I’ve always been partial to flower-head pins, and I admit it’s mostly because they’re pretty. Other things I like about them are that they’re easy to see when they fall on a hard floor, and when they fall on a carpet the flower acts like a helicopter rudder and the pin lands point down in the pile. My feet are ever so grateful.
Flower-head pins are more expensive and are more easily bent than dressmaker pins or pins with ball heads, which is why I have more ball-head than flower-head pins in my pincushion.
Last night I was machine sewing a pinned quilt seam and like a responsible sewist I removed each pin before it reached the needle. The discarded pins lay on the free arm as I stitched. How many times have I done that? Hundreds. But last night was the first time a pin fell down one of the holes to the right of the throat plate (see below). A ball-head pin. I couldn’t believe it. Just the little point stuck out by maybe a millimetre or two.
Eyebrow tweezers only managed to push the pin deeper into the hole (the machine was unplugged). Next I took apart the bobbin casing and felt around with the little machine-dusting brush. All I got for my effort was a brush saturated in oil.
Thinking I had no other option (it was Saturday night of a long weekend and no hope of speaking to the dealer until Tuesday) I decided to trust in gravity. I turned the whole machine upside down and shook. Ah, now the point of the pin was visible so I grabbed my serger tweezers. While I can’t say I did a beautiful extraction with the tweezers, I did disturb the pin enough that it just fell out.
Did I do any permanent damage? I turned on the machine and while it seemed to sew alright it made an awful noise. After a few rounds of fussing and sweating I noticed the bobbin winder was on. Earth to Suzanna…
What a lesson. Now I solemnly swear I will only use flower-head pins near my sewing machine.