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Needle size for machine quilting

Needle size for machine quilting

Old 08-09-2017, 04:33 AM
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Default Needle size for machine quilting

I've always used a size 14 for machine quilting. Yesterday I was reading a article in a magazine that says for 50 wt thread you should be using a size 12. News to me! What size do you use and does it make a difference? Where do you get your size 12's from? Thank you!
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:40 AM
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I use whatever needle is handy usually it's a 90/14 quilting needle.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:44 AM
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Are quilting needles different from sewing needles? Those of you who quilt on your DSM, do you change to a different sort of needle for quilting?
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by joe'smom View Post
Are quilting needles different from sewing needles? Those of you who quilt on your DSM, do you change to a different sort of needle for quilting?
I usually go up a size, from a 12 or 14 for piecing to a 16 or 18 for quilting. I find that if I don't use a 16 or 18, I get skipped stitches. And I use a topstitch needle. The eye is larger, and the scarf (a groove in the needle) is longer, which protects the thread more from the friction as it moves in and out of the fabric.

Generally you want to match the size needle with the size thread, but IMO you can't go wrong with a topstitch, because as I said, the eye is larger, so it accommodates different weights of thread.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
I usually go up a size, from a 12 or 14 for piecing to a 16 or 18 for quilting. I find that if I don't use a 16 or 18, I get skipped stitches. And I use a topstitch needle. The eye is larger, and the scarf (a groove in the needle) is longer, which protects the thread more from the friction as it moves in and out of the fabric.

Generally you want to match the size needle with the size thread, but IMO you can't go wrong with a topstitch, because as I said, the eye is larger, so it accommodates different weights of thread.
i keep forgetting about the topstitch kind. thanks
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:54 AM
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For regular sewing it is recommended that you match the size of the needle with the size of the thread. I do use a 12 for piecing with 50 wt thread on my vintage machines. I do most of my quilt on my Bernina and I use a 90/14 either topstitch or quilting needle and haven't had any problems. You can buy 80/12 needles most anywhere you buy 90/14's, I guess. Most of the places that I buy needles have a variety of sizes.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:52 AM
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I use an embroidery needle size 11. I found that I was getting a lot of skipped stitches over the last few months, and that there was no difference with amount of skipped stitches with a quilting, topstitch or the size of the needle. I thought that my Janome was 'ill'; I read somewhere about trying embroidery needles; I did, and all was well. I use Gutterman thread.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:19 AM
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I usually forget to change my needle when I switch to quilting, then when my thread keeps breaking I remember to switch to an 18. Then all is well. I piece with an 11,12 or 14. Whatever is handy at the time, but really prefer the 18 for quilting.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:31 PM
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I use a 90/14 for just about everything and haven't had any troubles. The only time I use a different needle is when I need a specialty needle, like a jeans or leather needle. I sew with a variety of cotton and polyester threads and don't have problems with any of them, whether piecing or quilting.

It probably depends greatly on your machine. I would imagine that the spacing tolerances vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and probably even within the same model due to variances in manufacturing and any wear & tear on the machine. Needles don't cost that much - if you're having troubles I'd say pick up a variety pack and try them all out and see what makes your machine happiest!
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:42 PM
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I agree with sewnoma. It took a lot of trial and error on my new to me brother pq 1500. Straight stitch will be fine with any needle/thread combo. FMQ had breakage at the needle and I have played around with different threads and needle size combos and it is mostly fixed. The machine doesn't like to go fast in one direction and sometimes I forget!
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