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Thread: ? for hand piecers

  1. #1
    Super Member SuzyQ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    ? for hand piecers

    What kind of needle do you use? Size? I'm doing some hand piecing and I can't seem to find a needle long enough and strong enough that will go through the fabric easily. Maybe I have too much starch? I'm trying to use Jinny Breyer's method of piecing so I have a good bit of pressure on the needle and the thin ones that go through the fabric easily are bending. Any suggestions?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I've been using straw needles, which are thin. They might not work for you. I've used John James sharps in the past, and they've been good.


  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I don't use starch, but I just use whatever needle happens to be handy. The only times I've had trouble have been when I found an 'old' needle that had a rusty spot on one side. I really like using the long thin needles. Yes, they may bend a bit, but sometimes that can be helpful too, especially when hand quilting. Just have to be sure the bend is facing the way you want it to so you don't get wiggles where you don't want them.
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  4. #4
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't do any hand piecing so I can't make any good recommendations. For hand quilting I use S.Thomas & Sons #10 betweens. John James are good too and I've used them also. There is nothing worse then needles that bend, I hate that! You might have some luck with appliqué needles?

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Blog Entries
    i don't starch or use fusables of any kind when hand piecing- generally i use sharps or milner needles- John James most of the time- the size depends on the thread i am using.
    if you need help with thread/needle sizes--visit the Superior Thread web site- they have free charts showing what needles to use with what threads---weights, sizes, differences.
    pre-washing fabrics helps soften them up-making hand piecing easier too. i'm working on a Jenny Beyer quilt by hand too the moon glow quilt. I love her patterns/designs- and i love to hand piece
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Southern Indiana
    I use a #8 embroidery needle to hand piece, its easier for me to thread, but my stitches are still small.

  7. #7
    Member monkicat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    The Netherlands
    After trying different brands and sizes, I find that John James #11 sharps work very well for me
    for hand piecing ( and often hand appliqué too ). The #12 sharps are wonderful to get the tiny stitches, but
    I also hold my needles like Jenny Beyer does and #12's bend a bit too soon for me.
    (._.) Heidi

    It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult
    - Seneca

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