my 3 favorite needles // a non-technical guide
I love to embroider and stitch all kinds of things, and I love sharing my passions and process with others. I've taught online classes and have heard from many people that it was my tutorials that got them started. And still, every once in a while, I think, "I hope they don't find out that I don't know what I'm doing."
Lest you lose all confidence in me, I will say that I've probably earned at least some right to pass on my knowledge, through reading books on stitching (old and new), studying the embroidery work of others, and learning first hand from my grandma. I just don't take it too seriously. My non-technical needle guide will prove that.
There are a shocking number of needle types. Honestly. And my first thought is to just grab whatever is closest. Then I get started and realize that oh yeah, some needles are more suited than others for certain kinds of stitching. I've even shared a little about this before. But today, I thought I'd go into a little more detail. Sort of. This is my list of three-ish favorite needles for embroidery, English paper piecing, hand sewing, and hand quilting.
This one is small.
A long, skinny, sharp needle with a small eye is my choice for joining hexagons for EPP. I find that it is good for grabbing only the fabric and not the paper, which makes a big difference in the speed of your work.
This one is big.
A needle with some heft and a large eye is my choice for any time I need to use perle cotton. It's great for hand quilting because it holds up when going through a lot of layers. Going bigger still makes it possible to use yarn.
This one is just right.
A needle that is medium in thickness, but has a large eye, is my choice for most everything else. Embroidery, basting EPP shapes, hand sewing, and more, are what I use this for. Sometimes I use a sharp needle for felt or if I need to go through paper or interfacing, sometimes I use a ball point needle for when I don't want to poke my fingers too much. Sometimes I'm just not particular.
There are technical names and sizes for all of these (sewing, chenille, embroidery, tapestry), but when I need a needle, if it looks approximately right, I go with it.
No fancy rules here...just stitching for enjoyment!