Machine quilting can be both meditative and fun. And when you choose the right machine quilting needle for your project, your satisfaction will increase tremendously, because fraying, broken threads and other similar problems will be minimized.
Schmetz is a well known sewing machine needle manufacturer. According to the company's ads, their needles are universal, so will work in any sewing machine. You'll find other brands of needles when you shop for quilting supplies.
Needle knowledge is critical for quilters. We use different fabrics and a variety of threads, so we have to choose sewing machine needles that work best for specific projects.
- The eye of a needle is important, especially when using either a metallic thread (which frays easily) or a thick thread. The eye of Schmetz's Metallica needle is longer than a typical needle's, allowing thread to move through the opening with less friction. Other manufacturers offer similar needles.
- The type of needle is also important. For instance, Jeans/Denim needles are made to sew through thicker fabrics and Universal needles are great for general purpose sewing. You'll also find needles for stretch fabrics and needles for other specific tasks.
- Quilting needles have a slightly rounded point and are designed specifically for machine quilting.
- Schmetz's Microtex needles have very sharp points and come in various sizes. The 90/14 version work nicely for quilting.
- Topstitch needles have a longer eye, which means more room for your thread as it passes through. You can use thicker threads with Topstitch needles.
One of the most common sizes of machine needles is the 90/14. It's my favorite machine quilting needle because it has a sturdy shaft that holds up well when quilting through layers, along with a needle eye that's big enough to accommodate most of the threads I use.