On Pins and Needles Part 2

On Pins and Needles Part 2


Choosing the right hand sewing needle can be overwhelming. Their odd names often don’t help point you in the right direction either. Ultimately, you want a needle that feels comfortable in your hand, glides easily through your fabric, and has an eye you can thread. Purchasing a variety pack is a good way to give several different types and sizes a test run to see what best suits your needs.
Needle Sizes
Hand sewing needles get smaller as their size gets larger. This is opposite from machine needles which get bigger as their size gets larger. As you can see in this multi sized package of Sharps, size # 1 is the largest needle and size # 5 is the smallest.

Keeping a Eye on Things
Do you cringe at the thought of threading that teeny tiny eye? Well, have no fear. I’m going to start with some of the needles that I seem to be needing lately…easy threaders!!!
Split Eye/Calyx Eye - A general purpose needle with a split on the outer edge of the eye for easy threading. In my experience, when this needle is pulled through multiple layers, the thread can pull out of the eye.


SENCH™ - These needles easily load from the side so you don’t have to worry about your thread slipping out of the eye. They come in three sizes for general sewing.
 Photo used with permission from Pam Turner http://spiraleyeneedles.com/
Spiral Eye® - These needles also load from the side and come in a variety of sizes for all types of sewing. They are made from surgical stainless steel.
 Photo used with permission from Pam Turner http://spiraleyeneedles.com/
Here’s a little break down of some of the more commonly used needles.
Ball Point/Jersey - Has a rounded point that slips between the threads on knits and stretchy fabrics.
Sharps - An all purpose needle with a round eye. Great for appliqué.
Betweens - Same width as a Sharps but approximately ¼” shorter. Has a small round eye that easily moves through multiple layers of fabric. Usually the choice for hand quilting.
Embroidery/Crewel - Same sizing as a Sharps but they have a larger eye to accommodate multiple strands of thread.
Needles Need a Nesting Place
Gah! Needles DON’T belong in your pincushion. They will sink into the center and get lost. Needles are best kept in lovely little needle cases. You can find a variety of cute patterns here on QuiltWoman.com to make one for yourself or as a quick gift for a friend.

Becky’s Needle Case with Pocket Pattern TKY-311 $4.00 Designed by: TKY - Turkey Track Designs – Kim Kamlet

Love to Stitch Collection Pattern IJ-949 $9.99 Finished Sizes: Heart-Shaped Needle Case: 4 1/2" Rectangular Needle Case: 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" Large Scissor Keeper: 9" Small Scissor Keeper: 5 1/4" Heart-Shaped Scissor Fob: 2" Skill Level: Beginner Pattern designed by Amy Barickman - Indygo Junction.
This delicate vintage inspired sewing collection would please any sewing enthusiast. Each pattern is quick & easy to sew for yourself or as gifts for your sewing friends. Personalize with a machine or hand embroidered initial and then mix & match fabrics in your favorite colors and patterns.

Heart Etui Needle case Pattern PCG-2102 $5.00

Finished Size: 5" wide
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Designed by:PCG-Prairie Cottage Corner-Kathie Donahue
Etui or needle holder pattern teaches freezer paper applqiue, quilting, layering and light embroidery.

Mini Scissors and Needle Case Pattern RR-162 $9.00

Finished size: 8” x 4” Designed by: RR-Reet’s Rags to Stitches – Rita Carl
Always sew for fun! Carol Steely, FunThreads Designs
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