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Thread: Hand quilting needle size

  1. #1
    Super Member greaterexp's Avatar
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    What size hand quilting needle do you use and why? I'd like to make my stitches smaller, but have trouble with needles bending with the the finer needle sizes. Thanks for your ideas.

  2. #2
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    I use a #10 and sometimes a #12, but since I have arthritis in my hands I have a little trouble with the 12.

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I use a #11 Roxanne needle and it takes quite a bit of quilting before I bend the needle. If you use a lap hoop it also helps to load the quilt a little looser in the hoop.

  4. #4
    SuzanneTx's Avatar
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    I use a 10 also. That's the one I was taught to use.

  5. #5
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I just saw on Fons and Porter, an old quilter said her grandmother said your quilting needle should be as long as the first knuckle on your index finger.

  6. #6
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    I just saw on Fons and Porter, an old quilter said her grandmother said your quilting needle should be as long as the first knuckle on your index finger.
    man, I don't think that they make them that small for me. Is it from finger tip in our hand out? that makes a huge difference.

  7. #7
    ToucanSam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahm4605
    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    I just saw on Fons and Porter, an old quilter said her grandmother said your quilting needle should be as long as the first knuckle on your index finger.
    man, I don't think that they make them that small for me. Is it from finger tip in our hand out? that makes a huge difference.

    was wondering the same thing....

  8. #8
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    I like to use a 11 of John James or Roxanne. These needles are as short as a 12, but the diameter is the same like a 10 - this prevents bending the needle quickly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    I saw that on F&P, too, and thought "Impossible!", but just took one of my applique needles and measured it from the first knuckle on my index finger to the tip of the finger, and there was 1/4" left. Comparing an applique needle to a between, I'd say that was just about right.

    That said, I have short, stubby fingers, and I usually use an 11 John James

  10. #10
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    I use 10

  11. #11
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    I have had this same question. I bought #10 and I keep breaking them and bending them. I finally gave up and am using a #20. I quilt in an unconventional way so it is working for me now. I can get 10-12 stitches per inch most of the time. I am going to try the 11 John James that Bluphrog uses and see if it works for me.

  12. #12
    Super Member greaterexp's Avatar
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    You all are wonderful! Thanks for the suggestions. I'm sure I just need to practice (and practice!) more.

  13. #13
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    I use quilting and sharps for handquilting and piecing - the size is whatever needle is in good shape on my pincushion. I've never found it made any difference what type or size I used.

  14. #14
    mlcasada's Avatar
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    I'm a thumb quilter and put quite a bit of pressure on my needle when hand quilting. I've found that the two best brands, hands down!, are Roxanne and Foxglove Cottage by Jeana Kimball.

    I actually prefer Jeana Kimball's -- they are strong and consistent in size and strength.

    I can't remember how many different brands I've bought -- TONS -- and found that half would break immediately, the other half bend, and the eye would be "clipped" or bent or otherwise distorted. They don't seem to be consistent in the package. And sizing is different, too.

    I use a size 10. If I know I'm going to be quilting over a lot of seams, I'll go up to a size 9. The extra length and circumference of a bigger needle helps you make more consistent stitches across seams.

    Blessings!

  15. #15
    Junior Member Donna Mae's Avatar
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    I started out with a #9 and now use John James or Roxanne #11 or 12, makes small stitches.

    Happy quilting,
    simple quilter

  16. #16
    SillyStitchin's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried the Thimblelady needles? I loved her thimble so much, the following year I bought a line of her needles. Havn't tried them yet. Had so many of others.

  17. #17
    Kas
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyStitchin
    Has anyone tried the Thimblelady needles? I loved her thimble so much, the following year I bought a line of her needles. Havn't tried them yet. Had so many of others.
    I love her needles. I use them for piecing (medium size) and for needle-turn applique (large size).

  18. #18
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    I use a platium #10 or #11, which ever one I get to first.

  19. #19
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    never heard of the Thimblelady needles so I did a search and found this link

    http://www.softexpressions.com/softw...ks/4FF0852.php

    and link for the needles

    http://www.thimblelady.com.au/produc...etCurrencyId=2

    video to watch (scroll down to find the video)

    http://www.thimblelady.com.au/pages/...ucts-demo.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Kas
    Quote Originally Posted by SillyStitchin
    Has anyone tried the Thimblelady needles? I loved her thimble so much, the following year I bought a line of her needles. Havn't tried them yet. Had so many of others.
    I love her needles. I use them for piecing (medium size) and for needle-turn applique (large size).

  20. #20
    SillyStitchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftybear
    never heard of the Thimblelady needles so I did a search and found this link

    http://www.softexpressions.com/softw...ks/4FF0852.php

    and link for the needles

    http://www.thimblelady.com.au/produc...etCurrencyId=2

    video to watch (scroll down to find the video)

    Went to her site. The needles I have are not threaded like that. They have a regular eye like other needles. I usually don't like the easy threadable needles. They are too big in the eye.

    http://www.thimblelady.com.au/pages/...ucts-demo.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Kas
    Quote Originally Posted by SillyStitchin
    Has anyone tried the Thimblelady needles? I loved her thimble so much, the following year I bought a line of her needles. Havn't tried them yet. Had so many of others.
    I love her needles. I use them for piecing (medium size) and for needle-turn applique (large size).

  21. #21
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo
    I use quilting and sharps for handquilting and piecing - the size is whatever needle is in good shape on my pincushion. I've never found it made any difference what type or size I used.
    Thanks Gollytwo, I don't feel "weird" about using a different sized needle than everyone else.

  22. #22
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I use whatever happens to be near my chair with a large enough eye that I can see to thread it. If the one I pick up doesn't seem to work right I try another one. I've never looked at the size or brand in my entire life. Just use the one that fits your hand and does what you want it to do. My mother had rather delicate tips on her fingers and liked a small needle. I have wide square tipped washer woman hands and fingers, I need a longer needle.

  23. #23
    Super Member greaterexp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyStitchin
    Quote Originally Posted by craftybear
    never heard of the Thimblelady needles so I did a search and found this link

    http://www.softexpressions.com/softw...ks/4FF0852.php

    and link for the needles

    http://www.thimblelady.com.au/produc...etCurrencyId=2

    video to watch (scroll down to find the video)

    Went to her site. The needles I have are not threaded like that. They have a regular eye like other needles. I usually don't like the easy threadable needles. They are too big in the eye.

    http://www.thimblelady.com.au/pages/...ucts-demo.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Kas
    Quote Originally Posted by SillyStitchin
    Has anyone tried the Thimblelady needles? I loved her thimble so much, the following year I bought a line of her needles. Havn't tried them yet. Had so many of others.
    I love her needles. I use them for piecing (medium size) and for needle-turn applique (large size).
    Craftybear, you are the internet search queen! Thank you for these links. How helpful!

  24. #24
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Mine are fairly large. I cannot use the tiny ones. I do not know the number. Will have to take one with me if I want to get more.

  25. #25
    Dianne Lenore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrammaNan
    I have had this same question. I bought #10 and I keep breaking them and bending them. I finally gave up and am using a #20. I quilt in an unconventional way so it is working for me now. I can get 10-12 stitches per inch most of the time. I am going to try the 11 John James that Bluphrog uses and see if it works for me.
    Curious as to what is your unconventional way as if you can get 10-12 stitches per inch, I would like to know how to do it

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