Good Morning, Quilters! Today we are going to discuss the all-important topic of how to choose the right sewing machine needle size for quilting and for any sewing.
Before we get started, just a quick reminder that there are just three days left of our FREE SHIPPING sale ($5 off international orders) on all books in my Etsy Shop. Each book will be autographed and comes with a little treat in every box!! Use the promo code: SPRING
Last week, we discussed thread weight and the fixed weight system of measurement.
Thread weight is a bit confusing, because as the thread gets thicker and heavier, the number gets smaller. For example, 100 wt thread is very fine, whereas, 12 wt thread is fairly thick and heavy.
Needle size is more straight forward. As the number gets larger, the blade and eye of the needle get larger.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE NEEDLE SIZE
Needle size is determined by the weight of the thread. The heavier the thread, the larger the needle needs to be.
Choose your thread first.
Then match thread weight to the needle size. It is helpful to remember that a 50 weight thread should be paired with a size 80/12 needle. (80 is the European size, while 12 is the American needle numbering system.)
PAIR THREAD WEIGHT TO NEEDLE SIZE
If you look at the chart below, start in the middle. Pair 50 wt thread with size 80/12 needle.
If your thread is heavier, 40, 30, 28 or 12 wt, use a larger needle: 90, 100, 110.
On the other hand, if your thread is finer, like 60, 80, or 100 wt thread, pair it with a smaller needle: 70 or 60.
SIGNS YOUR NEEDLE IS THE WRONG SIZE
- Thread breaks or shreds
- Skipped stitches
- Poor tension
MY FAVORITE NEEDLE TYPE
My favorite needle type is the Topstitch Needle. It has a large eye and a deep groove in the shaft to protect the thread. I always use a topstitch needle when I’m quilting. I often use titanium needles, but I like regular needles as well.
HOW NEEDLES ARE MADE
If you like factory videos as much as I do, you’ll love this short video on how needles are manufactured.
MY NOTEBOOK SERIES
Next week, at Nora and Faye’s request, we will discuss What is a Fat Quarter and Why Quilters Love Them…
What about YOU?
Do YOU have any topics you’d like me to sketch in my notebook?
Do YOU change YOUR needles to match your thread size?
Do YOU LOVE to machine quilt?
What are YOU working on?
We’d LOVE to hear!
Happy Stitching and Doodling,
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to Lori Kennedy Quilts. For all other purposes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!