What are the best needles for quilting?
Years ago I started using topstitch needles for free motion quilting and it made a huge difference in my quilting. One of the major frustration when free motion quilting is thread breaking. You will LOVE or HATE free motion quilting – it depends on how often your thread breaks.
I hated it many times, but as long as we stitch – we try and learn new things and in the end we make the things easier.
So for years I was extremely happy with the topstitch needles. Then I started trying new things and new challenges appeared. In a few occasions, the topstitch needle wasn’t of much help for me and out of necessity (and desperately) I tried a needle that is always in my drawer : the Jeans (denim) needle.
I use the Schmetz brand (it’s easily available here), and I am very happy with their quality.
|From left to right:
Jeans Needle #100/16, Jeans Needle #110/18, Topstitch Needle #100/16
See the difference between the needles: they have different eye and different point.
While the large eye of the topstitch needle is very important, I found out that the point of the needle is important as well.
The size of the needle is important!
One more difference between the two needle types- the Jeans needle is available in the 110/18 size (sometimes you need the biggest needle), while the largest topstitch needle is 100/16.
Let’s see a few successful stories with the Jeans needles!
I finished my “Geometric Gradation” quilt. It is a simple patchwork quilt. I thought it will be easy to quilt it.
See below how it is quilted. I started from the top left corner and quilted half of the block, toward the opposite corner. Then I came back on the diagonal line to the starting point and I quilted the other half. With the topstitch needle, most of the times the thread broke when I stitched back diagonally. I switched to the jeans needle (and I did not make any other change) – the thread broke 2 or 3 times and I quilted about 100 blocks this way. I was happy!!
Fusible raw edge applique – skipped stitches with the 100/16 topstitch needle. I changed only the needle- no other change- perfect stitches!
The same on another fusible web applique quilt.
I used the Jeans Needles for the first time on this wholecloth quilt. It was quilted with the very thick Aurifil 12wt thread- a real challenge. The Jeans needle saved my sanity!
Of course, the thread you use is very important as well. Find the one that works for you. It’s a team: needle+thread. For me the Aurifil thread does a great job!
Stock up a few Jeans Needles! You will LOVE them!! Don’t forget about the biggest size!!
PS. Forgot to write: use these needles when stitching bags!