One of the questions that gets asked is:
Do you choose the needle based on fabric or thread?
The answer is, it depends!
For the majority of my machine embroidery appliqué projects, when I’m using normal weight cotton quilting fabric and my favorite AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 wt thread, I use a Superior Titanium Top Stitch Needle, size 80/12. Here’s why:
- Top stitch needles have a nice big eye so they are easy to thread
- Top stitch needles have a nice sharp point which is what I want when stitching onto normal weight cotton quilting fabric
- Titanium needles last about 10 times longer than regular needles. Machine embroidered appliqué is pretty stitch intensive, and you want to make sure your needle keeps a nice sharp point
- 80/12 is the correct size to use with AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 wt thread. It’s also the correct size needle to use with polyester threads such as Isacord
- I can piece with these needles, still using my favorite AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 wt thread
- I can quilt with these needles, also still using my favorite AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 wt thread
When would I use a different size of needle?
- If I’m using a heavier thread, such as AURIfil Cotton Mako 28 wt thread. For this thread I’d use a Superior Titanium Top Stitch Needle, size 90/14
- If I’m using a metallic thread, such as Superior Metallic. For this thread I’d use a Superior Titanium Top Stitch Needle, size 90/14. The key to success with metallic thread is to also use a thread net (it slows the thread down a bit as it comes off the spool and stops it from falling off the spool) and to reduce the top tension on your embroidery machine
- If I’m using a lighter thread, such as AURIfil Cotton Mako 80 wt thread. For this thread I’d use a Superior Titanium Top Stitch Needle, size 70/10
When would I use a different type of needle?
There are needles for all different kinds of specialty fabrics and so the answer to this question could go on forever. I’ve picked the two situations that I think you’re most likely to want to know about:
- When using a thick fabric such as canvas or denim use a Jeans needle. These have a slim set needle point to reduce friction as the needle passes through the fabric. They are also more flexible than a top stitch needle, which helps to prevent needle and thread breaks when sewing through thick fabrics
- When sewing knitted fabric use a ball point or jersey needle. Whereas a top stitch needle with a sharp point punctures the fibers in fabric, a ball point needle has a rounded point which gently separates the fibers, which is better for knitted and stretchy fabrics
From 12:01am on July 6, 2017 until 11:59pm on July 8, 2017 catch some falling leaves with 25% off A New Leaf
Use promo code “A2Z-N” at the checkout
A New Leaf $50.00
(Delivered as a digital download. Optional CD available at the checkout)
What I love about this collection… Back in August of 2013, I went to Olde City Quilts in New Jersey to teach a class. Actually, it was more of a retreat and students used the A New Leaf design collection to create either a table runner or a table topper (both patterns are provided in the design collection).
A few of weeks ago, a friend and I started a book group (we’re studying The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? ). As we were talking about who we’d like to invite to join our group, my friend told me about a friend of hers, Patti, who is a quilter. She was wondering if I know her. Now there are a LOT of quilters in the Phoenix area, so the chances of me knowing this one are fairly slim.
The day of our first book group meeting came and we met at my house. The doorbell rang and I went to answer it.
“You must be Patti,” I said to the woman who came through the door. “It’s so good to meet you.”
“You’ve already met me,” she replied. “I took your class on A New Leaf which you taught at Olde City Quilts a few years ago.”
What are the chances??? I love the way this art of ours connects us in ways we could never guess about.
While you’re making your A New Leaf table runner or table topper, why not make some matching napkins and tea towels? I love how these turned out using Kaffe Fassett fabric for the appliqué shapes!