Which hand quilting needles do you prefer?

marylizNovember 28, 2007

This is a question for those who hand quilt. I wonder if you have a favorite hand quilting needle ("between") and why.

I started out with the Dritz size 10 betweens. They were easy to thread with glazed quilting thread, seemed to be relatively sharp, and didn't bend easily. In fact, I was able to use the same needle over and over, until it seemed to get a dull gray color. I even bent a couple, but only after repeated use. I decided that maybe I should use a new needle after a while, but I'm not sure if I noticed a difference with a new needle.

After a few projects, I thought that I had somehow outgrown the size 10s and gave them to an aspiring hand quilter. (Don't "they" say that you are supposed to use tinier needles once you're better at it? Maybe not. You can't load up as many stitches.)

Next, I decided to switch to Clover size 12 betweens. The hole seemed a bit narrower than that of the Dritz betweens, and required a little bit more effort to thread. They seemed much sharper than the Dritz needles. The skin on my under finger got frayed more quickly. The thing I didn't like is that after sewing only a few yards, they would already be slightly bent. After the bend became annoying, I switched to a new one. I do not think the project was any more or less likely to bend the needle than my previous hand quilting projects, so I am a bit disappointed that I have two packages of these needles. I might just keep using them until they're gone. I certainly wouldn't want to give them to anyone else, unless Clover is already their favorite brand. (Anyone wanna trade for a fat quarter?)

I think I might have some of those John James betweens, or maybe they're sharps. I'll just hafta go look in my sewing room, if I can find the time.

In the meantime, I wonder what y'all have used in the past, which brand you like best, and -- most importantly -- why you like a particular brand and size of between.

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I just went and looked. What I thought was John James is really Jeana Kimball straw needles. I need to try those, too. I am working on some hand applique lately, using whatever brand of sharps they had at Joann's -- probably Dritz or Clover. I have not had any objections to the sharps, but I should try these premium needles, in case I actually notice a difference.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 12:55PM
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I use Roxanne's #11 Betweens. I like the size, easy to thread, sharp,and I have not had the bending problem that I have had with John James. They are #12's so maybe it is the size. Jayne

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 8:24PM
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Ditto on the Roxanne, but it's 10's for me - the little hand quilting I do! Used them for years, but fell in love with MQ, so I do very little HQ.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 8:34AM
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I use John James quilting needles, a 10 when I use to do large quilts, I now use sharps, they are thin and pointy and have a much larger eye for me to see, but they are longer then quilting needles. English needles are supposed to be the best made (remember they have built swords for centuries LOL) buy a pack of "quilties" and try the varous sizes. The smaller needles give you the rocking ability Rene.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:16AM
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Guess I better get some of those Roxanne needles and try them out.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 3:09PM
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Those Jeana Kimball straw needles are awesome for hand applique! Today I got to my sewing group and realized that I had forgotten to bring the usual Dritz or Clover sharps. But I found the Jeana Kimball needles in my little bag, and easily threaded one with 50 weight thread. The needle is a nice length. The small head makes the needle glide through even my glue-turned applique pieces. I noticed that the needle, being very thin, is more flexible than the Dritz or Clover sharps, but that didn't bother me, and I can't imagine bending one. But I did poke a hole in my fingertip by using it to push the needle through the fabric, with that tiny head on the needle. I usually push that way when using the other brands and have no problem, because the head is bigger. Perhaps one of those sticky leather dots would have been a good choice of thimble, but I didn't have any with me today.

Even though I don't have any trouble at all with the Clover or Dritz sharps, I do have to admit that I like the Jeana Kimball straw needles better.

I still need to get the Roxanne betweens so I can try them on the king size quilt I just layered. I will also try the Aunt Becky for the first time. Can't wait!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 3:55PM
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I use Roxanne's and Jean Lyles. I got a sample card of Jeanna Kimball's but haven't tried them yet. I'll post when I do. I have used the John James but also found that they have a tendency to bend so I won't buy any more of them once I use up what I have.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 7:40PM
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I like the Clover Gold-Eye 12 betweens. *shrug* They don't bend on me like other needles. I have a hard time using longer needles (10s, etc.) for some reason - can't seem to coordinate as well. I *hate* the John James 12s - I literally can't thread them! And as a 20-something quilter, if I can't thread it now, who knows what will happen when my eyesight starts to fail or arthritis kicks in?

I'll gladly swap you a FQ for your Clover needles...

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 12:57PM
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I use Bohin size 9. I quilt right next to the seams on my quilts and bend a lot of needles. These were the sturdiest. I found the smaller you go the less sturdy. I did have the John James #10 but the eyes kept breaking on them.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 5:44PM
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