Threadmonger Presents: Selecting Your Machine Quilting Needle
Most Common needle sizes for machine quilting
(refers to weight of thread top of machine)
60/8 For very fine weight threads such as 100-weight.
70/10 For fine-weight threads such as 100-weight and 60-weight
80/12 For medium-weight quilting and piecing threads – 50 weight
90/14 For heavier-weight threads such as 40- and 30-weight. Threads have more presence on top of your quilt.
100/16 For even heavier=weight threads, such as 20 weight.
needle points most commonly used in machine quilting
Quilting A tapered point and stronger shaft
Sharp Point Thinner and sharper than a universal point or quilting needle.
or Microtex Used on fine fabrics with a high thread count
Embroidery A larger eye, slightly rounded point, and deep scarf.
Metallica A Teflon-coated larger eye reduces friction to avoid splitting and shredding metallic threads. Use for monofilament or invisible thread.
Topstitching An extra-large eye and deeper groove for use with heavier threads.
Tension, foot pressure, and stitch length affect the performance of your needle.
Needle size is often determined by fabric weight. For quilters using woven quilting-quality cotton, the sizes listed above bring good results. Keep a variety of fresh needles on hand so you can test them with your project and make the best selection. Different phases of your project may require different needles.
Change your needle often, ESPECIALLY before starting and after finishing a paper-foundation-pieced project.
Our thanks go to Judy Johnson, The Threadmonger, for these tips and her ongoing support of Moonlight Quilters!