Sitting On Pins and Needles?

No matter what the skill level or what project is being created….. be it garments, or quilts, or craft projects; I think it’s safe to say that the humble little straight pin is one of those timeless universal notions which makes life easier for us all. According to Webster’s, a “notion” is a small useful item, and what’s more useful than a pin?

Recently, I had the immense pleasure of attending a very fun retreat where I could literally work the room to see what everyone was working on. One of the things I noticed was how everyone organized their notions at their work space, and specifically how they kept their pins. Some had the good old standard tomato pin cushion, while others, like myself, just kept them in the box in which they were sold. However, some were a little more creative.

Adorable is all I can say about this little pin cushion below.


Many discounts stores sell these little clay pots above, or you might even have a few laying out in your garden shed or down in the basement. A little paint and scraps of batting to stuff the centre and you’ve got a unique and adorable pin cushion which doesn’t take up much space and which is perfect for a class or retreat.

I thought the pin cushion below was brilliant!


This ultra-adorable pin cushion may look familiar to some of you. It’s the Janome pin cushion which comes with some of our machines, like the Janome M series  machines, which are ideal to take to class or retreats.( M50, 100 or 200).See the source image

and its also available as a separate accessory. Contact your local Janome dealer for more information. See the source image

Since there wasn’t a notch on her sewing machine for the pin cushion, this clever lady drilled a hole in a small block of wood and used some Velcro she had on hand (which is why there’s only a half circle of Velcro on the machine itself. She explained to me that’s all she had so she used it! ) So cute and SEW practical!



Speaking of travel machines: machines which are lighter in weight, smaller and easier for most of us to take to class, retreats, the cottage, etc., the special edition Canada 150 model designed by Montreal’s Tamara Kate flew out of Janome’s warehouse last summer so expect to see them in your travels. I was told by one of the ladies at the retreat that she keeps her Janome Canada 150 model in her home in Florida so she always feels a little closer to home while she escapes the winter cold. Notice that cute little pin cushion sitting proudly atop the machine. It came as a standard included item with this model!


The Janome Jem Gold has got to be one of the most popular travel machines ever, though many users tell me it’s their primary machine as well.  It’s the ONLY sewing machine they own and they’re thrilled to bits with it!


I thought this owner’s suction-cup pin cushion was cleaver. I had not seen one like that before so I’m on the hunt to find one. That’s the wonderful part of attending classes and retreats, you learn so much and get inspired by others.

The retreat was put on by our fabulous Janome Dealer, Shirley Eichler of The Ultimate Sewing Centre in Oshawa, Ontario and superbly organized by her equally fabulous and talented tour-de-force/ right-hand gal, Donna.
Elim Lodge in Buckhorn, Ontario was an ideal setting and GREAT news! They’ve already started organizing another retreat for next year so contact the staff at The Ultimate Sewing Centre for more information. I hope I’ll be invited back to participate in all the fun, too!


I was happy to see that Donna had a few moments to herself here and there to try to get some of her own sewing done. She created a huge stack of flying geese blocks so looks like that ultra-convenient wrist pin cushion came in very handy. It’s oh so cute and stylish, just like Donna herself.


How do YOU keep your pins and sewing notions organized? Write us with suggestions and tips so we can share, learn and get inspired by one another. Happy sewing!

About janomeman

As Janome Canada's National Consumer Education Manager, I'm SEW excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and all things creative with everyone at our fabulous new Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Have an idea for a class, or to be put onto our mailing list, E-mail me at
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6 Responses to Sitting On Pins and Needles?

  1. Gail Hyde says:

    It would be nice if we could see the pictures of the pin holders.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Gail,
      Not sure what you mean? Do you mean the “hole” on the machine that accommodates the pin cushion? Possibly you might be referring to something else?



  2. Cindy Joyce says:

    Hi from Northeastern WI! I love these pin cushions. So cute and super easy to make. I have them for a couple of my Janome machines. I put together a stitch audition book for my traveling Janome machine. It took a bit of planning but now I don’t have to waste time putting stitches on a scrap to see what they look like. I used black thread on pink Kona cotton. The cover is Tula Pink Chipper fabric. Fun and useful! Hope you like my tip!


  3. Angela Maves says:

    Those pin cushions are just too cute. I do so have a weakness for polka dots! Here is a pic of my newly minted set of pin cushions and snippets catcher. I often teach this duo on the Friday afternoon of my Spring and Fall retreats since there are always a few quilt campers who don’t have them.

    Enjoy. Happy stitching, Angela Maves

    Sent from my iPad



  4. I’ve seen the vintage machines with the paint scratched off because of pincushions and pins. It’s nice to see better alternatives. I use a magnetic pin holder. So everything fine here. Cute idea putting it on the machine though!


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