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Thread: How do you know what size needle & thread to use

  1. #1

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    What size needle and what kind of thread do you use when
    making a quilt? I have a Singer Quatum 9960.

  2. #2
    Senior Member katybob's Avatar
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    It usually depends on the type of batting you use. I most often use a 90/14 topstitch or quilting needle and 40-weight cotton thread, but not always. There's great advice on www.superiorthreads.com

  3. #3
    Super Member dltaylor's Avatar
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    thanks for the link

  4. #4
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    For hand needles, the larger the number on the needle, the thinner the needle....For hand quilting, I use a number 9 or 10 between.

    Sewing machine needles are different. The larger the number, the thicker the needle. And sewing machine needles have 2 numbers. 70/10 is a thin needle for delicate work. 90/14 is thicker and works well for denim, etc. The standard size is 80/12.

    Thread numbers get larger the thinner the thread. Standard sewing thread is #50. Quilting thread is a little thicker (and I always try to get the waxed kind for strength) #40. When I machine quilt I make sure that the top thread and bobbin thread are the same. If they aren't most machines will revolt!! .... don't forget to check the tension when changing thread.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Hello, don't want to insult your intelligence but never use hand quilting thread in your machine. Lisa

  6. #6

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    Thank you very much for that information. I was practicing free motion quilting yesterday and I kept having problems with my top thread showing through to the bottom. I did make some adjustments to top and bottom tension. I helped some. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the speed I was moving my material, or type batting, or needle size.

  7. #7
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisalovesquilting
    Hello, don't want to insult your intelligence but never use hand quilting thread in your machine. Lisa
    Unless, of course the thread is clearly marked "suitable for hand or machine quilting". If it is marked this way you can safely use it in your machine. A good example is Valdani hand quilting thread. You can use it in your machine because it is not coated.

  8. #8
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Not to worry, no insult taken...... I don't use hand quilting thread in my machine but I have purchased heavier thread that works just fine. I wouldn't ever use differnt sized threads in my featherweight or treadle machine but my Viking tolerates it fine..... I haven't had any problems. I just made cushions for some antique wicker chairs and used the heavier thread. They came out lovely.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    I get the quilting needles for my machine when putting the blocks together and I use Aurofil; it's a great thread and being only 2 ply it helps keep my blocks the size they need to be plus it's all cotten and with this one it has very little lint to build up in your machine.

  10. #10

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    Thank you for that information. I just need someone in my area who can show me those kind of things. I bought a Accuquilt Go for cutting my squares, triagles, strips etc. I know how to sew them together but it is knowing what the right fabric, thread, needle, batting etc. to use that is confusing me.

  11. #11

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    Wow, very nice cushions. Maybe one day I will be able to make something like that. I have some pool furniture that needs new cushions.

    Right now I am feeling a little discouraged. It all seems a little over whelming.

  12. #12
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Not to worry...... and don't get discouraged. I've been sewing over 50 years and quilting for at least 30. It takes time to branch out. You should feel GREAT that you are doing any sewing or quilting. There are tons of people out there that don't have the courage to even begin. And you have found a fantastic group of people that are willing to help anytime you ask. I still ask questions from time to time..... you can never learn too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Thank you for that information. I just need someone in my area who can show me those kind of things. I bought a Accuquilt Go for cutting my squares, triagles, strips etc. I know how to sew them together but it is knowing what the right fabric, thread, needle, batting etc. to use that is confusing me.
    The accuquilt is a great tool; make sure you watch the grain so it cuts accurately. Most people use cotton for fabric because it hold up well and most recommend cotton thread; same fabric, same thread. I say most because there are so many choices and people find what works for them and that's great. Me; I go with cotton fabric and cotton thread. Do searches and on the batting because like most things there are many choices and more points of views as to which is the best. Some machines will dictate the thread choice; some don't care. Just buy small quanities until you find out what works for you and keep asking questions. You will always get mulitple answers but then you'll have mulitple choices to try and find the right fit for you

  14. #14

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    Thank you Judy I will do that. I have written everything down and will go to JoAnn's on my lunch break to purchase thread and needles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Thank you Judy I will do that. I have written everything down and will go to JoAnn's on my lunch break to purchase thread and needles.
    You may not find Aurofil at Joann's but look for all cotton thread; they have several to choose from. When piecing blocks w/alot of different colors I was taught to just go with a neutral or natural color; it'll blend with most items. I've made several quilts this way and you can't tell from the top what's on the bottom. Use the same thread in your bobbin as in the top thread for less problems

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Thank you Judy I will do that. I have written everything down and will go to JoAnn's on my lunch break to purchase thread and needles.
    You may not find Aurofil at Joann's but look for all cotton thread; they have several to choose from. When piecing blocks w/alot of different colors I was taught to just go with a neutral or natural color; it'll blend with most items. I've made several quilts this way and you can't tell from the top what's on the bottom. Use the same thread in your bobbin as in the top thread for less problems
    Do you know how to do free motion quilting on a home sewing machine? I was using two different color threads on a practice quare with a light fabric on top and dark on the bottom. My top threads were showing on the bottom and the stitches didn't look even. Some would be little and some were longer. I watched a couple of videos and they both said to set my stitch lenghth to 0 since I would be controlling the speed. Could the thread showing on the bottom be caused if I was using the wrong needle size or the wrong kind of thread.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Thank you Judy I will do that. I have written everything down and will go to JoAnn's on my lunch break to purchase thread and needles.
    You may not find Aurofil at Joann's but look for all cotton thread; they have several to choose from. When piecing blocks w/alot of different colors I was taught to just go with a neutral or natural color; it'll blend with most items. I've made several quilts this way and you can't tell from the top what's on the bottom. Use the same thread in your bobbin as in the top thread for less problems
    Do you know how to do free motion quilting on a home sewing machine? I was using two different color threads on a practice quare with a light fabric on top and dark on the bottom. My top threads were showing on the bottom and the stitches didn't look even. Some would be little and some were longer. I watched a couple of videos and they both said to set my stitch lenghth to 0 since I would be controlling the speed. Could the thread showing on the bottom be caused if I was using the wrong needle size or the wrong kind of thread.
    It's probably from your tension or you could be moving your fabric fast. If your machine has a setting to slow it down take it to the lowest #. Normally the way it goes is if the thread on top of the fabric is messig up; it's the bobbin tension and if the thread on the bottom of the fabric is messing up it's the top tension. I've also hears about changing the stitch length and tension. I'm no expert on FMQ either but I've been watching alot of videos and hanging out here on the board. Here is a site that I like and want to order her beginners cd's.

    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/
    I really like her and she's easy to understand. Missiouri quilts also have some tutorials on their site. I watch all that I can find in case one technique doesn't work I can chose a different one. Let me know how you like the site.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Thank you Judy I will do that. I have written everything down and will go to JoAnn's on my lunch break to purchase thread and needles.
    You may not find Aurofil at Joann's but look for all cotton thread; they have several to choose from. When piecing blocks w/alot of different colors I was taught to just go with a neutral or natural color; it'll blend with most items. I've made several quilts this way and you can't tell from the top what's on the bottom. Use the same thread in your bobbin as in the top thread for less problems
    Do you know how to do free motion quilting on a home sewing machine? I was using two different color threads on a practice quare with a light fabric on top and dark on the bottom. My top threads were showing on the bottom and the stitches didn't look even. Some would be little and some were longer. I watched a couple of videos and they both said to set my stitch lenghth to 0 since I would be controlling the speed. Could the thread showing on the bottom be caused if I was using the wrong needle size or the wrong kind of thread.
    It's probably from your tension or you could be moving your fabric fast. If your machine has a setting to slow it down take it to the lowest #. Normally the way it goes is if the thread on top of the fabric is messig up; it's the bobbin tension and if the thread on the bottom of the fabric is messing up it's the top tension. I've also hears about changing the stitch length and tension. I'm no expert on FMQ either but I've been watching alot of videos and hanging out here on the board. Here is a site that I like and want to order her beginners cd's.

    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/
    I really like her and she's easy to understand. Missiouri quilts also have some tutorials on their site. I watch all that I can find in case one technique doesn't work I can chose a different one. Let me know how you like the site.
    Daystyledesigns is who I have been watching and also a you tube video by Patsern. I really like Day Style also she explains everything really well. My macine in brand new so I guess I just need to keep playing around with it until I can figure out what I am doing wrong.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Thank you Judy I will do that. I have written everything down and will go to JoAnn's on my lunch break to purchase thread and needles.
    You may not find Aurofil at Joann's but look for all cotton thread; they have several to choose from. When piecing blocks w/alot of different colors I was taught to just go with a neutral or natural color; it'll blend with most items. I've made several quilts this way and you can't tell from the top what's on the bottom. Use the same thread in your bobbin as in the top thread for less problems
    Do you know how to do free motion quilting on a home sewing machine? I was using two different color threads on a practice quare with a light fabric on top and dark on the bottom. My top threads were showing on the bottom and the stitches didn't look even. Some would be little and some were longer. I watched a couple of videos and they both said to set my stitch lenghth to 0 since I would be controlling the speed. Could the thread showing on the bottom be caused if I was using the wrong needle size or the wrong kind of thread.
    It's probably from your tension or you could be moving your fabric fast. If your machine has a setting to slow it down take it to the lowest #. Normally the way it goes is if the thread on top of the fabric is messig up; it's the bobbin tension and if the thread on the bottom of the fabric is messing up it's the top tension. I've also hears about changing the stitch length and tension. I'm no expert on FMQ either but I've been watching alot of videos and hanging out here on the board. Here is a site that I like and want to order her beginners cd's.

    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/
    I really like her and she's easy to understand. Missiouri quilts also have some tutorials on their site. I watch all that I can find in case one technique doesn't work I can chose a different one. Let me know how you like the site.
    Daystyledesigns is who I have been watching and also a you tube video by Patsern. I really like Day Style also she explains everything really well. My macine in brand new so I guess I just need to keep playing around with it until I can figure out what I am doing wrong.
    It takes time like all things. I have a couple of different machines and so far they've all played well. I have an older Viking that should come back from the shop soon so I'll have another toy to learn on and to see if it has any querks. My Viking mega quilter recommends the aurofil so I'll try it but this machine also has an embroidery machine so that's where the playing and frustrations will begin I'm sure.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ploverwi2's Avatar
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    I agree with your comment. Years back, I used hand quilting in my machine, and it could not be repaired at all, after I used it. I could have cried. I think I did.

  21. #21
    Member SuperiorThreads's Avatar
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    I love those cushions nana-up-north. I want to sit and read a book on them.
    The size of the needles depends on the size of the thread. Use a 70/10 needle for very fine threads like silk, 60 wt threads or clear monofilament threads. The 80/12 is great for piecing threads like 50 wt threads. The 90/14 are great for the 40 wt threads. And 100/16 are needed for the 30 wt or heavier threads. We suggest a topstitch needle as the groove down to the eye is deeper protecting the thread from rubbing and fraying and the eye is larger, again protecting the thread (and saving our eyes when we thread them).
    When purchasing cotton threads make sure you use a long or, better yet, extra long staple cotton. Anything other than that or if it the staple isn't mentioned at all, will cause a lot of lint and isn't as strong.

    Ricci
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-05-2013 at 02:28 PM.

  22. #22
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    It depends on the thickness of your sandwich and the thickness of the thread you are using. I usually use 90/14 topstitch needle and 40 weight thread. However, sometimes it becomes 100/16 and 12 weight thread. You are best advised not to use hand quilting thread in your machine as the coating can interfere with your tension discs. Mettler quilting thread is OK to use in the machine, but the other brands have coatings on them and are good for hand quilting. I use number 9 betweens for hand quilting.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the information/link to superior threads.

  24. #24
    Senior Member LindaDeeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantabe quilter
    Thank you very much for that information. I was practicing free motion quilting yesterday and I kept having problems with my top thread showing through to the bottom. I did make some adjustments to top and bottom tension. I helped some. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the speed I was moving my material, or type batting, or needle size.
    It takes practice ... but oh so worth the effort! If your top thread is showing on the back, try tightening the top tension just a tad at a time! Use scrap fabric layered just like your quilt to practice and adjust your tensions until it's good. Keep practicing! You'll begin to get the feel of moving & controlling the fabric and you'll really enjoy it! It's not something you learn instantly! The ONLY way to learn FMQ is practice! :)

  25. #25
    Super Member ksea's Avatar
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    I refer to this website for all my thread questions
    http://www.superiorthreads.com/?gcli...FQLsKgodmn6AqA

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