Monday, February 2, 2009

Needles and Thread

I am getting ready to go out on the road for the spring season. I will be teaching alot of classes on machine quilting. I am still so amazed at how little quilters understand the relationship between the needles in their sewing machines and the quality of work that they produce. One of the key ingredients to being successful with machine quilting is using the right needle for the right thread. I have taken a picture of some of the different needles I use depending on the kind of thread I am working with.
On the left are cotton #30 and #40 weight threads. When I use a cotton thread I always use a quilting needle.
In the middle are Superior Polyester Thread and YLI silk. I use Sharp or Microtex needles when I am using either of these threads, and I adjust the size of the needle to the size of the thread. So if the polyester is a #40 I use an 80 0r 90 size needle. With the silk it is a much thinner weight thread #50# or #100 and I use a smaller needle. That only makes common sense. The last thread on the left is my favorite thread, a #30 weight Rayon thread. I sell this on my website , in the notions section. When I use rayon I use an embroidery needle. All of the needles I have mentioned are sharps, they have a very sharp shaft for puncturing through multiple layers. This makes my machine quilting so much better, and I don't have any issues with my threads breaking or fraying because I am using the correct needle with the kind of thread I am quilting with.
I get a great newsletter about thread from Superior Threads and now they have a new blog, I hope you check it out.
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4 comments:

Diane said...

Thanks, Frieda -- the information you gave here was extremely helpful to me. I use the same threads you do, and I'm always so confused as to which needle goes with which thread. Now I'm going to follow your example!

Diane

Renee said...

Hi Frieda, I love Superior thread and also love the way they tell you which thread goes which what needle. Even how to adjust the tension. It all makes sense when I read your blog, but having the cheat-sheet from Superior always makes helps as well.

Thanks once again for all the useful information.

Renee

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

Shoot....it deleted my comment and the ditto comment...anyway...

Frieda....what black thread do you use in your sewing machine? I have had nothing but trouble with different brands of black threads. It's like they are all flawed....thicker and nubby...I don't use them often, but...

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