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Thread: Do you bend needles when hand quilting?

  1. #1
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I'd forgotten about my bending needles when hand quilting on my frame because I've been doing handquilting in a hoop lately. Do any of you have that problem. Is there something I should be doing that I'm not doing? ? Once the needle gets bent it's harder to stitch the straight lines.

    I use short needles (betweens - size 8 or 9) because longer ones bend so badly. Do any of you have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Maybe lessen your tension on your top and get a different brand of needles. I use Roxanne's betweens size 11.

    You might want to PM "Borntohandquilt" Her work is amazing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I would lessen the tension on the top, too.

    Sometimes a whole pack will be defective and bend easier than others. I bend size 12 needles all the time, so now I use size 11 - they're just as long, but a bit sturdier.

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have found that some brands of needles are just (for lack of a better word) crap. Bend no matter what you do with your tension and not sharp at all. I have never handquilted in a frame though, I use a lap hoop.

    I also recommend a size 11 and my preferred brand is Roxanne.

  5. #5
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    I second what is already said - a looser tension may help, also shorter needles like the #11 Roxanne or John James. I also bend size 12...

  6. #6
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    When I took a hand quilting class I asked the same question and she said I was putting too many stitches on the needle at once. I have cut back by a couple of stitches and I haven't bent a needle since.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanniejo
    When I took a hand quilting class I asked the same question and she said I was putting too many stitches on the needle at once. I have cut back by a couple of stitches and I haven't bent a needle since.
    That might help... but I do single stitches and although I bend the #12... it seems to be a matter of strenght I put on the needle.

  8. #8
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I especially bend them when I am doing a lot of curves in a pattern. I have tried all kinds but maybe need to try fewer stitches.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borntohandquilt
    I do single stitches and although I bend the #12... it seems to be a matter of strenght I put on the needle.
    I've bent the 12s taking them out of the package. Maybe my hands are really strong. :roll:

  10. #10
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    My favorite needles are John James number 8's manufactured in England. Since I have been using the needles there have been no more bent or broken needles.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    I've bent the 12s taking them out of the package. Maybe my hands are really strong. :roll:
    I think so! :) You quilt batiks without having any problems...for me it is a proof that your hands are really strong! :thumbup:

  12. #12

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    I had been using Roxanne needles for a long time. Yes, I do bend them.
    An experienced quilter that I know recommended John James gold eye needles. They are stronger and do not bend as easily.

  13. #13
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone..... I've used the John James gold eye needles but it seems that they are harder to pull through the fabric layers. I guess I can't have 'easy to pull through' and 'strong enough to not bend' at the same time. I have learned not to put too much tension on the quilt while it's on the frame. I did that mistake on my first handquilted project.

    I'll try the Roxanne needles if I can find them. Do you all get them at your LQS? I have to go in to pick up the feathers templates so I'll check out the size 11s.

    It's so good to have quilting friends that know the answers to my questions.

  14. #14

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    I use a #11 Roxanne and a #11 John James gold eye. Roxannes are available at most lqs or on line. When I go to the Lancaster quilt show, most of the vendors have them.
    I do not limit the number of stitches I put on my needle unless I am going around a curve and then I put on about 3 or 4

  15. #15
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanna-up-north
    I'd forgotten about my bending needles when hand quilting on my frame because I've been doing handquilting in a hoop lately. Do any of you have that problem. Is there something I should be doing that I'm not doing? ? Once the needle gets bent it's harder to stitch the straight lines.

    I use short needles (betweens - size 8 or 9) because longer ones bend so badly. Do any of you have any suggestions?
    I also bend needles hand-sewing. I have trouble with dropping stuff, so grip too tightly. Having said that, changing it is something else again...I'm working with a bent needle now as I stitch down the binding to the back of my topper.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borntohandquilt
    I think so! :) You quilt batiks without having any problems...for me it is a proof that your hands are really strong! :thumbup:
    Just like Superman...er, Superwoman: capable of bending steel with my bare hands. 8-)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    Just like Superman...er, Superwoman: capable of bending steel with my bare hands. 8-)


    :D :-D Are you afraid of Kryptonite???

  18. #18
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    I don't handquilt, but I applique every day. I start with straight needles, but with time, they bend. They sort of fit my hand better that way so until they are really wonky, I'll keep using them. of course, I only do one stitch at a time and only through the one layer, so it's not a problem.

  19. #19
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    For those who said the needles get stuck going through the fabric - run the needle through your hair. It will slide ever easy. I used to do this with diaper pins. Cloth diapers back then.

  20. #20
    Junior Member rebeccalr's Avatar
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    How do you adjust the top tension when hand quilting? ;-) I have actually broken needles, but haven't noticed them bending.

  21. #21
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Yes. I bend No 11 and No 12. They are so tiny and do a lot of work.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Joy Higdon's Avatar
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    I use betweens11 or 12.

  23. #23
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    I really think its the brand of needle used. I use John James needles size 11 and do not have problems. Also for hand sewing or applique I love Straw needles. they are very fine and go thru the fabric like butter.

  24. #24
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    I bend and break hand quilting needles all the time. I have a large supply of them, so I just discard the bent and broken ones and get out another. fyi: I discard them in my diabetic needle sharp storage container. It's a good place to put bent and rusty pins. Keeps them out of my regular trash.

  25. #25
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    Yes I bend my 12 tweens but it doesnt bother me .I have been quilting for at least 50 years. lol

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