Hello! It's so nice to see you again. I hope you are having a great week and are making time to work on your quilt projects. Notice I said "making time" instead of "finding time"? That's because you and I know that finding time for our hobbies and projects just doesn't normally happen. I promise that if you will commit to setting aside time each week to work on your quilt projects, then you'll happily see measurable progress plus growth in your quilting skills!
Speaking of skill growth, I am reminded that when I began quilting I knew very little about this week's topic on how to choose the right needle and thread for piecing my quilts by machine. I mean it's just needle and thread, right? So, what's all the fuss about? It's amazing how a little knowledge can open doors to being more successful at life's endeavors. Benjamin Franklin said, "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest".
If you haven't had an opportunity to read last week's post "Begin Quilting: How to Decide on the Right Size Quilt to Make", then use the highlighted link to hop on over and discover some very useful information on how to decide on which quilt size is right for your project. Now, let's discover a little more knowledge about needle and thread in order to make an investment in our quilting skills.
A Few Points to Ponder about Needles
Anatomy of a Sewing Machine Needle
Sewing machine needles are specifically designed for use in domestic and industrial machines and come in several different types depending on the fiber and/or thickness of materials that are to be sewn. Below is a diagram of a sewing machine needle with all the parts labeled. On closer inspection, you'll see there's definitely more to a needle than meets the "eye" (sorry, I couldn't resist).
Machine needles come packaged by type and contain either all the same size or mixed sizes. When searching for needle types, be sure to check the package label for needles marked especially for quilting. Quilting needles are slim, tapered, and have a slightly rounded tip.
Quilting needles range in these sizes.
An amazing and interesting blog on sewing machine needles is found on SCHMETZ's website. Their article, "All About Needles" is loaded with information and charts about needle size, design, and even how they are engineered! Click on the highlighted text to visit their site.
Tips About Thread
Needle and thread go together like peanut butter and jelly and work best when they are properly paired. Let me say here that the quality of the thread you choose is important.
Good quality thread is a worthwhile investment for your quilting projects. Think of all the time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears (you get the picture) that goes into a quilt. It is worth a little extra expense to have long-lasting durability for your quilt projects. I always try to purchase thread when it is on sale because it's a great opportunity to stock up, especially on neutral colors.
The thread weight you choose will depend on whether you are piecing quilt blocks together, machine quilting the layers of a quilt sandwich, or hand quilting.
Here are a few great web resources for further research on thread weights and types:
No doubt there are tons of information on the web and in print about needles and thread. I've only touched on some of that information to help you to begin quilting. Hopefully, you now have more answers to help your quilting projects come together more smoothly.
Thank you so much for reading; please let me know if I can be of any help along your quilting journey. Best wishes!