Monday, April 18, 2011

Sewing with Magnets

I've been sewing new curtains for my living room makeover project that is slowly progressing.  I borrowed a machine from my friend as I don't have one of my own (which is why I dream up these projects.  Obviously, if I had my own machine I'd never think about sewing anything ever!)  I quickly realized that this machine was not going to happily sew over my pins, especially not with the thin see-through material I am using.  Not thinking ahead I didn't get anything to hold the material in place for sewing without the pins so I've resorted to pulling the pins out before they hit the pressure foot.

After the first 53" decorative stitch run in which I had placed my pin box behind my machine (and missed mostly as I slid pins out of the way).  I did some dreaming about magnets and ways to attract the pins to my little box.  I like keeping the pins in the box.  It's just so handy to put the lid on and even though I have both made my own pin cushion and used a store bought tomato, I prefer the box.  Maybe I'm just weird.  Anyway at first I thought it would be great to put a box sized refrigerator magnet in the box.  Just enough magnetic force to keep the pins from going everywhere each time I "spill" it.  Then I thought wouldn't it be cool to make it a small electromagnet?

Sadly, I have a battery shortage or so it seems and I did not trick out my inexpensive box with a sweet pin attracting electromagnetic bottom, although the principles of making electromagnets really aren't that complicated and a watch battery (or similar) would work wonderfully.  I did, however; ask my oldest daughter for a refrigerator magnet to help clean up the pins I'd sprayed everywhere in my rush to get them out and away while pulling material through. She brought me the biggest magnet she could find.

Now I admit it, I like magnets.  I think every metal surface should be decorated in magnets.  I have a magnet from every place my husband and I traveled in our pre-children days (and since we've only gone to visit relatives since, I pretty much have magnets for everywhere we've gone together.)  I also have a bunch of the magnetic poetry stuff (my college studio had metal cabinets in the kitchen area - I loved those cabinets, I loved that studio!)  I also collect magnets at all the stupid little events we go to.  The one my daughter brought me was a massive safe routes to school magnet that was a full 10" long and 4" high.

It was absolutely wonderful for dragging across the table and in the carpet to pick up stray pins.  To keep the rebound down I placed my super magnet behind my machine (under my pin box) and let it keep the pins from wandering as I slid them off the sewing machine.  Yay!  Pin clean up time has been brought down to nill, I just pick up the magnet and slide the contents into my box.  I'd still like to try my electromagnet, but I'll take it!  I hate digging pins out of the carpet.  I don't care how big of a head they stick on them I still have to find them with my feet!

I have two of the see-through curtains finished and only the tops and bottoms of the other two left to do.  There is a good chance my scarf material will be arriving on Wednesday and then I can sew that up and I'll have a wall worth looking at, of course I still want to paint, but the ceiling needs sheet-rock and my mother-in-law will be visiting soon, so those projects may be put on hold until summer is more firmly here.  We definitely want to be able to open the windows for the sheet-rock.  Full project photos will be forth-coming!  I did take one before shot of a window and will take some "in progress" shots soon.  Maybe we can put up a poll so you all can help me chose the eventual wall colors, hmmm....


  1. You would love the pin cushion that I's one big, really strong magnet! I should get you one. :)

  2. My husband made a sewing supply run (some of my sewing supplies didn't survive the puppy that helped with the Halloween cloak project), yesterday and bought me a heart shaped magnet one. It's not bad. I'm not sure if I'll want to keep the pins on it when not in use though.


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