Every Pin Tells a Story! Every Pin holds a memory... 

 THE PIN PEDDLERS CELEBRATED 25 YEARS OF BUSINESS IN 2011 WITH A SPECIAL EXHIBIT OF PIN COLLECTIONS AT THE INTERNATIONAL QUILT MARKET AND INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL IN HOUSTON, TEXAS..  What a thrill and honor to sponsor this special exhibit! A Big THANK YOU to Quilts, Inc. for displaying these fabulous PIN COLLECTIONS at the International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival, and a huge THANK YOU to all who participated in the Special Exhibit!  Extra Security was provided by Pin Savers!  Thank you to Pin Savers!  

 The name of the Special Exhibit was: "Every Pin Tells A Story: Celebrating 25 Years With The Pin Peddlers"  




  1.  Quilt  Pins- A Worldwide Language by Bonnie Browning (Paducah, Kentucky) 



Here is Bonnie's Story:  "Quilting has taken me around the world. As I travel to judge and teach at conferences and guilds, I collect quilt pins as a memory of each stop on my journey. This collection represents my quilting trips all across the United States, and to Australia, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Switzerland, and Turkey. Even today I can remember the quilters who traded pins with me and what we were doing. I was there when the NQA Board of Directors designated the third Saturday in March as National Quilting Day starting in 2002, and I have the entire collection of pins from the American Quilter's Society except 1985 - the only year I did not attend the AQS Show in Paducah. Preparing this quilt for this exhibit is the first time I have gathered all of my pins in one place... and I still have room to add more. I see more travels in my future!"




  1.  Quilts & Pins by Bonnie Browning (Paducah, Kentucky)


Here is Bonnie's Story:  " Quilts and show pins go together - I like to collect both. This is my collection of the show pins from the AQS Quilt Shows in Paducah, Kentucky. I taught at the show in 1989 and 1992, and have worked as the Executive Show Director from 1994 to present. My quilt, A Little Bit of Candlewicking, was a winner at the 1989 show. The dogwood pins are some of my favorites since the dogwood trees bloom at the time of the show each spring."





  1.  A Few of My Favorie Pins by Bunnie Cleland (Chesapeake, VA)



Here is Bunnie's Story:   "I made this quilt pinholder to fit between doors in my hallway, so the pins are always on display. The flap behind the quilt protects the wall from the pin backs. This now holds less than half my current collection.

Favorite pins include:

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival 2006 – My Mom took me there and started my quilting career. Then MAQF 2007-2011. 

My Girl Scout Membership pin 1969. 

Eagle Scout Mom pin 2010.

Disney pins – Many events and days and years and memories.

Museums with the kids, and now their college pins, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.

My grandmother's Army uniform collar device – matt silver maple leaf – Lieutenant Colonel Army Nurse Corps 1952.

My husband's collar device – gold fouled anchor with two stars and USN – Electricians Mate Master Chief (Surface Warfare) 2001.

Most of these pins are irreplaceable. They bring back memories of our travels across the country and the states in which we have lived as a Navy family."





  1.  Five on Nine by Sophie Crittenden (Mansfield, OH)


 Here is Sophie's Story:  "My sister gave me five antique nine-patch calico squares she found at a rummage sale. I love old calicoes so I appliquéd them to a brown cotton background in a long format to display them in my sewing room. 

That mini quilt was the perfect way to respond to your invitation to submit my pin collection for possible inclusion in the juried exhibit Every Pin Tells a Story. 

I am a member of five guilds: American Quilters Society, National Quilting Association, International Quilt Association, Quilters Guild of Dallas, and Mansfield Millennium Quilt Guild. I placed five guild pins on each nine-patch. Special pins are from de Dekenkist and Galerie de Ganzerik sent to me from a quilting friend in the Netherlands .Also displayed are sewing machine and scissors pins at top and bottom of quilt. The story is completed with two 4-H pins saved from my 10 years membership in the 4-H Club (1934-1944) where I learned my basic sewing skills."  




  1.  Quilter's Crown by Martha DeLeonardis (Katy, TX)





 Here is Martha's Story:  "I'm a member of the Katy Texas Quilting group that rides in a limousine to attend Festival. Arriving in such grand fashion requires a dress code that includes crowns as head gear. We each made and decorated our own crown. Some of the ladies added thread or crystals; I chose to adorn my crown with my festival and quilting pins."




  1.  Pins et pins et colegram by Chantal Dupont (Lavercantiere, France)



 Here is Chantal's Story:   "I have only a few pins about quilting. I bought them in Houston exhibitions, or they were offered to me by my friends. The two, in the up-right corner are the pins of the Association Française de Patchwork. The round black pin is given to me because I was a "Angel" at Quilt Expo in Europe (1996). I am very  proud of it ... The rectangular pin in the down right corner, Houston 1996 is a very particular one, because one of my quilt was selected for the exhibition "A world of beauty" that year. Every pin has a story ..."



  1.  Lynns's Quilt Pin Collection by Lynn Ellis (Houston, TX)





 Here is Lynn's Story:  "I saw this pin collection quilt at the Pin Peddlers booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and then found the pattern at the Starr Designs booth where I also purchased fabric for it.  In February 2007, I made two wallhangings - one for my good friend, Donna, who also collects pins and one for myself. Donna and I collect quilt shop and quilt show pins whenever we can find new ones.  If we aren't together, then we pick up for each other.  Collecting pins is something we enjoy sharing.  My wallhanging has lots of quilt show and quilt shop pins and some charms.  I especially love the pins from the International Quilt Festival.  And, it has my Girl Scout pins from when I was in scouting as a girl and some Girl Scout recognition pins that I received as an adult. There are some pins from Stampin' Up! from when I was a demonstrator. I also collect pins from plays that I've been to such as Lion King, The Sound of Music and Wicked.  Another friend has given me some of her quilt pins and these include some Canadian pins."




  1.  Sweet Memories by Lynn Ellis (Houston, TX)





 Here is Lynn's Story:  " I made this quilted wallhanging for my husband for our 33rd wedding anniversary on July 6, 2006(also the 36th anniversary of our first date). It has 36 pictures on it including ones from when we were dating, our wedding, honeymoon, pictures of our kids, our houses, our pets, and family trips we have taken.  Around the inner border are printed names of places we have visited and the three cities we have lived in, plus pins from some of the places.  There are other pins and buttons on the wallhanging.  There are several Hard Rock Cafe pins as we went to many of these on our vacation trips and my husband is a rock & roll fan.  A favorite is from the London Hard Rock Cafe."



  1.  From Dusk to Dawn by Gyleen Fitzgerald (Churchville, MD)





 Here is Gyleen's Story:   "When fragments of an idea come together, I can stitch from dawn to dusk and back to dawn, to turn my vision into a quilt.  This mini less the hand quilting was completed in 12 hours using Cherrywood hand-dyed fabric and simple piecing of 4-patches and quarter square triangles.  The alternating blocks were the perfect landing zone for my quilt pin collection.  The collection features quilt show I've attended or was on faculty or represented my favorite quilt blocks.  I love elaborate quilts but still my favorites are simple log cabins, 9-patches and of course pineapples.  My International Quilt Festival pins represent the first time I was on faculty with the "big girls" and the Flying Geese Quilt Guild pin is from my local guild that gave me confidence as a quilter and inspired me into the business.  Today, the most special pin is the T2T Pineapple Challenge pin because that one was designed for "the Pineapple People" who are making pineapple quilts around the globe using my Pineapple Tool.  I never dreamed I would have my very own pin and here it is front and center.  How cool is that?"




  1.  My Expanding World by Jan Helmbolt (San Jose, CA)



 Here is Jan's Story:  "Born and raised in California my world was California-centric.  As an adult I could expand my world to include new places, new experiences, new beloved hobbies like quilting.  In ever-expanding circles of life this pin quilt showcases my travels in California, my interest in quilting, my travels to other places in the United States, celebrating giving back to my community, traveling to far off countries to experience new cultures, and experiencing the joy of raising two wonderful sons."




  1.  Eleven-Point Star by Beatrice Hughes (East Lansing, MI)



 Here is Beatrice's Story:  "This is a sample quilt designed for the Michigan State University Community Club. Used on a podium at their general meetings, their quilt contains solid color fabrics and a logo center while this one has mottled fabrics and a star pin in the center.

A previous president of MSUCC collected Big Ten lapel pins at a biennial Big Ten Women's Conference. MSUCC wanted an attractive method to display the pins. A design request led to thumbnail sketches from the MSUCC quilting group.


At that time, there were eleven Universities in the Big Ten and my eleven-point star design was the choice. I made this sample quilt, which is my submission to your call for entries, to test the feasibility of the star design and to work out the necessary piecing and quilting techniques. It also became a means to display my pin collection.


This eleven-point star has sharp points and each features two university colors. Because I had never seen an eleven-point star used in quilting, I wrote an 86-page book about how to make this project. The book, Quilted Star and Logo Banner, is a 2008 Full-Circle-Publications limited edition. Sold to the public through fcp123.com, Big Ten university libraries have the book.


I also designed a quilting lapel pin featuring this eleven-point star. My quilt highlights this pin in the center of the star. The web site above has this pin. The MSU lapel pin is also a special element.


Note cards containing this eleven-point star design were printed and money from sales went to MSUCC scholarship fund."




  1.  The Show Pin Quilt by Sandi Irish (Inver Grove Hts., MN)





 Here is Sandi's Story:   "I designed this quilt several years ago after my pin collection started getting out of hand. I've since published this pattern and sold many to other pin-aholics like me. Although I haven't kept track, I believe I've made about 25 of these quilts, along with the banner style version, as samples. It's been a fun quilt to teach as a class as well. Because of it's size, it's fairly quick and can really sharpen piecing skills.

In the diamond border there are show pins from 24 Int'l quilt markets and several from the Minnesota quilt show (including volunteer pins). The Spring 1999 quilt market pin is special because this is the first market I attended. The Spring 2011 market pins marks the first time I had a quilt hanging in the display area of the quilt market.


I've had another version of this quilt in my sewing room for several years and my hubby thought it was time for a replacement. I think this one will really add some sparkle to the room."




  1.  The Pin Tree by Sandi Irish (Inver Grove Hts., MN)





 Here is Sandy's Story:   "I needed another pin quilt, my collection had outgrown my other display quilt! Since I'm a pattern designer and had been working on a tree design I decided to make a tree pin quilt as well. This quilt has pins from travels I've taken and hope to take and since there are pine trees the world over, it's a good backdrop for travel pins.

My favorite pin is the Spam pin from the Spam museum in Albert Lea, MN. Although it's not far from my home, it was a fun trip with my daughter. Another favorite is the pin from the Weston Quilters in England. I haven't been to England yet, but Weston is my son's name.


You'll notice that below the tree are animals, every tree needs some wild animals below it, even if they are imaginary."



  1.  BJ's Bag by Barbara Johnston (Austin, TX)





 Here is Barbara's Story:   "From 1975 - 1985 I travelled the U.S. holding seminars for needleworkers and retailers.  These were sponsored by three major needlework companies.  I converted a U.S. Army bag to a back-pack and collected pins, charms, and medallions to display on the flap. Some were from personal from high school and college; some were from students and other folk who saw the purse and wanted to be represented.  My favorites are the Russian paratrooper badge from a New York City cab driver; a charm from a participant in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics; a 1920 badge from the Daughters of the British Empire; and a gold high school pin from 1905.  The medal-laden bag caused much attention and concern at airport metal detectors!"



  1.  My Historical Vest by Cathy Lempa (Houston, TX)


 Here is Cathy's Story:   "I first put buttons from my Grandma Woltz's button box, which I inherited, plus some bought and inherited crocheted lace and doilies, on this store bought denim vest in the mid '80's. I also put some re-embroidered Alancon lace leftover from my wedding dress, which my mother made in 1970. It seemed like a good place to put pins which I began acquiring when I discovered Quilt Festival in 1986. Then there were also those pins which I collected from other interests such as political, pets, stamps, singing contests, religious and travel occasions. What a great place to show them off!  The vest became a big conversation piece and lots of fun to wear every year at Quilt Festival, despite the fact that it is now quite HEAVY."




  1.  If Quilts Could Talk by Ann Littleton  (Stafford, VA)

 Here is Ann's story:    "The blocks represent some of the important parts of my life: My son, the artist and musician; my daughter, the musician and nurse; birds and butterflies to remind me to let my children fly; my husband, the naval aviator, who brings sparkle to my life; children, our nations only future(We must teach them well.); my quilting friends and fabric; quilt pins for exhibits I've been selected for (Hoffman Challenge 2005,Trash 2 Treasure Pineapple Challenge 2010, Thread Tails & Vapor Trails: Naval Aviation Centennial 2011); guild pins and Quilter's Hall of Fame pins; my faith and life verse: Philippians 3:12(LB); four legged pets; and in the center, my mother Jean, and my mother-in-law, 'Guilda Gotrocks'."




  1.  Memories Stick by Charlotte Noll  (Lauderhill, FL)


 Here is Charlotte's story:    "Collecting quilt pins has always been an important part of my quiltmaking. For this challenge I wanted to create a design suitable for my studio; a design that can be rearranged and appended to as I continue to collect. Each pin has it's own embellished 'pillow' and is connected to each other with safety pins. Straight pins border the mosaic Quilt Pins pinwheel banner from where they hang in organized columns.

Special to me and represented in the 1st column are the years I participated in the bi-annual Broward Quilt Expo. Joining a guild or special group means you get a pin. I have been an active member of the Coral Springs Quilters since 2000. When I attend a quilt show I get a pin. When any of my quilts are displayed in a show that I am unable to attend I get a pin. Some challenges and classes have pins available that remind me of those experiences. One that is fresh in my mind, the T2T Pineapple pin; I was very proud to have my Really Red pineapple quilt included in the Trash to Treasure special exhibit at the 2010 Long Beach and Houston quilt shows. Last are special pins just for fun that make you smile. My first quilt was made in 1980 before I learned of quilt stores or guilds. I purchased a Georgia Bonesteel Lap Quilting book and made a king size Attic Window. When I saw the Georgia Bonesteel pin I just had to add it to my collection and included the picture of that 1st quilt on the pin pillow.  


Each pin pillow has a printed fabric label attached to the back telling the story so it cannot be forgotten. Memories Stick is my way of keeping these wonderful times vividly in my collection."




  1.  Pin Quilt by Margaret Phillips  (Cos Cob, CT)





 Here is Margaret's story:   " I made this quilt to enable me to display my collection of pins.  It started in the 1990's when I entered many block contests and a quilt pin was often the prize.  I also collected pins from different shows I attended or where I had a quilt exhibited.  There are pins from the Vermont Quilt Festival 2000, the Quilters' Heritage Celebration 1992 in Lancaster, The Great American Quilt Festival in New York City, and of course, the International Quilt Festival.  However, the largest number of pins comes from my guild, Northern Star Quilters' Guild of Somers, New York.  A friend from Japan sent me the International Quilt Week Yokohama 2005 pin and another friend, Jean Dewar, sent the purple angel.  My sister, Fran Phillips, made the scrimshaw penguin pin.  I'll bet no one else has one of those!  I also have an Olfa rotary cutter pin and a tiny green cutting board from Come Quilt with Me.  My quilt usually hangs in my kitchen where it reminds me of all the places that quilting has taken me."




  1.  The Tiara Queen  by Marilyn Rose  (Ridgeland, MS)  



 (This is a photo of the Tiara parade in Houston, 2004)

This is Marilyn's story:    "The perfect way to display my pin collection is to recreate my entry from the 2004 Tiara Parade at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Thus, I started with a life-sized self portrait, placed that on a pieced wedge background, and added the felt spikes from the original tiara. The tiara is graced with pins from many Quilt Festivals and from some of the years when I entered work in The Hoffman Challenge. Below my chin are the fabulous tiara pin prizes won in various tiara parades (Thanks, Karey!). Surrounding everything are pins from early online shop hops, various guilds in which I hold membership, fun advertising pins, and pins with quilt blocks of which I am particularly fond. It holds memories of shows and friends, past and present, and simply makes me smile!"




  1.  Alaksa - By Land and Sea by Letha Sparks  (Cedar Park, TX)



 Here is Letha's story:    "In 1996 my husband and I took an extended Alaskan cruise and "Gold Rush" land tour.  In 1990, my husband had suffered three heart attacks, undergone triple by-pass surgery and had been forced to retire prematurely.  At that time doctors were predicting he had 5 years to live.  The Alaskan cruise was a celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary and his successful rehabilitation from the debilitating effects of his extensive heart problems.  I purchased pins at the various locations we visited to remind me of the wonderful state of Alasks, the energetic people we met, and our 40 years together.  I'm pleased to say that my husband is now doing quite well, and we're pleased that the doctors were so wrong about his future.  The 15 pins representing the cities and events of Alaska are placed approximately where they are located or where the events take place."




  1.  Memories by Mary Thurman  (Beach Lake, PA)





 Here is Mary's story:   " Its a woman's prerogative not to tell her age, however, the colonial blue of my Memory Pin Quilt is a dead giveaway. I started quilting in 1976 and shortly after made this quilt to display the pins I had started to collect from shows I was attending. Soon, in addition to attending shows, I began to enter their block contests and challenges. Eventually I became brave enough to show my quilts. This collection shows the progression of my quilting journey, from the earliest shows I've attended (Quilters Heritage Pins), to the first shows where I displayed a quilt and won a ribbon (NSQG Pins) to my recent joining of the Studio Art Quilters Association (SAQA button). Its faded and a little gray (like me) but it hangs in a place on honor in my sewing room."




  1.  Pinned to the Past by Tammy Wachsman  ( Houston, TX)



 Here is Tammy's story:    "When collecting patches became passé and "hard to find", I started to collect pins.  I needed a challenge to use the Aunt Grace fabric (so not my color scheme) that was becoming so popular. I modified a block seen in a magazine to incorporate a now increasing pin collection. I didn't want any small quilt. That would not work for the hundreds of pins. The collection began with festival pins and grew with me and who I am, who I become and my faith.  Vacations with family and friends add a special border.  Memories of mom with her High School pin, dad and the Masons, my children with their world adventures and grandma's quails all now proudly hang in our family room."




  1.  Kiwi Capers by Camilla Watson  (Wellington, New Zealand)



 Here is Camilla's story:    "While our girls were small we travelled extensively around the country, sharing the beauty and diversity that is our home, New Zealand, with short jaunts to Australia and Fiji. Pins were collected from many of the towns and cities we visited as well as special places of interest and this quilt was formulated to keep the memories and pins together. While no means an extensive collection of our photos it is representative of the length and breadth of the land we covered and some special experiences. One of my favourites is 'Rotorua', a rather inconsequential pin that reminds me of the lion park we visited where we patted the lion cub. Rather than soft and fluffy his fur was stiff and sharp like a cut rope coir mat."




  1.  Round 2 It by Mayann Weinberg  (Greenwich, CT)




 Here is Mayann's story:    "This fun colorful quilt holds only a few of my pins from quilting as well as other events.  Also included are the Angel pins I made for my three eldest daughters for our visit to Disney World when they were very young. The Angel pins have the hotel name and our cell # for emergency in case anyone got lost."




  1.  Rodeo Go Round by Deborah Williams  (Bellaire, TX)



Here is Deborah's story:    "What better way to combine my love of quilts and rodeo than to make a badge holder?  The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo was established in 1932 and I became a member of it in 1997. In 1998 I joined the Graphics & Signage committee.  Each year as a committee volunteer I earn a gold badge.  I have my gold badges starting with my "rookie" year (1999) through my 3 years of being a Vice Chairman (2009-2011) along with various fund raising bells.  In rodeo, each day's competition is referred to as a go round; pinwheels go round, thus the name Rodeo Go Round."

Wow, what great stories and neat pin collections!  Thank you from The Pin Peddlers to everyone who participated in this event!  



Here is a neat pin collection owned by Karen Spencer of Pella, Iowa.  

This is Karen Spencer's  story:  "Most of these pins are from quilt shows that I have attended. have a pin from the Tournament of Roses Parade that my son marched in, but my favorite is the postage stamp /basket pin. It was my first quilt that I make 25 years ago."  

Thank you, Karen!  



...And here is a wonderful lapel pin collection owned by Pam Pfeiffer from Houston, Texas.  This is a cotton quilted collar that she made as a way to wear her large pin collection...


This is Pam's story:"My passion for quilt-related pins began in 1998 when I was a novice quilter.  Quilt ' N Sew, my favorite quilt store in Houston, sponsored a bus trip to San Antonio to attend a quilt show and visit a few shops.  As the trip got under way, packets were handed out to everyone containing scraps of fabric, a needle, thread, a pin back and instructions to make a crazy quilt heart pin (3.5").   Even though I didn't win the prize for the first completed pin, I did have the beginning of my pin collection.   As my collection grew, I attached a ribbon to the bottom of the heart pin for my new pins.   New longer ribbons were used until the last one reached from my shoulder to my knee!  My friend made a removable quilted collar to showcase my collection.  When this became too heavy with all the pins, I made a new collar that had a larger area in the back, like a sailor collar.  This distributed the weight of the pins better and gave me room to show off more than 100 pins collected from quilt shows and shop hops.   I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I have collecting them."  

 Thanks, Pam, for sharing your story!