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Thread: Help with sewing machine confusion

  1. #1
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    I am new to the board and have been lurking for a while but finally had to post a question. I have decided to start quilting again after not being able to for a few years. I have made quilts in the past mostly by hand quilting and a bit of piecing on the machine. My grandmother taught me to hand quilt and that was all I knew for awhile. Sewing machines have always intimidated me but I have finally got up the courage to give it a try. I would like to start making my quilts on my machine with minimal hand quilting. Now I am trying to get more acquainted with my sewing machine and according to the quilting book I am planning to use I am supposed to use different size needles for different things. She gives the sizes for each step so that's not a problem. My problem is that I have no idea what needles to actually use. For instance the author says to start the project with and 80/12 Universal needle. All the needles for my machine come with just one number for the size (#11, #14 etc) and none of them say universal. Can I use another brand needle in order to match the size or do I have to stick with the brand of my machine?

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I use the 11 quilting needles for piecing, and the 14 quilting or topstitch for thicker threads for quilting

  3. #3
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    #12 would be = to 80. what kind of machine do you have, most take any brand.
    one number is european, one is i guess american. not sure which is which!

    oh, hit send too soon. the size of needle depends on the project (fabric, thread...)

  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I don't think you have to stick with a particular brand, unless it's an older Singer. I've heard that the Singer needles are longer. I use Organ needles, and I use a 12 or 14 for piecing, and a 16 or 18 for quilting. An 80/12 is the same as a 12. You DON'T want to use a ball point or knit needle - they're hard on woven fabrics and make your machine work harder. I usually use a Top Stitch for piecing.

    Superior Threads has an EXCELLENT page full of information on needles.

    http://www.superiorthreads.com/educa...e-right-needle

  5. #5
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    Everyone else has given you great info, so I will just welcome you to the board from Minnesota, and hope you find it as much fun as the rest of us do!

  6. #6
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Unless they say ballpoint your size 80s are perfect. I use that needle for everything except denim jeans (14) and silky fabrics (9). My Elna prefers Schmertz, but my vintage Singer isn't fussy, except for FMQ, then she wants a Singer needle.

  7. #7
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    Welcome, MamaB! I'm Maia B, but also a mama :). I think a quilting or topstitching (basically the same) will be much better than a universal. My favorites are Superiors, which are made by Organ. Schmetz are good also. Definitely look at the Superior wesite, their info on matching threads and needles is excellent.

  8. #8
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    here is a link to a topic I posted on just this subject.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-123199-1.htm
    Hope that helps you out!

  9. #9
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    Welcome and glad you have decided to jump back in quilting!

  10. #10
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    welcome to the board from minnesota and happy quilting

  11. #11
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    Welcome from Michigan.:)

  12. #12
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    Welcome!

  13. #13
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    I use Schmidt Universal needles when it calls for this.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the replies. I finally understand! I am so glad that I found this site. I have a very simple (but reliable) Kenmore sewing machine. I am hoping that in time I can get something a bit fancier with more bells and whistles but for now I will try to stick with what I have.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Ive been on the board for years but still learn something new at least every week.

  16. #16
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    Sears store also sells sewing machine needles for their machines which is who sells the Kenmores so if you are near a store you can get them there. However Universal needles such as Schmetz work well also

  17. #17
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California!!!

  18. #18
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    Here's a chart for sewing machine needles and their different uses. I found this chart very helpful when I was buying needles recently.

    http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelin...dle_charts.pdf

  19. #19
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    Wow - I learned A LOT from the answers. Thank you for asking the question.

    I learn something new almost every day on this board!

    Welcome back to quilting!

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