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 Hand Quilting Needles by Pawstoquilt

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Registration date : 2008-09-02

PostSubject: Hand Quilting Needles by Pawstoquilt   Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:30 am

Title: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Pawstoquilt on November 28, 2007, 10:29:32 AM
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Just curious---what do you thing is the best and "sharpest" needle brand for hand quilting.
Mine seems to be dragging more than I like. Don't think it is the batting.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: beechbabe on November 28, 2007, 11:18:36 AM
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Hi, I use Clover applique needles or the ones from the " Thimble Lady ". They are a long fine needle. I dont use a hoop though , I lap quilt , but I can get 4 small stitches on my needle at one time. And I also use an " Aunt Becky " finger shield .


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Pawstoquilt on November 28, 2007, 12:16:05 PM
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Thanks--I am rather hard on needles--I wonder if a long thin need would break?
I am not familiar with the Aunt Becky finger shield. Is it the one that goes "under"
the quilt??? I do use a hoop. Shoulders can't handle a frame anymore. Going to
check them both out :santa_afro:.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: gimpy cat on November 28, 2007, 02:00:08 PM
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I was sitting thinking about this very topic myself last night as I was handquilting.
I recently trialled 3 needles. All quilting/betweens, various sizes. I threaded them all with the same thread and then quilted a row with each.

I decided the piecemakers ones were the worst to use (pkt was size 5-10) they were stiff and unweildy and not comfortable to use when compared to the others (to think Id been using htem all this time, duh!) I had another packet of birch size 5 and they were 2nd place for being not very good at all and finally I trialled a Mary Arden (english brand) size 12 needle. Well the difference, lets put it like this. Say you had a thick piece of steak to cut,

piecemakers = plastic butter knife
birch = a metal butter knife
mary arden = a chefs knife

best way I can think to compare. The size 12 is a mongrel at times to thread but I personally found this size and brand to be so very easy and fast to work with. I can get 3-4 stitches on the needle. I dont use a hoop (Im hoop challenged, if I use one people think Im fitting) and I dont have a frame so I lap or kitty quilt (kitty being when one is in my lap and I use it as a prop!!)

Thimbles, well thats another topic perhaps. I only have the old metal ones grandma used and such, whilst they are fine on my finger I seem to fray the thread where it passes through the eye of the needle with them. Anyone else have this happen and what am I doing wrong? Any thoughts or hints, I havent been able to fix it myself and thinking about a leather thimble, perhaps I should dig out that plastic finger shield again. Anything beats the holes dig into my poor finger othewise




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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Pawstoquilt on November 28, 2007, 02:19:42 PM
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Thanks Gimpy!!! Can you get those needles "over here"????? or order them??????

Can't the little things (needles) be a pain in the "tush".


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: gimpy cat on November 28, 2007, 02:25:52 PM
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Paws I dont know if you can get them in the states, Id reckon so you have so much more consumer choice with 300million + compared to our 20million consumers LOL. If you cant Id be happy to send you a packet :-)


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: gimpy cat on November 28, 2007, 02:28:49 PM
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http://www.storesonline.com/site/1295880/product/S-MA_Betweens


Paws I did a quick look and found this, nice and cheap on sale too!


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: sewnsew on November 28, 2007, 02:29:25 PM
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Gimpy, the only time I've had trouble with thread fraying is when I tried using too long piece of thread. The shorter you keep your thread the more the needle repositions as you sew.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: gimpy cat on November 28, 2007, 02:33:25 PM
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Yeah I shortened it recently to about 12", its getting better like that, had been driving me batty, thanks


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: finisher on November 28, 2007, 02:38:57 PM
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I'm using something new for me. John James big eye needles size 10. I normally use a size 12 Clover brand. They bend and break..and can be a bother to thread.I was fed up with them and wanted something new. I bought a couple of packs of the John James needles along with a fabric order this Summer. I LOVE them! They are easy to thread..are very sturdy..and sharp..and smaller than other brand's size 10. I've been quilting away and the needle looks and acts like when I first took it out of the pack. I saw someone mention them this Summer..I can't remember who..thank you to who ever it was though! :santa_smiley:


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: gimpy cat on November 28, 2007, 03:33:11 PM
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Im sure Mark Lipinski likes those ones, there was a conversation about them over on his board recently, havent seen them myself to try. Oh and clover, it was clover brand I trialled against the others not birch DUH, well come on, they are all plants after all


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Gumbiecat on November 28, 2007, 03:56:22 PM
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Hi everyone,

At the risk of sounding self-promoting, I use Roxanne #10 Betweens! :santa_rolleyes:

...okay, I admit my first purchase was an impulse buy, based solely on the fact that package had my name on it, but I was sold the first time I tried them. I gave a couple to the owners of a quilt shop I go to, and they decided to stock them after they took a quick spin!

They're quite short, but the eye is large enough that most people I know can thread them with little difficulty. Really sharp as well. I've used them on applique, hand piecing and hand quilting. This evening I was doing some hand piecing, and really noticed how easy it was to get nice, small stitches.

...oh, and did I mention they come in a little glass vial with a cute little shell glued on top (although I've seen them sold a few at a time)...

Roxanne


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: gimpy cat on November 28, 2007, 04:14:26 PM
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Gumbiecat I have never heard of them before, sound very cutely packaged and like a good needle, will keep an eye out for them, thanks for your input


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Pawstoquilt on November 28, 2007, 04:28:09 PM
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OK.........I'm making my list. Gonna have to go to the QS "needle shopping"
Probably have to have just a little << :santa_wink:>> fabric to try them out on.
Thanks everyone!!!


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: finisher on November 29, 2007, 08:30:30 AM
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Well silly me..all along I've been using Clover brand because that's what is available locally. I guess I never gave much thought to it...other than size. I figured needles were needles. BUT since trying the John James large eye..what a difference!
Paws..it would be a good idea to try a couple of different kinds? AND by all means get a little new fabric to test them out with. Oh the sacrifices we have to make! :santa_wink:


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: jennQT1 on November 29, 2007, 10:45:47 AM
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Thanks for the info. :santa_smiley: I'll have to try Mary Arden needles if I can find them in Canada. I'm terrible on quilt needles...I bend them badly. Roxanne needles bend and snap for me. Currently I'm using John James and they are a bit better but still bend so I go through a lot of needles.

Jenn


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Pawstoquilt on November 30, 2007, 02:51:05 PM
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All righty~~went to the QS today and got couple of new pkg. of needles to try and also some
"finger protectors" to try. Winter storm watch here tomorrow :santa_grin:, 2 new loads of wood~~so,
I AM SET!!!! Ahhhhh yes!!!!


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Grandma Chris on December 02, 2007, 01:25:50 PM
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I like the John James needles also. There is a company in the US that is close to Krafty. It is called Jean S. Lyle. They carry a line of needles from England in Betweens and Straw needles. the website is www.jlyle.com. They are recommended in an applique and quilting forum I am on and the users say they are strong and flexible. I have several needles on hand and haven't ordered any. As soon as I get down I plan on ordering them from this company.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Merry Bee on December 02, 2007, 03:44:43 PM
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Tell me about the straw needles. Are they for quilting?


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Grandma Chris on December 02, 2007, 04:51:24 PM
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They are a long flexible needle used mainly for needle turn applique. Some use them to do basting when they hand baste a quilt sandwich. I have trouble finding them where I am without ordering.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Merry Bee on December 02, 2007, 04:53:37 PM
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I have some "doll needles" I use for basting quilt sands. Are they the same thing? I used these when I was making soft sculpture doll faces. They are very long and handy. But they are probably not the same, because they definitely would not be useful for applique, come to think of it. I recomment them for basting, though.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Gumbiecat on December 03, 2007, 03:45:11 PM
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Hi MerryBee,

I think doll needles are thicker than straw needles at least the ones I've seen.

I took a short course in needleturn applique a couple of years ago, and the lady who taught it recommended straw needles. She does beautiful, detailed flowers and has written a book (Shirley Bloomfield).

They are hard to find here as well, but do give a very fine applique stitches. I found I tended to bend them, though, and the ones I had were relatively long, so it was a bit more difficult to get small stitches.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Candi Gordon on December 03, 2007, 05:38:30 PM
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You all are not going to believe this but I didn't even know what brand needle I used. I checked and the brand is Richard Hemming & Son...Made In England. Size 10 Have any of you ever used them? I haven't had any trouble. The only reason I use them is because the LQS suggested them.

Also, I have something else that might surprise you. I use the Ultra-Thimble or Ultimate Thimble. It's a little metal circle with "dimples". I have tried and tried to use a regular thimble, leather thimble, rubber and plastic. My fingers are claustrophobic just like the rest of my body. I just can't get use to a full thimble. The only problem I have with them is they will fall off if they get the slightest bit wet. I don't quilt so fast that my fingers go into an out and out big time sweat but if my finger gets wet from condensation from a glass, it will come off. It also will come off when the sticky wears off over time.

I also use the Thimble It No More Sore Fingers - the little oval pads to protect your fingers from those painful needle pricks. I cut them in the middle so they look like little chocolate drops or gum drops shape. They are too big if I use a full size one. Then I use the Grip-It on my right index finger to grip the needle.

I do use a 17" square plastic frame when hand quilting.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Just keep in mind that I am claustrophobic.


Thanks,
Candi
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PostSubject: Re: Hand Quilting Needles by Pawstoquilt   Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:30 am

Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Merry Bee on December 03, 2007, 07:41:58 PM
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I use those little metal thimbles, too, sometimes. You can get a pkg of sticky pads to replace the ones that lose their stickem. If you are claustrophobic, you could wear a bathing suit with your ultra thimble. :santa_grin:


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: memaw4 on December 20, 2007, 07:56:08 PM
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Quote from: finisher on November 29, 2007, 08:30:30 AM
Well silly me..all along I've been using Clover brand because that's what is available locally. I guess I never gave much thought to it...other than size. I figured needles were needles. BUT since trying the John James large eye..what a difference!
Paws..it would be a good idea to try a couple of different kinds? AND by all means get a little new fabric to test them out with. Oh the sacrifices we have to make! :santa_wink:



Where can you get these John James needles? Is there a site? Also just to let you all know. I finally sat down the other night and decided I was going to try hand quilting. Wow. I loved it. I have to admit though my stitches aren't spaced real close like a sewing machine stitch, but they don't look at all half bad. :santa_rolleyes:

Kay


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: finisher on December 21, 2007, 06:50:57 AM
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Kay..I'm so happy to hear you enjoy the hand quilting. The stitches get better the more you do it. There are a number of places you can get the John James needles. A couple of places...www.amazon.com and www.hancocks-paducah.com.

I just finished a quilt and broke one needle doing it. The needles didn't bend at all like the Clover brand usually do. I liked the large eye too. It's so much easier to thread.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: stitchinjj on December 21, 2007, 12:00:37 PM
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I haven't hand quilted in several years, but am getting ready to load up my frame and hand quilt a wedding ring. I just bought one of those needle threader contraptions from Clover. The quilting needles I have, can't recall the name, won't work in it. I had thought to buy a Clover needle. Does anyone use this threader and recommend a quilting needle that it will thread?


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: memaw4 on December 21, 2007, 03:46:32 PM
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Quote from: finisher on December 21, 2007, 06:50:57 AM
Kay..I'm so happy to hear you enjoy the hand quilting. The stitches get better the more you do it. There are a number of places you can get the John James needles. A couple of places...www.amazon.com and www.hancocks-paducah.com.

I just finished a quilt and broke one needle doing it. The needles didn't bend at all like the Clover brand usually do. I liked the large eye too. It's so much easier to thread.


Finisher, thank you so much. My DD gave me money for Christmas so now I know where to go to spent it! :santa_cheesy: I went into JoAnn Fabric's today and unloaded some of it off on them! I'm going to sit down in a little while and quilt some more. I really do hope they get better with time. I need to remember I'm really new to hand quilting and that it will take time to perfect it.

Kay


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: TxMaryQuilts on December 21, 2007, 03:55:57 PM
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Kay, I think the fact that you are hand quilting is awesome. Even if you don't think your stitches are perfect, I bet everyone else does.

When you are done, send me the quilt and I will give you an honest opinion on your stitches. Then if I don't accidently lose your address :santa_rolleyes: I will send it back! how's that? :santa_evil:


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: memaw4 on December 21, 2007, 04:44:32 PM
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Quote from: TxMaryQuilts on December 21, 2007, 03:55:57 PM
Kay, I think the fact that you are hand quilting is awesome. Even if you don't think your stitches are perfect, I bet everyone else does.

When you are done, send me the quilt and I will give you an honest opinion on your stitches. Then if I don't accidently lose your address :santa_rolleyes: I will send it back! how's that? :santa_evil:



Your on! I was just on line at Paducah looking at their John James needles and I have no clue what size I need. Right now I'm using a rather long one. What is the right size anyway? And it doesn't say how many you get in a package. Boy, I have a lot to learn don't I? :santa_embarrassed:

Kay

I'm off for now, but will check back sometime tomorrow. Gotta go quilt........ :santa_grin:


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Merry Bee on December 21, 2007, 05:59:17 PM
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Memaw, I have done some hand quilting, enough to know that there are a lot of different opinions on the subject, and what works for one isn't necessarily the first choice of another person. Here is what little I know about it:

Remember, the larger the number, the shorter then needle. Most people start out with a larger size, 9 or 10. sizes 11-12 are smaller needles.

My needles invariably bend as I use them, and I love them best when they are bent.

Sizes of needles vary between companies, and the numbering is not standard between companies. Go figure.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Candi Gordon on December 22, 2007, 04:07:34 AM
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I went to AC Moore and found something nifty. It is called a Nimble. It is black leather thimble with a little metal circle to protect finger. I never liked a thimble and used the Ultimate Thimble (as described in previous post above). It has a slit that your finger nail can protrude out of the thimble. It doesn't give me that sweaty, claustrophobic feeling of a metal thimble. I like it. It's black and goes with everything. :santa_cheesy:

Also, went to LQS and picked up John James needles 10 & 11. I haven't used any of them yet. I also went to JoAnn's and picked up a Fons & Porter template for triangles. I'm getting ready for some serious quilting. LOL After Christmas and New Year is over and done...I am going to quilt until the spring bulbs pop up!!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very healthy and Happy New Year!!
Candi


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: finisher on December 22, 2007, 05:54:51 AM
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Kay..the ones I've been using are size 10 and there's 20 in a package. I think all of the large eye ones have that many in a pack. I had been using a 12 Clover brand..but they would bend so much for me...and of course, break. The John James 10 is a tad longer than the Clover 12..and as Merry Bee said..most people start out with a 9 or 10 and go to the smaller needles once they are ready. I think the smaller needles will make smaller stitches, but the most important thing to do when you are starting out is to make your stitches regular and even. I feel like the needle is an extension of my finger and I prefer them on the shorter side. There's no right or wrong..just whatever you prefer.
It would be nice if they came in an assortment pack that was nicely labeled, but I suppose they wouldn't sell as many starter packs so it wouldn't be worth it to them?

Candi..it sounds like you have a good plan! I'm anxious for the holidays to be over so I can focus on some "power quilting" too. :santa_wink:
Years ago I tried a leather thimble. It was like a tip cut off a glove. I tried it because I was having trouble getting used to a regular thimble. Back then, the first ones didn't have any metal in them. One day I was quilting along and had to push to get the needle through some bulky seams and the blunt end of the needle pierced right through the leather, which was becoming worn...into my finger. Man did that hurt! I'm happy to see they are now putting that metal in there!

I find in the Winter my fingers get smaller and my usual thimble wants to fall off. I find if I wet my finger before putting the thimble on it will stay better.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: memaw4 on December 22, 2007, 08:15:15 AM
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Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I plan to go to the Paducah site and get some John James needles ordered.

I wish you all the best Christmas this year.

happy quilting,
Kay


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: stitchinjj on December 22, 2007, 01:21:01 PM
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I just got out all my needles. I found a pack of Richard Hemming size 9 betweens with large eyes. The Clover needle threader works great with them. Like I said, I haven't quilted by hand in ages, so don't know if I can still buy them. But the pack has 10 so maybe that will be plenty to quilt the one I want to do by hand.


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: tlcquiltnut on January 02, 2008, 05:02:17 PM
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I love to hand quilt and think I have every needle in the book , but I too like the John James large eye. I use an 11 in them. Love to uses a 12 also. Get 4 stitches on a needle.
I like to use straw needles for binding. They glide through the fabric nicely.... tlcquiltnut


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: Pookie on January 06, 2008, 02:27:01 AM
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I for the first time hand quilted part of quilt and tried the size 12 needles mentioned by Gimpy Cat lets just say I am only 35 and neither myself or DH could thread them at all after half an hour I gave up... Having said this I used Mary Arden Size 9 and this was a breeze after a little practice... I think maybe my stitches could be slightly smaller but they appeared even.. I am waiting to see my sister and get her opinion she is a big hand quilter...And the best of all was this was going on my UFO list for 2008 and I finished it on December 31st... Most Pleased :santa_cheesy:


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Title: Re: Hand quilting needles????
Post by: finisher on January 06, 2008, 05:41:35 AM
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LOL Pookiie..about threading the needles! During the Summer I was doing a lot of applique. I was using the #12 Clover needles I had gotten so used to. DS and his wife were here for a visit and a button popped off DS's shirt as we were getting ready to out to eat. I grabbed a needle from my case and tried to thread it so I could make a quick repair. I didn't grab my glasses. however. I was standing there trying to thread the needle..with no luck when DIL told me to give it to her..she could get it threaded. I handed it over..and after several tries..she asked if I was sure there was a hole in the needle? :santa_shocked: LOL. It's easier when you are sitting..and there's not a group of people waiting on you to it quickly. :santa_wink: I do prefer the large eye needles I'm using now!
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