Monday, February 24, 2014

sewing machine needles

A few days ago, on my drive back home; I was thinking of my latest project and how to quilt it. I am in the process of sewing a table runner, but have set the project aside until I make a decision. I anxiously want to practice free motion quilting, but my sewing machine is not suited for it. I kept tossing the idea back and forth, a simple stitch in the ditch quilting pattern or should I just go for it and try the free motion quilting and risk having a badly quilted table runner? I did end up deciding on a simple straight line stitch in the ditch pattern (which is sewing in the gap between fabrics).

My version of free motion quilting
See! Not good.

What came to mind while reviewing all these thoughts in that long drive was that I may be using the wrong needle. Maybe that's why I am not able to explore free motion quilting as much as I would like to. It was an aha! moment. When researching it I found out I was right; it is most likely my sewing machine, but also I could use a more appropriate needle. This gave me the idea to post what I have learned about needles on the length of this sewing journey. Which is not a lot, but is plenty of knowledge I wish I had a few months ago.

  • You must change the needle around every 8 hours of sewing. Even if you think it's still good, and it hasn't broken or bent.
  • Needles sizes vary. The larger the size the stronger the needle, but the thicker the holes will be if used on the wrong kind of fabric.
  • Universal (to sew everything) needles are 90/14 (European #  / American #). The order in which the numbers are presented is not important
  • Quilting needles are 75/11 (round point and thinner needle).
  • The universal needle 90/14 could be used for quilting, it will just leave a bit of a bigger hole than the quilting needle. It is not wrong to use either.
  • I use 110 /18 for top stitching or when sewing through way beyond too many layers of fabric.
**There is  a lot more to needles, but this is all I ever use. I am sharing what I know and what I use for my projects.

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