October 1, 2012

Machine quilting - thin or thick needles?

This weekend I started quilting my garden quilt, the one made up of 27 blocks we exchanged in our quilt guild last December. I decided to use monofilament thread (polyester), as there are a variety of background fabrics and colors, and the quilting would not compete with the beautiful blocks. I was frustrated when I noticed I only had large quilting needles!

I have quilted my projects on my Bernina 440QE for the past 7 years without ever worrying about the size of needle I was using. I've used both quilting and embroidery needles, depending on the thread.

Once I heard we should use larger needles (90/14) if quilting with monofilament. I did that for a while but did not really care for the holes it left on the fabric (Celeste, can you relate?).  Yes, I do prefer quilting with thinner needles.

Since I did not have thin quilting needles, and did not want to drive to a store, I am quilting with embroidery needle (75/11 - my preferred size). How about you - do you have a particular needle you like to machine quilt with?


  1. I also like size 11. When I used ti quilt on my home machine I used a 14. I use 70/10 most of the time for piecing. See you at Sue's. xoxo

  2. Got some 11s last night. No more quilting with large needles, except when I decide to use thicker thread!!!

  3. I heard Bob Purcell (the guy from Superior Thread) that it doesn't matter the size of the needles when it comes to holes. From my experience, the holes are more noticeable when quilting with monofilament thread and it is because of the thread.


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