Nesting seams can be wonderfully gratifying or painfully stressful depending on your level of accuracy. But what if I told you that using simple and inexpensive fork pins could bring you success and accuracy pretty much every time?
Well get excited, my quilty friends, because I'm saying exactly that! These funny looking pins lock your blocks together so well that there is zero moving and shifting while they pass through your sewing machine. Are you ready to be amazed?
Featured in this post is the Voyage quilt pattern. Get it here in the shop!
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How to Use Fork Pins
You pretty much use fork pins like you would use regular pins, except you are pinning both sides of a seam at the same time.
- Press your seams well. If you've been around the SQ blog for a while you already know this is where I plug the wonders of using a tailor's clapper. This simple piece of wood, paired with a hot steamy iron, will give you amazingly flat seams. But don't take my word for it! Try it out and see the mysterious magic yourself!
- Nest your seams. To get perfectly matching seams, the best technique is to press the seams of your two blocks in opposite directions. That way they fit together like a cute little puzzle. Lay right sides together and then...
- Pin both sides of the seams with a fork pin. Make a tiny seam sandwich with your fork pin as the bread and your seam as the peanut butter (the key ingredient to the best kind of sandwich.) It doesn't matter if your fork pins are facing out or in. Do what feels most natural to you.
- Sew slowly over your forks pins. This last point will cause some controversy, but I'm passionate enough about it that I'm saying it anyway. If you sew slowly you shouldn't have an issue breaking the needle in your machine or bending the fork pins. However, anytime you sew over your pins, there is some risk of that happening. If it does happen, simply throw away the bent fork pin and put a new needle in your sewing machine. No big deal.
If you remove the fork pins before sewing over the nested seams, the chances of your seams remaining perfectly inline and nested drop significantly.
I even made a cute little fork pins magnetic dish by super glueing magnets to the bottom of the Rifle Paper Co. ring dish! Now my fork pins feel even fancier than my straight pins.
See those perfectly matching seams? The fork pins line everything up and the tailor's clapper presses them good and flat. So gratifying!
Where to Buy Fork Pins
You don't need to spend a lot of money on these pins. I bought a pack of Clover pins for under $10 and they work great. My only complaint is that they are slightly thicker than my ultra fine quilting pins so I do need to work them into the fabric with a little more muscle than I'm used to.
Have you used fork pins before?
If you have, what are your tips! Is there a certain brand you love? Tell us about it in the comments!