The 2 Absolute Best Pins for Quilting


This post will cover the question that has been burning passionately in your heart. The question you can't seem to get out of your head no matter how hard you try. The question you must have an answer to! What are the BEST pins for quilting??

I know. I know it's all you can think about, so let me calm your beating heart, and share my pin secrets. Because ask yourself another question, Where would we be without OUR PINS?! They help keep our seams perfectly inline and all of our layers in check while we sew every project. And how do we thank them?

Well, we usually don’t. That all ends today, people. I hereby declare that today is officially Pin Appreciation Day!

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

Check out my favorite notions for quilting!

When you’re looking for the best pins for quilting, you want to get something long and strong. A pin’s job is to go through all of your fabric layers without damaging them, and to stay there until you give them permission to return to their tray or cushion or wherever the hip pin hangout is at your house (more on that later.)

Oh, it’s also a bonus if they’re easy to find, both in the project… and on the floor. I don’t think I need to explain why, right? 

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

I’ll tell you who does the job right. This Pin Appreciation Day, I’m going to give a “World’s Best Pins” mug to…

The 2 Best Pins for Quilting...

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

Dritz Quilting Crystal Glass Head Pins

I use these pins all. The. time. And man can these babies breeze through fabric. These quilting pins have it all: they’re long enough to grip, really strong, and the heads are heat resistant, in case you have an impromptu ironing or steaming sesh.

The glass heads are also nice and sparkly and easy to find if you’re looking for them in a quilt, or in your carpet. I mean, they have “Crystal” right in their name like a celebrity.

I also have these listed as part of my favorite tools.

Clover Fine Quilting Pins

After 16 years of quilting, I have had the most success with "Glass Head" pins or "Fine Quilting" pins. These come in a couple different lengths. For me, the longer pins are easier to push through fabric than the short ones. You can see the difference in size below.

If you're wondering if one brand is better than the other in terms of quality, honestly, I think they are exactly the same. I use these Clover and Dritz pins interchangeably.

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

Now that we’ve established the best pins… let’s talk about the worst ones.

The very worst pin is… the one that’s stuck in your foot.

That’s why your pins need an extra special present for Pin Appreciation Day this year… a new tray. I recommend…

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

Why do I love this thing? Because it’s pretty much indestructible. It is NEVER going to fall apart on you and scatter your pins like unsuspecting tiny daggers in your rug. It’s also SUPER magnetic, so you can literally throw a handful of pins at it and it’ll catch them. My record is a throw from 5 ft. away, so let me know if you break that.

I also throw other small metal things at it...which probably is going to break it some day, but so far so good.

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

This particular organizer is also handy because it’s really good at sending the pin heads to the outer edge of the holder, ready for the picking. Your pins will love their new hangout… and so will you.

I know it's tempting to grab a cheaper version of this magnetic tray. I know, because I did that three times before I was SO TIRED of the tray falling apart and sending pins all over my sewing studio. Learn from my cheapskate mistakes, and don't buy a tray that looks like this...

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

Are you loving these fresh fat quarters you've been seeing? They are apart of a fat quarter bundle I used when making my video class series – Fabric Play: Sewing Mojo Minis! The fabric is Boundless Solids Call Me Contemporary.

Now you know my favs… what are yours? People are usually pretty opinionated (o-PIN-ionated? Get it? k.) about their pins, so let the comments fly! 

Your Guide to the Absolute Best Pins for Quilting | Suzy Quilts

58 thoughts on “The 2 Absolute Best Pins for Quilting

      • Jenn says:

        I’ve always wondered about this! I have always stopped my machine, slid out the pin, then started sewing again. But my fabric will get wonky and out of alignment. Whenever I take a class the instructor says “Don’t sew over the pins! You’ll break your needle!” I may just have to live on the wild side now!

        • Suzy Quilts says:

          I think instructors have to say things like that because inevitably one student will do it and somehow a needle will break and go flying into their eye – which CAN happen if you don’t slow down when sewing over your needles. I’ve had some close calls.

      • Mea Cadwell says:

        Had to take my Elna to the sewing machine doctor. I was the person that always sewed over my pins too. The repair person said this:

        Your needle may try to sew through the pin, which can bend it. If the needle is bent, you can now do damage to your bobbin system. Apparently some people have burrs develop on the bobbin cases so they have to be replaced.

        Also, each time you sew over a pin, if the needle doesn’t go through it then it goes to the side of it, miniscully altering the timing on the sewing machine. After awhile, this will affect your machine and can cause problems.

        In the case of a serger, you will nick your upper knife.

        Just wanted to give you a heads up. After that conversation I always remove my pins now.

  1. Rebecca Pullen says:

    Is there a discount code for 50 percent off your Craftsy Mini Mojo class? I followed the link in your blog & it showed $29.99 (25 percent off) from $40. Thanks, I have been thinking about this class.

  2. Britiney says:

    I really like the Little House Pins but I have a package of the Clover pins you recommended and it’s been unopened in my sewing drawer for more than a year. Today I break it open in honor of Pin Appreciation Day! *woot*

  3. Eileen Cornish says:

    Just the push I need to upgrade my jumble of pins! Short ones, long ones and bent ones :/ Having the right supplies really does make ALL the difference!

  4. Barbara says:

    I’ve been using the Clover glass head pins for awhile now, and recently bought the Dritz glass head which are bit longer and I am about (as we ‘speak’) to break open the Dritz. I also use Dritz flower head pins for heavier fabrics. Informative and fun article. Thanks.

  5. Erin says:

    Thank you a million times over for this article! I hate my pins and was struggling to find ones I like. The struggle was real and is now over!!
    Happy New Year!!

  6. Vivian says:

    I resisted buying the pin holder because it was so expensive compared to all the other brands and frankly I didn’t believe the hype that it actually makes the pins land heads out, ready to use. A pretty one came in my Quilty box and I am so glad it did ! It really does work and keeps me from stabbing myself and if you want it to it will hold your scissors too!

  7. Bathilda Bagshot says:

    I bought new pins today but I didn’t know it was pin appreciation day. I think I even got the ones you recommended. Lucky me!

  8. Ashley says:

    This has sent me down a deep rabbit hole of all your favorites and I’m most certainly going to upgrade my sewing box that I put together for home-economics in high school!! Also this thought: I recently learned that people go way too long before replacing bras–maybe pins are the bra of quilting? Replace those old bent, dull, and mismatched, br–pins, people!

  9. Jenny says:

    Hey I love my Grabbit! It has never fallen apart and I’ve had it for many years. Also I can throw pins from a distance and I like how they all fold together so I don’t prick my fingers. Yours looks nice too, but I can pick mine up and move it by just (wait for it) grabbing it. Did you try Clover Patchwork pins? They are blue and yellow glass heads, but thinner than both the Dritz and the red and green Clover ones you listed. They are the only ones I’ll use; everything else feels like trying to drive a nail through the fabric. They are shorter than your red and green ones though. Expensive af but worth it.

  10. Cindy Smith says:

    I have a large metal pin holder my dad bought years ago at Harbor Freight. I’m sure it was not designed to use for pins, but it works great. If I drop pins on the carpet while walking to my project wall I simply rub the bottom of the magnetized pin holder around on the carpet to retrieve it. Works every time.

  11. Alanna says:

    I was always told to use the flat flowerhead pins because you can lay a ruler on top of them but I rarely have to do that so maybe I’ll try some glass bead ones. What about sewing needles?!!

  12. Jean Suplick says:

    Before I started quilting, I bought a special set of glass-head “silk” pins. Red heads. They are very fine and long, but not as long as your quilt pins. Despite all my good intentions of making silk blouses, even going so far as to purchasing fabric, these pins never got used. Sigh…. (How big is YOUR stash of fabric? 🙂 ) Anyhow, I re-purposed those pins on my current quilting project. Lovely! They work great. Just can’t remember the brand, since I bought them years ago. Clover, maybe?

    Oh, and thanks for bringing the pin tray to our attention. I need to replace my broken, round, hard-plastic one. I think you know the one I mean.

  13. Kathy D Reece says:

    Suzy, I love your website! Recently discovered it, and can’t stay off it, lol. I just read your recommendations for quilt pins, what about quilt curved safety pins?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Oh thank you! I think curved safety pins can be great, you just want to make sure they aren’t too thick. I got a box of them and they were a bit thicker than my straight safety pins. I try not to use them when I can because they are tougher to poke into my fabric – especially tighter weave fabrics.

  14. Renee says:

    Yesterday I purchased 2 packages of the Dritz Quilting 100 Crystal Glass Head Beads. Over Half of the first box would not go through 2 layers of cotton. I am returning them. Maybe I got a bad batch ?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Really? That’s so annoying! I have been using the same glass head pins from them for years. I would reach out to the manufacturer and ask about that. Not acceptable!

    • aimswellite says:

      I bought two different packages of quilting and basting safety pins, and neither would go through my fabric, so I sharpened them, all 100 of them, with an emery board.

  15. Penny McEvoy says:

    I found a new place to spend time and learn my way to quilting! I had been sewing for years but got away from it and now have a new machine and looking to complete a quilt, a dream I’ve always had. Thank you for your website!

  16. aimswellite says:

    I was using some nice long sharp pins for my quilt: and then I was machine quilting with a smallish machine, and got stuck by the pins so often that I was getting discouraged. So I switched to safety pins, but in order to switch, I had to sharpen them, all 100 of them, with an emery board.

  17. lisa lausier says:

    I quilt a lot using denim. What pins should I use to go through at least 2 layers of denim
    Please help.

  18. mts says:

    Hi! I recently bought a Zirkle for my husband. He needed something for all of his teeny tiny model parts that keep dropping onto the floor or carpet, never to be seen again. A warning about the Zirkle, as was relayed to me by the salesperson, DON’T DROP IT ON YOUR FOOT OR PUT YOUR FINGERS BETWEEN ZIRKLES. You’ve been warned!😵

  19. Fran Stephens says:

    I have only just found your quilting blog!!! Wow am I pleased I did! I’ve been doing quilting for years and now find my Pins are not working for me so imagine the surprise when I saw your answers to that problem I’m about to order replacement with your recommendations! Thankyou and will be on your site continuously.

  20. Martin Weber says:

    Regarding sewing over pins, when you approach the pin slow the machine way down, if the pin presses on the needle the pin will move. Damage to the timing on a sewing machine is not true. If you go out of timing it is due to something else. After you pass the pin then you can speed up. Speed is what causes most trouble. Read Precision Piecing by Sally Collins for a better explanation. I have never bent a pin because of the needle in the last 6 or 7 years.

  21. Mary Hammett says:

    5 YEARS LATE to the party – but hey, that’s how I roll. Is there such a thing as GLASS AND FLAT HEAD pins? If so, can anyone tell me what brand and where to find? ANY mfg following this thread should create the perfect quilt pin! It needs to be sharp, fine, long, glass head, and flat. I need this pin so that I can place my cutting ruler over the the pins cutting and ironing…..does that make sense to anyone else?

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