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Walnut shells for pincushions

Walnut shells for pincushions

Old 03-21-2018, 07:16 PM
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A friend made everyone in our quilting group those 'chicken' pin cushions that are sort of a triangle shape. The walnut shell filling is great, but she did not get them filled all the way to the top. When you go to stick a pin in, more often then not you go for the top point of the chicken, which has no filling in this case. So just be sure to fill your pin cushions up tight before closing them. The walnut shells make the best pin cushions!
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:30 PM
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I have made some pincushions with human hair (mine and my daughter's) and others with wool roving. The ones with hair keep my pins and needles sharp -- my mom and grandmother did this as well, but they had friends bring theirs when they got their hair cut and then gave that person the pincushion. They sewed a muslin sack to contain the hair and then embroidered patterns on monks cloth and covered the stuffed sacks. I made some like that with wool roving but put cotton fabric over it. The muslin helped stop bearding.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:36 PM
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I just read that steel wool is great and it sharpens needles. Don't know how good this is but I saw it on Pinterest
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:17 PM
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Definitely label them for the nut allergic people.

I also had the experience of needles rusting during storage in wool. Wool makes good diaper covers because it will absorb a lot of moisture, so I am not in favor of it for needles or pins any more. I don't know how much lanolin would ameliorate this, either. (At this point my mind always wanders and thinks hmm, someone could run a controlled experiment with one with lanolin and one without and figure it out. Original research = Thesis Topic!!!)

Next time I get my hair cut, I'm gonna have to try the hair stuffed pin cushion experiment. If it works out, hey! Presto!
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:47 PM
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I used Lizard Litter, which is crushed walnut shells. I wanted emery for the filling, but could not find any. Somewhere in my internet travels, I read that the metal filings used to blast paint from cars when preparing for a new paint job was what I should use, something like aluminum oxide . I gave up trying to find a place that would sell me the stuff. The little pincushions I made as gifts have worked out okay. I had not thought about nut allergies, but will keep that in mind now.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:11 PM
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Has anyone used steel wool pads in pincushions? Those would be allergenic & will keep your needles sharp, right?
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:35 AM
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True, unless the pincushion got wet or damp, then the steel wool would rust, making your pins rust. I wouldn't use it.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:21 AM
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I use Corn cob "tumbling media" (it is what is used in Brass tumblers to polish brass). It is much cheaper than walnut shells and there are no issues with nut allergies. I
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:07 AM
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Emery sand is the best. Nothing beats emery.

Posting for the second time, as my first and original post was deleted.
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:11 PM
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Walnuts, sawdust, and any other woody type of pincushion filler will dull pins and needles faster than other stuffings. Think about a saw. It gets dull from sawing wood and is sharpened with a stone. Emery is the best filler, but even cat litter is better than walnuts as far as the life span of the pins is concerned.
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