A long time friend of mine reminds us with these words, “we don’t need new teaching, we need reminders”. Reminders of the good and why we do it. My friend was talking about something else entirely however the principle applies to quilting. We need reminders in the quilting world too. Sometimes I forget that quilting newbies are coming on the scene. I love quilting newbies so much that over the next few weeks I’m going to offer a series of reminders in pithy blog posts.
I have a great tutorial on making bias binding. Here is link 1 and link 2. And link 3 is attaching binding by machine using the dual feed feature on the BERNINA 780. Do you need the Dual Feed? No, but it sure is helpful.
When I teach the first thing we cover is needles and thread.
What do I use: Top Stitching and Microtex Needles. I’ll throw in the odd metallic now and then.
Why: Because they are sharp and they do the job. For going through multiple layers these do the job well. When quilting it’s important to make a whole appropriate to the size of the thread we’re quilting with. Skipped stitches and pokies happen as a result of using a needle that is too small. Using a needle that is too big will have the light streaming through our quilts because the thread does not adequately fill the hole left by the needle.
NOTE: when a stitch is taken we are making holes in our quilts.
Top Stitching needles are, generally, used for heavier thread and when I’m using multiple layers of batting. After watching Paula Reid’s Fluff and Stuff and listening at her feet for hours I’ve learned that top stitching needles are great for dense cotton batting making the job much easier.
Microtex Needles are, again generally, used for finer thread and less dense batting.
What brand(s) do I use? Both Superior and Schmetz interchangeably.
General Rule: the finer the thread the finer the needle, the heavier the thread the heavier the needle. If it feels fine it is, if it feels thick it is. If you’re getting skipped stitches go up one size.
When piecing an 80/12 pairs well with either MasterPiece or Aurifil 50 weight thread.
1 thought on “Sometimes”
Sharpness is ‘key’ and was never stressed enough when I began my machine quilting journey. Along with the size/length of the needle’s eye and depth of the shaft’s groove (to accommodate and protect the thread as the needle penetrates the fabric). It is better to err on the side of too large/big of a needle than too small as the over-sized holes will close when the quilt is washed. I look forward to your future posts on the sometimes taken for granted processes that are stumbling blocks for those taking that first step. Hugs……