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Thread: hand quilting needle?

  1. #1
    Member barbie50's Avatar
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    I am going to be doing some hand quilting. I bought size 10 quilting needles and some quality thread, but the eye on the needle is too little, and I can't thread it. What am I doing wrong?!?

  2. #2
    saf
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    Absolutely nothing. I had the same experience then learned that different brands of needle have different size eyes although they may all be size 10s. I tried 3 different makes and found that Roxanne's were the best for me. Also, have you tried a needle threader?

  3. #3
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    have you tried a needle threader? Maybe you need a thinner thread?

    I wish I could show you how I thread a needle, my MIL used to think it was so weird. I have the thread (end moistened) between my thumb and index finger of left hand, nails almost touching, then roll them open so thread end is exposed while holding needle eye right next to it. Does that make any sense? in other words I do not poke the thread at the needle.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kehoeta's Avatar
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    Did you know that many needles have a right side and a wrong side? If you flip it over - sometimes you can thread them much easier.

  5. #5
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    also one end of the thread will be easier than the other. I forget which it is, the part that comes off the spool first or last, DH is always rewinding onto other spools so I lose track.

  6. #6
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    How timely! I've just been to 2 quilt shops today looking at hand-quilting. Joann's has a very poor selection and no hand-quilting thread unless you want Mettler or Sulkey. (sp?) metallic or embroidery. I did at the other store find John James Big Eye and saw the Hammond Big Eye. Got the Jon James. At the 20 for $2 I decided I'd try them first. Could not believe that the spiffy little LQS in out town doesn't even have any hand-quilting needles!! And no thread!

  7. #7
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    also one end of the thread will be easier than the other. I forget which it is, the part that comes off the spool first or last, DH is always rewinding onto other spools so I lose track.
    First! Once threaded I like to take the thread end and pass it back through the eye, then pull the loop down and over the needle point then slid up to behind the eye. I learned that on here and it just feels so secure as I have to do one stitch at a time. Only time its a pain is when you want to "un-sew" a few stitches, then re-thread and continue.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MIJul's Avatar
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    Try to cut your thread on an angle to give it more of a point. Sometimes using wax will help make the thread stiffer, too.

    I have a heck of a time threading them. Sometimes it feels like I'm trying to thread worsted weight yarn instead of thread.

    Another tip I use is that I thread a whole bunch of needles at once and leave them on the spool. That way if I'm on a roll while quilting, I can just keep going rather than stop and fight to thread the needle.

  9. #9
    saf
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    Tip from friend. Do not wet the thread - wet the eye of the needle also use the end of the thread as it pulls off the spool not the end nearest the spool and cut the end at a slant.

  10. #10
    Member barbie50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsie
    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    also one end of the thread will be easier than the other. I forget which it is, the part that comes off the spool first or last, DH is always rewinding onto other spools so I lose track.
    First! Once threaded I like to take the thread end and pass it back through the eye, then pull the loop down and over the needle point then slid up to behind the eye. I learned that on here and it just feels so secure as I have to do one stitch at a time. Only time its a pain is when you want to "un-sew" a few stitches, then re-thread and continue.
    Great tip! I will try this. I am also going to order some Roxanne needles. Hope that with the larger eye, I can use the thicker quilting thread.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Along with all the other suggestions here, I cut my thread on an angle, so it goes through the eye easier. And sometimes wetting the eye of the needle helps wick the thread through.

    Janet

  12. #12
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    If you are beginning to hand quilt, you might try a slightly larger needle - say a #8 or #9 between. Then work down in size to a smaller needle.

  13. #13
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saf
    Tip from friend. Do not wet the thread - wet the eye of the needle also use the end of the thread as it pulls off the spool not the end nearest the spool and cut the end at a slant.
    Yup, this is how I do it, I also use this method on my sewing machine needles. Works like a charm.:)

  14. #14
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for your information Holice

    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    If you are beginning to hand quilt, you might try a slightly larger needle - say a #8 or #9 between. Then work down in size to a smaller needle.

  15. #15
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    Ok, I confess. Size 10s are just too darned little. I use size 8, even for quick hand quilting a size 7. Send the quilt police, I'm ready to go.

  16. #16
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmadder
    Ok, I confess. Size 10s are just too darned little. I use size 8, even for quick hand quilting a size 7. Send the quilt police, I'm ready to go.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saf
    Tip from friend. Do not wet the thread - wet the eye of the needle also use the end of the thread as it pulls off the spool not the end nearest the spool and cut the end at a slant.
    I do that too. Makes people look at you funny but it is way easier.

  18. #18
    Junior Member scrappycats's Avatar
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    I found not to wet the thread - after all it is cotton and while wet would be larger.

    Hand quilting can be so relaxing and fun if you don't worry about the size of your stitch. It is better to have even larger stitches than to have some small, some large and some medium stitches. Though once your get a portion of the quilt done, you will find they all kinda look the same.

  19. #19
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    .....and some of the best thread for hand quilting is the Americana thread at Joann's for 99 cents. Is made by A&E Thread Company. Limited colors but very good.

  20. #20
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    I always put chapstick on when I'm doing handwork to make wetting the thread for putting through the needle easier. It works good for me, anyway :-)

  21. #21
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    If using a needle threader besure and use round eye needles or John James needles. Took me awhile to learn to read the instructions on the package of threader.

  22. #22
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    What I have learned...I've tried just about every needle on the market I think. I use Roxanne needles - usually 11's or 12's. The only threader to use (particularly with 12's) is the Roxanne threaders - they hold up much better. As others have said, start threading with the end of thread farthest from the spool. Sometimes a slant definetly helps. I also really like Americana thread but it is a bit bulky. I also use Thread Heaven thread conditioner before threading my needle. Prefer it much more than beeswax. Keeps the tangles down to a dull roar also. If I set the thread aside for a bit I will re-condition. Good luck. Don't worry about stitch size just try to get consistent stitches. It will all come with time.

  23. #23
    Super Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    love all the tips

  24. #24
    Senior Member Traditional's Avatar
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    I love mettlers waxed hand quilting thread I have tried several brands and this one is at the top of my list. YLI is my second choice.
    John James quilting needles( (I don't care for the big eye) Roxanne are excellent. A new quilter I start my class off with a size 8 and when they are comfortable with it I suggest they change to a size 9 or 10.
    Thread your needle then cut your thread and knot it.
    Clover has the most wonderful little" Desk Needle Threader" cost 14.00 .I had a blind gentleman (he was a quilter) in the Qs he was sharing that his family had to thread his needles I workded with him a short time and he left so excited He could thread his own needles with the Desk Needle T.
    Good Luck!

  25. #25
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I use a #11 Big Eye Quilting needle by John James. However, you would need a needle threader for that, also. I bought a desk top needle theader from my LQS and it's my most used tool. Well worth the $15 (???).

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