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Thread: How do you store and keep track of your machine sewing needles?

  1. #1
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    How do you store and keep track of your machine sewing needles?

    Hi again,
    I am looking for ideas for machine sewing needle storage. I have been way too relaxed about which needles I use and when I change them. Now that I am reorganizing, this seems like an area I can improve in. I'm interested in any suggestions.
    Thank you and happy sewing,
    lots2do

  2. #2
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    I use a small box (I think it's about 4x6) intended for embroidery floss. I probably bought it at Joanns. There are sections in the box that I use to organize the needles by size or type. I never put a used needle back in the original case. I have a 'tomato' pin cushion that I have marked into sections - each section is labeled according to the different types/sizes of machine needles. When I put a needle into my machine- either a new one or a used one from the pin cushion- I use a pin to mark the corresponding area on the pin cushion. No more guessing what type or size needle size is in my machine! Works for me!
    Last edited by FGlinda; 08-09-2016 at 06:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    I have a nice 4x6 box too. I never put a used needle back in its original case, and I don't save them. If its been used, it's done.

  4. #4
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    I keep used machine needles in a pill bottle with a lid. I never put a used needle in my machine.

  5. #5
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I keep my packaged needles in a small clear box. I have seen hints that either you can use a light colored fabric or pincushion and place hardly used needles under marked sections on type of needles. I really liked when Schmetz started marking the needles with a dab of color.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

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    When I'm done with a needle, I use pliers and curl then toss. This way no one gets stuck. I also used take a small piece of cardboard or old stock and shove the needle into it without going out the other side. Again no one gets hurt.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Needles are too inexpensive to spend my time saving them. Once it's out of my machine it's goes in the trash doesn't matter if I use it for an hour or a week. My new needles, which I have over 100 packs, are stored in pretty metal tin.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  8. #8
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I have a narrow but long plastic bin I found who knows where that my needle packs fit into. I organize them smallest size up front and larger sizes to the back. Odd numbers such as for metallic, jeans, topstitching get put after the regular size needles.
    Suz in Iowa
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    Wow! Great ideas. Thank you all!

  10. #10
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    Unless it is a quick use changeout (like sewing silk thread for a small project) then back to my regular wt, I also toss my machine needles out. I use empty plastic water bottles, preferably the small ones.

    I store my new unused ones in their original packs. I do need a better way to hold those packs.

    I had a class where the teacher suggested using one of those large tomato shaped pincushions. The tomato is "divided up" by lines and marked for quilting, microtex, etc, but I didn't like the method very well, since it wasn't going down to needle size, just type.

    I have seen those magnetic needle holders that are sized like this one: Blue Feather myPad For Needles Machine Needle Organizer. I don't know how well they work.

  11. #11
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I use a plastic box with moveable dividers that I got at Sears Hardware. It works great for keeping all my sizes and types of needles. I have a similar one only larger that I use to keep my Bernina feet in. It looks like I'm going to have to get a couple more for the feet and bobbins for my 2 vintage Singers.
    Patrice S

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  12. #12
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    I use the little snack pack baggies, label it with the size & type on each bag then just put them in my little drawer of a bin

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    Beware of the lovingly marked tomato. I organized one by section and loved how it worked. One day I entered my sewing room and discovered that somebody had pressed all of the needles into the tomato. It looked empty. I now leave them in their original containers that are sorted into a cheap plastic embroidery thread case with moveable dividers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by momsbusy View Post
    Beware of the lovingly marked tomato. I organized one by section and loved how it worked. One day I entered my sewing room and discovered that somebody had pressed all of the needles into the tomato. It looked empty. I now leave them in their original containers that are sorted into a cheap plastic embroidery thread case with moveable dividers.
    Oh, I forgot that I have one of those tomatoes that I've marked to put my needles that I've only used for a little bit. No one goes in my sewing room so I don't have to worry.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  15. #15
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I one of those who uses the boxes intended for sorting embroidery floss to sort my needles (the boxes for the needles fit nicely into the box). My lightly used needles go into a marked red tomato pin cushion.
    QuiltnLady1

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    I do keep used needles if they are not a problem since I change my needle each time I start a new project. I make a lot of totes and bags and used needles are perfect for the thick top stitching at the top of the bag...this seems to ruin needles so I take out my new needle and put one in that I have used already. This works for me. I store them in the empty plastic boxes that they came in and mark used on the box. Each time I put in a new needle I fill out a small form that I made which shows the date and type/size needle...I also sometimes stick the needle thru this paper slip when I take it out so that I know exactly when and how much this needle was used. Hope this helps someone.

  17. #17
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Size:  1.70 MBMy local Brothers sewing shop offered a class on a needle storage idea. Here are pictures. I can put slightly used needles under number of hours and the cord with a tab tells me what is currently in the machine.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclefreckles View Post
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Size:  1.70 MBMy local Brothers sewing shop offered a class on a needle storage idea. Here are pictures. I can put slightly used needles under number of hours and the cord with a tab tells me what is currently in the machine.

    what a great case!
    Nancy in western NY
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  19. #19
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by FGlinda View Post
    I use a small box (I think it's about 4x6) intended for embroidery floss. I probably bought it at Joanns. There are sections in the box that I use to organize the needles by size or type. I never put a used needle back in the original case. I have a 'tomato' pin cushion that I have marked into sections - each section is labeled according to the different types/sizes of machine needles. When I put a needle into my machine- either a new one or a used one from the pin cushion- I use a pin to mark the corresponding area on the pin cushion. No more guessing what type or size needle size is in my machine! Works for me!
    This is my way, too. If a needle has a burr in it, I put them in an old medicine bottle with a cover and toss it when it is full. However, sometimes I will keep a dull needle with no burrs (in a specially marked container) to use to mark paper hexagons with my sewing machine.

  20. #20
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    That is a great case! Oh to be that organized. I think I could probably handle the slip of paper idea and maybe the tomato. Mac, I am curious about what you mean by marking paper hexagons.
    Thanks, everyone, for responding! I do appreciate it!

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    I use an old check box. Perfect size for needle packages and I keep an old pill bottle in it with a small hole in the top that I put old needles in. (In that drawer I also keep an old cat food can that I put old rotary blades in. When it gets full, it will be easy to put a piece of tape over the top and discard safely.

  22. #22
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    Since I have several different sewing machine needles, and I use different needles for hand sewing and straight pins too. A long time ago someone wrote they stored their needles with the little packets that keep the moisture away from them so they don't rust or go bad. After that I found a plastic box used for beads keep all the pins and needles separate and with the little packets that come in pills and other things. Before that I just left them in the little thing they came in, in a drawer of the sewing machines. For the past few years San Diego has had a lot more humidity so hopefully this new method will protect them.

  23. #23
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momsbusy View Post
    Beware of the lovingly marked tomato. I organized one by section and loved how it worked. One day I entered my sewing room and discovered that somebody had pressed all of the needles into the tomato. It looked empty. I now leave them in their original containers that are sorted into a cheap plastic embroidery thread case with moveable dividers.
    Little hands love to poke the pins all the way in. LOL I kept the ones my grand 'helped' fill. I smile everytime I see it. She's 19 now.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  24. #24
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by lots2do View Post
    That is a great case! Oh to be that organized. I think I could probably handle the slip of paper idea and maybe the tomato. Mac, I am curious about what you mean by marking paper hexagons.
    Thanks, everyone, for responding! I do appreciate it!
    Lots2do:

    You can go on line and print out what ever hexagon size you need. Just search for Hexagon templates.
    Then I take that template I printed out and put it over other typing paper (I always use recycled paper) and staple about 4 pieces of paper together.
    Next I take it to my sewing machine, unthread it, put in a dull sewing machine needle and sew on the lines of the hexagon template. I used small stitches and what it does is it perforates the paper so that I can make individual hexagon templates. I pull the pieces apart and there you have it enough hexagon to keep you going for a while.

    Making my own templates like this is really accurate. I used to cut my own templates using a master template paper and found that my scissor cutting wasn't' so accurate. No matter how careful I was, I would always have little mistakes in the template so that when I was sewing them together they would quite match.

    I am too cheap to pay for the hexagon templates so this is pretty easy and uses up typing paper I would have otherwise thrown out in the recycle bin.
    I have also use the paper that comes in-between the roll of Warm and Natural batting. It is quite firm and works great for templates.
    In addition to this, I have also used those annoying little advertisement cards that come out of magazine, they are also nice to use. However, since you have to cut your template the size of the card, I use this only if I have nothing else on hand.

  25. #25
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    Mac,
    What a genius idea! (Forgive my grammar). I will have to give that a try. (Of course, I just placed an order for some hexie papers but I didn't get many).
    I love hand sewing hexagons. I have been so attracted to small scale prints this summer to use.
    Thanks for your thorough explanation. I do appreciate it.
    lots2do

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