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Thread: ball point /embroidery needles for fmq

  1. #1
    Junior Member bobbiesboutique's Avatar
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    ball point /embroidery needles for fmq

    I just heard on a youtube video that ball point / embroidery needles were the best for fmq and not sharpz microtex etc. because they tend to tear and rip fibers while fmq-ing. And that the threads and quilt would last longer with the use of the ball point needles, what do you all think is this true Im curious if it does in fact make a difference?

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    There are no hard and fast rule ............ there are so many variables of fabrics, battings, threads, and even the machine, to say this is the one!

    This is why we do practice pieces, with the variables according to the specific project.

    I have used embroidery needles, also top stitch needles ..... and yet, both Universals and Quilting needles have worked fine at times. Others, not!
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  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I've never heard this recommendation for quilting on cotton fabric, only on T-shirt quilts. Can you give a link to the youtube video?

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    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    I use a Topstitch needle, for my FMQ.

    I agree with QuiltE ~ "There are no hard and fast rule ............ there are so many variables of fabrics, battings, threads, and even the machine, to say this is the one!"
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammy Dwynn View Post
    I use a Topstitch needle, for my FMQ.

    I agree with QuiltE ~ "There are no hard and fast rule ............ there are so many variables of fabrics, battings, threads, and even the machine, to say this is the one!"
    **tossing in the S that I obviously missed**

    And perhaps should ad "the quilter" as another of those infamous variables!



    Dunster ... ITA ... aren't microtex and ballpoints are not normally mentioned around traditional quilting fabrics.
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  6. #6
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    Even in emb I only use ballpoint for knit type fabric. I normally use either topstitch, sharps or emb, or universal needles in embroidery; this depends on what I'm making. Sometimes you need the sharp tip to go thru the fabric better and it causes less damage. Just like doing FSL on emb, it is all done on stabilizer so you want a sharp to minimize the tearing affects on the stabilizer. I am slowly switching my needles to Inspira though. The eye of the needle is flat where the thread goes against it and therefore it has a less tendancy to shred the thread as most needles with the oval eyes. I'm finding alot of good results from these needles. Like most have said, there is no hard and fast rule to anything and with all of the different types of machines and thread and fabric you can't or shouldn't lock yourself into hard and fast rules on anything.
    Judy

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbiesboutique View Post
    I just heard on a youtube video that ball point / embroidery needles were the best for fmq and not sharpz microtex etc. because they tend to tear and rip fibers while fmq-ing. And that the threads and quilt would last longer with the use of the ball point needles, what do you all think is this true Im curious if it does in fact make a difference?
    Odd, that's the exact opposite of what I've heard for years and years. Universal needles, because of the rounded point are not meant for woven cottons, they're meant for knits. When used on cotton, they push the fabric down and tear threads as they force their way through it. Microtex (aka sharps) and other pointed needles slide neatly between the threads of the weave, they do not cut the threads at all. Check the Schmetz needle and Superior thread websites for more information on needle use.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  8. #8
    Junior Member bobbiesboutique's Avatar
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    Im not sure how to share the link but the persons name is Cristy Fincher titled Free Motion Quilting-Quilt Halo she says her mother is "master quilter Sharon Schambers "who invented the quilt halo but thats what I was watching on youtube and I thought I would ask you gals on here because you always give such great advice and are so kind. I had never heard of this and just thought Id ask thank you for your responses and I do know there are no hard and fast rules I just want to do the best I can and love to learn all I can about Quilting.

  9. #9
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    ballpoints are for knits so don't see why they would be recommended for quilting. I have heard of universals or topstitching but not ballpoint
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  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    ball point needles are good for t-shirt quilts or other *knit fabric* quilts- it is an 'old wives tale' that sharp needles cut the fabric. a ball point needle will be more difficult to sew with and make larger holes on regular cotton fabrics than a good new sharp needle. if working with knits though- ball point is the way to go. for information on needles & threads visit the 'Superior Threads' web site- they have free charts you can print off that will tell you about all the different needles-sizes/types and what to use which one for- also what needle to use with what thread- and what technique for the different threads/needles- they explain the different types/weights of threads, types/sizes of needles- a good resource to answer many questions concerning needles & threads
    Last edited by ckcowl; 08-21-2013 at 01:57 AM.
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  11. #11
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I watched the video and she says the embroidery needle is a ballpoint. According to the Schmetz website, she is right. In fact, several of their needles are described as medium ballpoints. They call the ballpoint needles jersey needles

  12. #12
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Sharon Schamber is one of the best so she knows what she is talking about. I would try the needles and see if they work for me. If I liked them and they are easier on the fabric then that's what I'd use.
    Got fabric?

  14. #14
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Sharon Schamber is one of the best so she knows what she is talking about.
    As do these women:

    Harriet Hargrave, from Heirloom Machine Quilting, on the Quilting needles she uses: "This needle is tapered and slender, and is made with a true sharp point especially for quilting. This design allows the needle to pass through the fabric quickly and smoothly, eliminating skipped and uneven stitched. It is excellent for piecing as well as machine quilting."

    Diane Gaudynski, from Guide to Machine Quilting, on the Sharps needles she uses: "Recently, I have started using the smallest needle I can find for machine quilting...a sharp needle, which makes a tiny, precise hole. It prevents the bobbin thread from coming through to the top or shadowing through."

    Clearly, there are master quilters who recommend several different types of needles for machine quilting. Try some of those that have been mentioned and see which you like best for yourself. As with almost everything else involved with quilting, it's a purely personal decision.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  15. #15
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Ok, help! I am doing free motion quilting and the thread broke twice. once I was using poly on poly thread. by mistake actually. it shredded and got caught up inside my machine. was using a quilting needle, changed to a top stitch 90/12 or 90/14 one with cotton on cotton. I now have half of Santa's beard done but it shredded again. any suggestions on needle size. I thought a larger eye would help too but evidently not.
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