27 March, 2011

Needle Knowledge

I've been embroidering the last few days, there were a few pending requests for burp cloths and I managed to stitch a bit here and there, making the best use of snatched time when it became available. Unfortunately for me I wasted too many of those precious minutes wrangling with machine issues which, in reality, had nothing to do with the machine and everything to do with needles! Learn from me and save yourself unnecessary frustration.
1. Use a size 90/14 sharp (I love the titanium needles) for embroidering through several layers like these cloth diapers, anything smaller and your thread will fray and break... often.
2. Use a jeans needle (100/16) for topstitching through multiple thicknesses (including the tightly woven ribbon trim) and binding, the point is sharp and your stitches will be perfect.
3. If you're sewing with a fine thread, such as Aurifil, an 80/12 needle is great (again, I love those needles with the titanium coating) but if you're using a slightly beefier 50 wt. cotton on top and in the bobbin you might consider bumping up the needle size too, you'll be happier with the results if you change your needle to a size 90/14.
4. If you're skipping stitches, for any reason, change your needle; it's the best place to start troubleshooting. 99% of the time a fresh needle (the proper size for the task) will take care of the problem.

I read a quote attributed to Michelangelo this weekend: "I am still learning...".

He's certainly not alone~
Life is Good!


AnnieO said...

I agree! Recent frustrating problems I had with free motion quilting including broken needles and thread repeatedly, all traced back to needles! Sometimes you need to experiement...

Cute burp cloths! Love the ribbon trim.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

These are really cute Debbie! Love them all, and thanks for the needle tip!


JCnNC said...

Adorable cloths and your tips are always welcome. Thanks for sharing. Judy C

Nane said...

Good to remember, I doubt I will dive into the embroidery machine anytime soon...but these are so cute!

*karendianne. said...

Excellent info!!! Happy cloths. :)

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh yes...must agree! Nothing like a NEW needle to make perfect stitche!

Your burp clothes are sweet!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm printing this off and posting it beside my sewing machine! Too often when I have problems I forget to check the needle. :( blessings, marlene