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Old 09-19-2010, 07:45 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 113

I have always hand quilted my work. I am only now beginning to explore the possibilities of machine quilting. I have always used the Coats&Clark quilting thread or, if that didn't come in the color I needed, just regular old C&C thread. Yes, I know, not a good idea, but I haven't had any particular problems with the results, over 40 years, though the regular stuff tended to fray and knot during use. But I was used to it, and I figured the quilt police wouldn't be finding me.

For at least 20 years, I've been using Piecemakers #12 betweens for my hand quilting. I don't know how I became convinced that these tiny needles made me somehow "better", but that's what happened. Because they are so short and thin, they bend and break rather easily, and they're really hard to thread. Still, I persevered.

Some years ago at a quilt show, I bought some Mettler and Gutermann hand quilting thread, but when I tried to use it, I couldn't get it through the eye of my tiny needles. So I stored my fancy new threads, until last week when I decided to try them again. I had the same problem - no way to thread the needle. It's not my old eyesight, it's the eye of the needle. But I was in luck! I had some Piecemaker #10 betweens, and that's what this post is all about.

The #10 needles are tons easier to thread and use, they are stronger and I don't have to stab stitch through the parts with seams, I can get more stitches at a time onto the needle, and for some reason, I feel as though I have more control. The better threads are wonderful to use as well - no fraying, tangling and knotting, and they glide through the fabric so easily. I cannot believe the difference!

This difference was reinforced when the better green thread I had bought for the quilt on the frame (I frequently use several colors in my quilting) turned out to be lighter than I wanted. I had just the right shade in the C&C quilting thread, but using this right after using the Gutermann and Mettler, I noticed the thickness of it, and the drag when pulling it through the fabric.

So the moral of this story is...though I hate to admit it...maybe the quilt police have a point or two? LOL And yes, I do tend to be right longwinded. You'll get used to it. *G*

So what needles and threads do the rest of you like for hand quilting? I'll be happy to try something else new.

In case you're interested, here's a link to Piecemakers Needles. They're an old company and excellent to deal with.
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