Saturday, October 26, 2019

Let's Talk Needles for English Paper Piecing

I am a Bohin hand needle girl.  I have plenty, but will be buying more at International Quilt Festival next week anyways!  I need to try new kinds after all.  So today I started stitching my Brimfield Blooming Star.  I decided to try out needles after the first piece was hard to stitch.  The needle didn't seem pointy enough to slide through easily.

This got me wondering why.  So I decided to try out every kind of needle I had in my hand stitching bag.  Turns out there were four kinds:  Applique size 9 (the biggest), Applique size 10, Applique size 12 (the finest), and  size 10 betweens which are much shorter in length.  The size 9 was a bust.  The 10 was better.  I then tried the betweens.  They were nice and sharp, but shorter than I personally like to work with so they weren't for me.  However, if you like short needles they should work well for you. 

Here's the pieces I was sewing together with my favorite Island Batik fabrics of course.

I then tried the size 12 applique needles.  The eye of  the needle is very small, but it went through the fabric like butter, so it's worth a little trouble threading.  I was using 50 weight Aurifil thread in a matching color to hide my stitches.

When sewing this curve I tape the front with painters tape (it removes without leaving any residue) to hold my pieces in place while I stitch.  It works like a charm.

Here's the back side.  You can see that I used a flat back stitch as that's the easiest way to do curves while doing English Paper Piecing.

In summary:  

  • Use tape to hold together curved pieces while you are sewing your EPP with a flat back stitch
  • I prefer size 12 applique needle for making my stitches 
  • I use matching thread to help hide my stitches
I hope you get to quilt today!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this info! I'm researching needles to order, good info here.