These are the three pincushions that I currently use. The black and gold round one on the left was a pincushion that we made in a workshop at our Guild one evening. The workshop was to teach us how to work with wool. The cushion is filled with lizard sand to keep pins sharp. The top of the cushion is four gold hearts on a round base. I bought the ladybug and added it as a personal touch. Each heart organizes one of my pin types. The ladybug keeps track of the needles.
The silver pincushion in the center of the picture is not a pincushion at all. It is a magnetic dish used by mechanics to keep track of bolts and such when they are working on motors. It has a huge magnet as a base. I use this dish to keep my corsage pins that I use on the long arm. The "arms" or rollers on the long arm are metal and this dish sticks very neatly to the long arm as I am either pinning on a quilt or removing it. Very slick! My dad is a retired mechanic. I had a hard time finding one of these bowls. When I mentioned to him that I was looking for one, he knew exactly where to find me one. Thanks Dad!
The chicken pincushion on the right was a gift from a quilting friend. I use this pincushion to store safety pins. I no longer pin my quilts but there always seems to be a need for a safety pin in this house. Since the safety pins never seem to make it back to their container, I started just sticking them into the chicken. We always know where to find a safety pin now.
Update: Several people have asked what lizard sand is. Lizard sand can be purchased from your local pet store. It is merely sand that has been screened and cleaned so that it is suitable for housing your pet lizard in your aquarium. Because it has been sterilized for the lizards, it is perfect for our pincushion--no bugs or surprises in this sand.