, Essential Threads, Aurifil and Thread Art brands I happen to have on hand. All are 50 weight 100% cotton thread.
The Gutterman thread is made in Greece and costs approximately $6.34 for a 110 yd spool.
Mettler is manufactured in Switzerland and for a spool of 547 yards the cost is $6.00.
Essential Threads is produced in India and for a 1,200 yd spool the price is $2.79. This is a special house brand of thread only available at Connecting Threads, an online family run fabric store.
Aurifil is made in Italy and costs on average $11.50 for a 1400 yd spool.
Thread Art also makes a spool of thread close to 1200 yds (1000 meters) for a price of $2.99. No manufacturer can be found on any of Thread Art’s information.
As it happens, I typically sew, piece and quilt with the Essential Threads brand. In touching and seeing this thread next to Aurifil and then sewing with both, I was pleasantly surprised that they are virtually identical and the top two performing threads out of the five. In comparing the other brands, they were perfectly okay, just not as smooth to the touch. Gutterman and Thread Art produced the most lint, and with Aurifil and Essential Threads the lint was very minimal. I will be sticking with Essential Threads, and save my money for some more “essential” fabric!
In our enthusiasm to support our fellow sewers, quilters, independent designers and pattern makers, we still need to think about who and what we are supporting. If you see new fabric, tools, machines and things, put them on a Wish List and leave them there for a while. You don’t have to purchase something immediately, but putting the item on a list somewhere takes care of that impulse to buy.
Once your items are on a list, spend some time in your sewing area looking at your books, fabric and supplies, and see if they actually match up to projects and patterns you have. How many of us have found out we already had several of the very same “must haves” we put on that wish list?
For those of you who may actually be looking for 4mm and 5 mm pins for piecing, Connecting Threads does sell the Clover brand. I am not a relative or a paid sponsor of this company only a simple online shopper who found this site a few years ago. In my more mindless days of over consumption, I purchased so much thread from them I am only now in the position of needing some more, LOL, and will only buy what I really need.
All the best,