5 Minute Guide to Quilting Pins

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Welcome to the first of our new 5 minute guide series! Think of these posts as the quilting lightning round. We're going over all the basics you need to know to be a pro at a variety of different quilting topics, and today we're kicking the series off with a 5 minute guide to quilting pins!

With so many different pins used for different techniques or steps in the quilting process, it can be a real challenge to feel confident about which pins to use. In this guide, we'll walk you through more than 10 different types of pins and pin accessories that are on our must-have list. For each pin, we'll tell you how to use it and show you our favorites. So set your timers for 5 minutes...and go!

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

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Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Straight Pins

How To Use Them

These are your go-to pins for quilting. You'll use them most often to hold fabric together while piecing. Crystal head straight pins for quilting are excellent because the shiny ball at the end makes them easy to spot so you don't accidentally leave a pin in and get poked! Read more about the best quilting pins here.

Our Favorites

Dritz makes yellow and blue crystal head quilting pins, and Clover makes red and green. The pins are practically identical, so choose the ones you like based on your color preference!

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Fork Pins

How To Use Them

Our Favorite

These Clover fork pins glide into place easily and stay put. If you're extra careful, you can even sew over them!

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Appliqué Pins

How To Use Them

These very short pins are excellent for holding appliqué pieces in place while you hand sew them down to fabric. Because appliqué pins are so short, you're less likely to accidentally touch them as you sew. Check out these little pins in action in this wool appliqué quilt tutorial.

Our Favorite

This set of white appliqué pins by Clover stands the test of time — I've only ever bought one pack and none have bent!

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Comfort Grip Pins

How To Use Them

Comfort grip pins can be a real game changer for quilters with arthritis, chronic hand pain, or hand mobility issues. The soft and grippy end makes these pins easier to push in and pull out.

Our Favorite

Magic Pins are thin and easy to grip, making them excellent for quilters who need less tension in their hands while piecing. 

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Organizing Pins

How To Use Them

If you're tired of pinning tiny pieces of paper to your cut fabric to keep track of the letters or numbers they correspond with in your pattern, these are for you. These pins have a flat head with numbers and letters printed directly on the pin head, making organization a breeze.

Our Favorite

This set of ABC 123 Cool Pins comes with a divided container so you can keep your letter and number pins organized when you're not using them!

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Fancy Pins — Treat Yourself!

How To Use Them

Fancy pins are any pins that give you a little smile while you're using them. Some fancy pins are expensive and might make an excellent birthday or holiday gift. While fancier pins might have a higher price tag (keep your eye out for sales), think of how often you'll use them! Maybe there's a little flower for the head, or a fun color. Maybe they have a cute storage container. No matter your style, we all use pins so often that we deserve to have pins that are fancy!

Our Favorite

Made in Japan, these Cohana glass head sewing pins are known for their quality. But they also come in beautiful colors and with a sophisticated wooden storage box. These pins are perfect for the quilter who moves around a lot. The storage box is great for safely moving your pins to other areas of your house or even taking them to a class or retreat! You can get them in grey, blue, green, pink, and yellow

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Basting Pins

How To Use Them

These curved safety pins are designed to hold all three layers of your quilt together (top, batting, and back) to prepare for quilting. Learn how to pin baste a quilt here!

Our Favorite

Dritz makes a pack of curved safety pins for quilt basting that comes with 300 pins! That should be plenty to pin baste your next quilt. If your fingers hurt at the just thought of closing all those little safety pins, grab a Kwip Klip, which is a special tool that will help close basting pins. 

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Comfort Basting Pins

How To Use Them

This new type of basting clip is very expensive compared to metal basting pins, but has a softer plastic cover. For quilters with arthritis or pain, these pins that are easy to close with one hand can make all the difference in the world. 

Our Favorite

Clover Wonder Sewing Pins come in a pack of only 20, which won't be enough to baste an entire quilt. However, if using these more comfortable basting pins will help relieve your pain, it could be worth buying a pack to test out!

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Check out our Free Quilted Sleep Mask Tutorial using Clips!

Binding Clips

How To Use Them

While not technically pins, these clips have made binding much easier than using pins. Use these in place of pins when you're attaching your binding to the quilt with your machine, and when hand or machine finishing. Learn how to bind a quilt by hand here, and how to machine bind a quilt here!

Our Favorite

These colorful Clover Wonder Clips are not only useful, they're also super cute!

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Magnetic Pin Organizer

How To Use It

Ready to upgrade from the classic tomato pin cushion? Keep your pins in place when you're not using them with a sturdy, magnetic pin organizer. The heavy-duty magnets will hold your pins securely, and the coolest part is that the pins always face pointy side in so there's no risk of getting a little stab!

Our Favorite

The Zirkel Magnetic Pin Organizer is the strongest and cutest with six different color options. If you'd prefer your pins stored vertically instead of horizontally, try the Choana magnetic spool which is available in grey, pink, yellow, and blue

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

Wrist Pin Cushion

How To Use It

Quilting often means putting pins in and taking pins out...a lot. To keep your pins close, a wearable wrist pin cushion is a *ahem* handy tool.

Our Favorites

Suzy's favorite is this magnetic wrist pin cushion, and my favorite is this black velvet wrist pin cushion

Learn about all the pins you need for different quilting techniques, plus handy tools and accessories, in our 5 minute guide! #quilting #sewingdiy suzyqilts.com

What Are Your Go-To Quilting Pins?

Did you learn something new about pins or find a new pin you're excited to try? Are there quilting pins, tools, or accessories you love that we missed here? Let us know in the comments!

And let us know which topics you'd like us to cover in future 5 minute guides — maybe the quilting topics you're most curious about will be featured next!

29 thoughts on “5 Minute Guide to Quilting Pins

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Great!! The idea behind these posts is definitely to give quilters who are beginners more confidence about specialized topics like quilting pins. I’m really glad you learned about some new pins!

    • Laura Hopper says:

      I use the same crystal head pins regardless of the material I’m using. There are certainly lots of other options, but I prefer to keep my pin collection on the smaller side rather than getting pins for fabrics I may only use very infrequently! But we can certainly do some testing 🙂

  1. Jacque VanHooser says:

    Thanks for the information. I learned some things regarding this message. Keep this type of information going. And I am saving it in order to go back and pick up some of the other information connected to this email.

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Yay! So very happy to hear that! We are planning a series of 5 minute guide posts. What topics would you like us to explore in the future?

  2. RoseAnn Battista says:

    My favorites are Magic Pins! They are easy to grab, very sharp, and very thin. I think I’ve tried every pin on the market.

  3. Jennie Morris says:

    I also use flat head pins. I started using them when making a stack and whack quilt. They’re great if you need to keep your fabric flat.

  4. Joanna says:

    Thank you for this first 5-minute class; it certainly helps to have a variety of comparisons all in one place! I’m looking forward to future informational pieces.

  5. Susan Osborn says:

    I am so excited to try the fork pins. This was new information for me and would make sewing matched seams more successful. I also appreciate your suggestions for the best quality products. Very helpful.

  6. Lori P says:

    I ordered the fork pins for the shining star and I’ve never had seems match so well! I did get the Magic pins because I thought it would be easier to use with my arthritis. I love them! This is so helpful. I may need to try the covers… thanks for all the information.

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Oh Lori, I’m so glad the Magic Pins have made pinning easier with your arthritis! And that your seams are matching better than ever! Are there any topics you’re interested in seeing us cover for future 5 minute guide blog posts?

  7. Annie says:

    Thank you, Laura! I’m a beginner and I wonder if you would tell me how the pastel-rainbow quilt (in the pin basing section) was marked to quilt (by hand) those beautiful swirls. Thank you!

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Oh I love that, Annie! We have so many incredible blog posts and we do 1-2 new posts each week. If you haven’t already, subscribing to our newsletter is the best way to be notified of every new post on our blog!

  8. Vicki says:

    Thanks for such an interesting and informative article.
    A few suggestions for future articles:
    Hand sewing needles
    Machine sewing needles
    Different types of rulers and which sizes are the best to have if you only want a few
    How to prepare fabric before cutting for quilt making
    5 minute guide to picking fabric for a quilt – this would be challenging, but I think you’re up for it😉
    I enjoyed this article and appreciate the personal reply to other readers.

    • Laura Hopper says:

      These are excellent suggestions! We do have this blog post about our four favorite rulers, but it could definitely use an update. And I love this format for explaining in quick ways how to use certain tools, so that definitely makes rulers a great suggestion! Picking fabric would definitely be a hard one, but we’ll start thinking about it! https://suzyquilts.com/best-quilting-rulers/

  9. Mary says:

    I have serious arthritis in my right hand. You wrote great suggestions for products with sewists who have this condition. Thank you!

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