Needle Selection For Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting CloseupHave you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go according to plan? Of course that would be most days, right?

Today was going to be the day for free motion quilting that project you had promised as a gift, and it’s due next week. You head into your sewing room, fill your bobbins, thread your machine and begin quilting. Oh my; you didn’t expect the looping or the eyelashes on the back of the quilt, and it looks just awful. You remove all of the stitches and this time, you use a practice piece. Unfortunately, you encounter the same results. Headache!

You had your machine serviced a couple of months ago, so it couldn’t possibly be a problem with the machine, or could it? You drag your 30lb machine out to your car, drive to the sewing machine store and ask to see the technician. You even brought your practice piece with you to show the technician just how bad the stitching is.

The technician is unflappable as he asks to see the machine. Like all good technicians, you are asked a series of questions about your thread, your needle, your project. The technician rethreads your machine and comments on the size of the needle; it seems a small. You admit you changed the needle, but didn’t know that the size of the needle mattered, especially for quilting.

What you may not have realized was that the size of your needle needs to match the size of your thread. Because of that, it is usually necessary to replace your sewing needle with a larger needle that has a larger eye. Quilters usually use 40wt thread, and that thread is too thick for a small size 75/11 or 80/12 needle. If you were under the impression that your needle only needed to be larger for thicker fabrics like demin, you’d be wrong. See More Information About Sewing Machine Needles

Back to our story: The technician recommended Size 90/14 Titanium Coated Top Stitch needles. He replaced your tiny needle with the titanium coated needle and stitched a test piece. You were skeptical, but darned if it didn’t work.

This little story was inspired by a customer who came in this week. She was attempting to use a size 75 needle with her Janome 1600P sewing machine, and it just wasn’t working. We love titanium coated top stitch needles. Because of the titanium coating, these needles do not bend due to heat and friction. An added bonus; they last up to five times longer than regular, uncoated needles.

Sometimes, even when we think we have tried everything, something as simple as changing the needle can drive that headache away to someone else.

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Reader Comments (4)

carolyn Adragna on 10/17/16 @ 5:14pm

When will the 10 session classes start again?

b.gottier on 10/17/16 @ 5:48pm


Kina on 8/29/17 @ 10:49am

Great information, thank you for sharing this. :)

Lynda Larsen on 11/9/18 @ 9:41pm

This is very helpful. I wasn't aware of how important needle size could be.

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