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Thread: Size matters...

  1. #1
    Steve's Avatar
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    OK here's the thing: my mother uses size seven (the smaller quilting needle size), and I thought to get her something unlike the Midwest/ wholesale common stuff, something great like the John James that I adore (I still use their humongous size 10's). J/J doesn't carry a '7 betweens' as far as I can tell, and secondly not all needles seem to be sized the same. I've seen some that are exact opposite in numberings.

    If I wanted to get mom some nice needles, does anyone have suggestions? She tends to bend and snap them and doesn't like to load because of the curve of larger sizes.

    So, size seven betweens, could you venture a clue as to what a son should do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Of course size matters. I make nothing generally under a queen sized quilt.

    tim in san jose

  3. #3
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    Try getting her a variety of sizes and brands. Make a small gift basket if she uses bee's wax ( I can't live without it) thread, and maybe some hand cream with a few fq's tucked in.

  4. #4
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    my absolute favorite needle for hand quilting is a Prym #7 sharp. I have one pack of them that i have been nursing along for years. they are easy to thread, considering how thin they are. they are neither too long, nor too short for me to handle comfortably. they don't bend or break and stay sharp for ages.

    the hard part is finding just size 7s alone in a pack. i search every now and then. i hate buying a pack of assorted sizes just to get one or two of the size i really want.

    these are Dritz. i'll bet they're just as good. yippee!!! :P

    http://www.acesewing.com/product.php?productid=17405&cat=370&page=3

  5. #5
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I also use #7.......at first I used inexpensive needles and had a lot of bending.......I now buy fonds and Porter........they are quite qood for the price..........Steve try no 7 they go through fabric much easier especially with cotton batting

  6. #6
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    I have tried almost everything, and I believe the best needles are the Piecemakers. Actually one of the cheaper brands, but incredibly slick and sharp. I can tell the difference when I quilt or do any sewing with them.


  7. #7
    Steve's Avatar
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    So basically ladies you are telling me mom 'is' always right. I know I'm slowly heading to smaller needles for the reasons mentioned, but I'm really not a fan of Dritz needles Patrice. Those are what I started with, and though sturdy, they don't slide through fabric well (at least in my hands). Mom is just happy to find size 7's though so maybe going online and ordering up a variety of the ones mentioned would be cool. She doesn't do much hand quilting, but I think now that she's seeing what I'm doing it may encourage her. A lot of her reluctance I know is time, but her arthritis doesn't help either. If I'm not careful she'll be handing me pieces to quilt!

    I think I should go back and read the post Patrice did on needles, and see if I can get more ideas.

    Thanks, you all are great!

  8. #8
    Steve's Avatar
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    Loretta, I can't seem to find the post you mentioned. I tried in search and under topics by Patrice. I even went through the main forum backwards to the date, but still found nothing. What on earth am I missing?

  9. #9
    Norah's Avatar
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    Try a John James sharps 11 or 12. They are smaller than your 10, very good needles, and might suit her. I use JJ 10's and love them.. Sold JJ needles for a long time.

  10. #10
    Steve's Avatar
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    Why are most quilting needles sized from largest (smallest numerically) to shortest (largest numerically), but not always? It really is confusing when you find the exact opposite numbering system. I think it was the Czechoslovakian needles that I found like that, maybe the Dritz. It's very frustrating when ordering new needles, especially when you aren't familiar with the brand.

  11. #11
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    I felt your pain this morning Steve! Literally LOL. Not for quilting, but I snapped 2 needles in half hand hemming a pair of carpenter pants for JB to wear to work. The first two were perfect for sharpness, but snapped after a short time (dritz brand by the way) and the third one was an off brand that came in a really cute little sewing box JB got for me, but man, it was much thicker, but boy howdy was it dull!! I had to pull out ultra thick leather thimble for that puppy!! It took longer with the bigger needle, but I managed to get the job done. I'm sooo glad I opted not to try to hem that heavy denim on my new machine!! I only have a couple of needles for it and I'm guarding those like gold. Makes me wonder exactly what I'm going to do when I get ready to quilt the memory quilt I have in the works, its mostly denim.

  12. #12
    Steve's Avatar
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    For those shopping for quilting needles at Joanne’s pay attention:

    In my weekend phone conversation with mom I asked about the brand she was using (the ‘small’ size 7's betweens), and guess what? DRITZ! So be aware that the numbering system on Czechoslovakian needles (or at least the Dritz) is just the opposite, small being small (shorter) on theirs.

    Curiouser and curiouser...

  13. #13
    Steve's Avatar
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    I just pulled a mixed package of Dritz from Joanne's to confirm it.

  14. #14
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    I hand quilt all the time. My favorite needle is John James size 10 "betweens" They do not break or bend. Always have a pack on hand. The larger the number (and I think 12 is the largest) the smaller the needle. I can not thread the #12 needle. Thats what has worked for me for the last 20 yrs. Marge

  15. #15
    Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mic-pa
    I hand quilt all the time. My favorite needle is John James size 10 "betweens" They do not break or bend. Always have a pack on hand. The larger the number (and I think 12 is the largest) the smaller the needle. I can not thread the #12 needle. Thats what has worked for me for the last 20 yrs. Marge
    Just got three packages of JJ size 10 betweens in the mail yesterday. I may eventually move to smaller needles, but for now these are great and so much nicer than what I've been using.

  16. #16
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    Glad to hear you are pleased with them. Happy Quilting. Marge

  17. #17
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Hey Steve, I saw this today and instantly thought of you and your mom. I love John James needles, I haven't used them for hand quilting but I do use the beading needles exclusively! They are indeed the best I've found. But, anywho, I saw these and thought how easy would these be for your mom!! Made specifically to be easily recogizable in a sewing box, etc. because each size has its own color. Thought you may like to see them. I'm gonna be placing an order for the beading and embroidery ones very very soon!

    http://www.craftconn.com/Main.asp?Task=Custom&Step=Notion+Category&Criteria=pebbles

  18. #18
    Steve's Avatar
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    Out of stock, no fair lisa! The sizes are wrong for her, but I do like the idea.

    I ended up moving down to a size eleven JJ. The tens still bent a little under my man hands. I feel like such a brute. :roll:

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