What's that in the little glass jar on my sewing table?
So colorful... Could it be hard candy?
Well, it could be candy, but it's not.
It's a hundred little plastic and metal clips! In a variety of colors (red, blue, yellow, pink, purple, and green)!
Let's pour a few out for a closer look... (For reference, the larger grid underneath them marks inches.)
Ok, very nice-- but what are they for?
They're Embroidex "Sewing Quilting Craft Clips". (That's an affiliate link to Amazon.) If you're a quilter (or someone else who sews), you've likely seen them before, but if not, the brief explanation is that you can use them in place of standard straight pins to hold layers of fabric together for sewing.
Here's the bag they came in. It's resealable and fairly sturdy, but I wanted them in something more permanent, thus the glass jar.
These clips are advertised for use in other crafts, too, but so far, I've only used them with fabric.
I decided to take a chance on them, and I'm glad I did. They were perfect for holding the binding on that little table runner project from a couple posts ago, and I've also used them to hold together strips of string quilt blocks that needed seaming together in the sewing machine. (Unless I specify otherwise, always assume that anything I sew is on the machine. (g) I'm probably one of the world's slowest hand-stitchers.)
The clips made a nice change from pins (no risk of pricked fingers!) and personally, I think they worked just as well as pins would have-- maybe even better. In the case of the binding, pins would've been much harder to use, I'm convinced.
A hundred clips for just shy of $13 seems like a good price for these, too-- especially when you look at the price of some of the smaller packs of similar clips. I haven't used those other brands, so I can't make a side-by-side comparison, but if you look at the reviews on Amazon, some people have compared them and decided that these are just as good.
(Note: There are other clips that look about the same at a slightly lower price, but I decided to go with the Embroidex clips, because they had so many positive reviews. If I find I want more clips, I'll look again and see if the competitors have racked up enough reviews to boost my confidence in them.)
These are a recommended little splurge for quilters. I'm sure there are many circumstances in which pins will still be the better option. For example, one recent reviewer commented that the clips weighed down her lightweight fabric as it went through the sewing machine. They seem light to me, but they will be heavier than two very light, small pieces of cotton. For piecing, they might not always be ideal, but for heavier projects and stages of projects-- like applying binding-- they work very well.
I'm happy to have these in my sewing toolbox!