I have been working hard on hand quilting my quilt, but am having some problems. It is nothing I can't deal with, but I'm just wondering if anyone here would have a suggestion or tip.
I'm using Richard Hemming & Son large eye needles, #11. Threading the needle isn't too much of a problem as long as the thread is fresh from the spool. It seems to me that it isn't really any easier than it was when I used to use regular eye #10 needles. These were the only ones I could find in the town where I live. Walmart had some, but they were junk. They bent after the first few minutes of use. It is hard to quilt a straight line with a bent needle. So I went to my LQS. This was all they had.
Anyway, I don't know if it is the smaller size or the larger eye, but I am having a real problem not only trying to grasp the needle, but pulling it through the fabric when it contains any more than two stitches. It will take forever to quilt at that rate. It is also very hard on my thumb. When I attempt to grip the needle, most times it slips right through my fingers. I can't seem to get traction (sorry, NASCAR season just started). I've even tried roughing up the needle with a little emery paper. That helped a little. I'm thinking some kind of device on my thumb might help. Any suggestions?
An unrelated issue--I've bent two needles and broken one. I was pulling it through and apparently don't know my own strength because the needle snapped, right at the base of the eye. The tip went flying. Fortunately for my cats paws, I found it.
Also, I'm using a standard thimble, the same one I have used for seven other quilts with no problem, but I'm thinking it may be time to go thimble shopping. I am having to wrap my finger, (I usually use my index finger) with a cloth bandage in order to not injure my finger with the edge of the thimble. Does anyone know of another type of thimble that might work better? I want to quilt every night in front of the tube, but there are days I have to simply rest my hand.
Thanks in advance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.