We all have our favourite parts of quilting; some love the rhythm of repeated cutting ready for piecing. Others love the puzzle-like piecing together and lots love the actual quilting bit. I’ve yet to meet anyone who has basting as their favourite aspect and yet, we all have to do it. Anyone who can make basting better and less time consuming has my vote. If someone wanted to bring out pins or an item that had twinkly lights and played music, I’d consider it!

I was lucky enough to be gifted a set of the new Clover Wonder Pins to give them a road test and see what I thought of them. They come in packs of 20 and are in two bright colour ways; yellow and white and pink and white. Most people know and love the Clover brand which is known for reliable and quality products so I was looking forward to trying them

They are promoted as being able to be opened and closed with one hand – I did try it and it’s a slightly different action to your standard safety pins but it’s easy to get the hang of and really useful to be able to hold the fabric taut with the other hand.

You can see the comparison of size to the Wonder Clips (where would we be without those now !) and the lovely thing about these pins is that they are tactile and slightly chunky, so if grip is an issue for you, you’ll probably find these much easier to use. To prove they can be opened single-handedly, I’ve done a little video.

They have an angled metal bottom – similar to the curved safety pins I usually use for basting but better; the curve makes it feel like you’re scooping through the fabric and the ends are beautifully sharp and finer than my curved safety pins which means less marking of my fabric.

If you want to use these pins one-handed, just make sure you don’t stuff too much of your fabric sandwich into them at once, or you’ll need to use both hands.

I did find the process much quicker than normal, and I definitely had my work cut out for me as I have had this First Lockdown quilt just languishing behind my equally unloved running machine. The piecing on the batting nearly rivals the piecing on the top- but hey, it was lockdown and I had to use up what I had at that point. I needed to sandwich this very securely to get over the less than ideal few lumps from piecing different battings (I know, the quilt police will be after me) but there’s something quite poetic about a less than perfect quilt in a less than perfect point in our history.

They have an angle as opposed to a curve, which doesn’t protrude too much underneath your quilt either.

Being bright and more chunky than your average pin, they have the added advantage that you’re not going to sew over them by mistake (or is that just me that does that) so more needles saved and a win all around!

They come in packs of 20. I had made a large lap quilt and 20 was just about enough. I would definitely buy another pack (please note, Santa) for single quilts and above but if you glue baste (which I don’t), you may get away with a few less.

So, to conclude, the pros and cons:

Pros:

Single handed use

Easier to grip and simpler to use

Much quicker to pin in comparison to normal pins

Highly visible, so less likely to be sewn over.

Finer pins than your average safety pin so less marking of fabric

Cons:

A considered purchase – but then if we want quality products that will last (& I have no doubt that these are good quality) then it’s worth shelling out a little more for.

To sum up, these are great little pins that I will be hanging onto and definitely asking for an extra pack, for Christmas. They are simple to use, quicker and finer than your average curved pin and lovely to hold. I was sold once I knew I could speed up my basting process and are particularly useful when you have to remove ALL your pins because the backing fabric was so slippery that you got a crease in the middle. It made basting slightly more enjoyable (a definite plus) and certainly quicker. I recommend these and can almost say that I’ll be looking forward to basting my next quilt with them!!

I’d love to know what you think of these of new pins too!

Keren x

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