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Thread: Needle Advice for Hand Quilting

  1. #1
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Hi! I always bought my needles for quilting at Walmart, but I see from several posts that there are better needles at the quilt shop. Can you please tell me what type or brand to look for?
    Thanks in Advance!

  2. #2
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    I assume you are asking about hand quilting needles. Is this correct. Any needle that slides through fabric easily and is comfortable to hold is ok. Betweens are for hand quilting. Don't buy the assorted pack that has size 3-9 or 4-10 or whatever because you will use only the smaller sizes and never the larger. I prefer the English made needles because I believe they are stronger. I am told they are all made in the same factory in England. I don't have this info first hand. I do not buy the "designer" labeled needles because they are regular needles with a new name. My sister prefers the Colonial needles, she is a hand quilter. I like the Thomas and usually get size 9.
    Thomas has an assorted pack of betweens that is a good value because it contains sizes 8 , 10, 11 ande 12. I recommend new hand quilters to get this and work down from largest (8) to the size that is comfortable. Other brands you can get at LQS or JoAnns are Hennings, Colonial and of course the Thomas.

  3. #3
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    The company Holice just mentioned is Entaco and they produce several brands of needles, John James and Richard Hemmings for example. I prefer John James 11 because it is a short and strong needle.
    I agree that it's a good idea to purchase a set of needles (betweens) with different sizes, you can try them out and find the right one for your material and your way of quilting.

  4. #4
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I only hand quilt and hand applique and have been for 27 years.

    You can get good handquilting needles at stores like JoAnns and Hancocks too. I also prefer the English brand. You need to fine the size that works best for you. Most of the time I use the real tiny betweens # 11s and 12s. But the most popular seems to be #9 and 10.

    I have several brands I like. I agree don't buy the multi size pack, most of them you probably won't use. I also like the English brands. One of my favorites is Richard Hemming. I also like colonials and John James. I really have never used brands like dritz for hand quilting so really don't have an opinion.

  5. #5
    FunkyMonkey's Avatar
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    why do they call them betweens? And what does John James Pebbles mean?

  6. #6
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyMonkey
    why do they call them betweens? And what does John James Pebbles mean?
    I also wondered why quilting needles were called "betweens" too! :D

  7. #7
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
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    From what I remember, they are called betweens because they are smaller, shorter needles. Maybe they were origionally sizes that were between the longer needle sizes.I will research this unless somebody else knows the answer.

    Ditter

  8. #8
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Wow, you guys are FAST with your advice! Thats why I love this board so much!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I try different brands all the time, just in case I find something better. My current favorites are size 11, sold by Anita Shackelford. They're pricey but worth it. I've also had good luck with Roxanne's.

  10. #10
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I am a John James of England size 11 kinda girl! 8-)

  11. #11
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    As far as I know the needles are also called "demi-longues" or, in German, "halblang". That means there are needles that are longer (milliners, sharps), but also shorter ones.
    The John James pebbles is a little round box with several needles in it and it looks like a pebble or flintstone.

  12. #12
    Pam
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    I KNOW how to hand quilt, just not good at it. I think they are called betweens because once you start hand quilitng on something, you are stuck BETWEEN a rock and a hard place!

  13. #13
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have tried John James and they were ok. I also tried Richard Hemming and the eye was just too tiny and once I got it threaded it bent really fast. My most favorite hand quilting needle are Roxanne needles. Her size 11 is the same as a Richard Hemming 12 and the eye is the largest on the market. They are also nice and sharp and very durable. A Roxanne needle lasts a long time before I bend it. I use the #11 size but will probably order 12 the next time I order. I also really like that they are packaged in a glass tube, 50 to a tube so they last a long time and are nicely protected.

  14. #14
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Pam, I wasn't good at handquilting either until I discovered the correct size needle.

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    John James also offers a brand called "Big Eye" Needles. They have an extra large eye and I know many quilters here who love theses needles!

  16. #16
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    I have tried John James and they were ok. I also tried Richard Hemming and the eye was just too tiny and once I got it threaded it bent really fast. My most favorite hand quilting needle are Roxanne needles. Her size 11 is the same as a Richard Hemming 12 and the eye is the largest on the market. They are also nice and sharp and very durable. A Roxanne needle lasts a long time before I bend it. I use the #11 size but will probably order 12 the next time I order. I also really like that they are packaged in a glass tube, 50 to a tube so they last a long time and are nicely protected.
    I'm going to give the Roxanne needles a try.

  17. #17
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie
    I'm going to give the Roxanne needles a try.
    Keepsake quilting carries them here:
    http://www.keepsakequilting.com/prod...%20needles.htm

    I also just found them here for $1 less scroll down to about the middle of the page
    http://www.colonialneedle.com/cgi-bin/quikstore.cgi

  18. #18
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam
    I KNOW how to hand quilt, just not good at it. I think they are called betweens because once you start hand quilitng on something, you are stuck BETWEEN a rock and a hard place!
    I like that reasoning! :lol: :lol:

  19. #19
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie
    I'm going to give the Roxanne needles a try.
    Keepsake quilting carries them here:
    http://www.keepsakequilting.com/prod...%20needles.htm

    I also just found them here for $1 less scroll down to about the middle of the page
    http://www.colonialneedle.com/cgi-bin/quikstore.cgi
    Yeah, I already ordered them from the Colonial Needle site. Can't wait to get them. I was so excited about the John James needles because I have only used the needles sold in JoAnn's and Walmart--after about a day they look like curved needles! My LQS sells the John James needles 10 for $3.10 so I'm really getting a good deal with the Roxanne's. Thanks for your suggestion!

  20. #20
    FunkyMonkey's Avatar
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    I am a hand quilter, but Pam is right, a couple of times, I could have kicked myself in the butt for the project I started~ I ordered some of those John James needles and another kind, can't remember. I will see what I like.

  21. #21
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnne
    Hi! I always bought my needles for quilting at Walmart, but I see from several posts that there are better needles at the quilt shop. Can you please tell me what type or brand to look for?
    Thanks in Advance!
    Took my first quilting last yesterday. Richard Hemming & Sons (size 10) was recommended. Came home and tried it on a quilt I had started and it works great. Also has a large eye (?) but still need to use a threader.

    Sara in NC

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    I have tried John James and they were ok. I also tried Richard Hemming and the eye was just too tiny and once I got it threaded it bent really fast. My most favorite hand quilting needle are Roxanne needles. Her size 11 is the same as a Richard Hemming 12 and the eye is the largest on the market. They are also nice and sharp and very durable. A Roxanne needle lasts a long time before I bend it. I use the #11 size but will probably order 12 the next time I order. I also really like that they are packaged in a glass tube, 50 to a tube so they last a long time and are nicely protected.
    I have had the exact opposite thing happen. I love Richard Hemming size 11 needles, tried Roxannes and it bent in less than a minute! I use the clover desk top needle threader and the Roxannes needles won't work with it, and the eye is too small for me to thread.

  23. #23
    Super Member CarolinePaj's Avatar
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    hi guys,

    I would love to try hand quilting but when I baste I find it diffucult enough..... do you use the stabbing method?

    Tips and advice please!

    Hugs

    Caroline

  24. #24
    Super Member CAROLJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam
    I KNOW how to hand quilt, just not good at it. I think they are called betweens because once you start hand quilitng on something, you are stuck BETWEEN a rock and a hard place!

    :roll: :lol: how true

    There are a couple of tutorials on youtube on hand quilting. I have not mastered it, but I enjoy it.

  25. #25
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinePaj
    hi guys,

    I would love to try hand quilting but when I baste I find it diffucult enough..... do you use the stabbing method?

    Tips and advice please!

    Hugs

    Caroline
    Hi Caroline,

    I've just started hand quilting and was having a terrible time making my stitches small enough. Went to a quilting class and the instructor told me to quilt "in the shadow" which is 1/4 inch from the seam and comes just below the seams that have been pressed to the side. Works great for me. You might want to try it.

    Sara in NC

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