Needle Know How and a Give-away

You’ll find a lot of hand embroidery information in my new online class, Fused Art Quilts: Tiny Homes. In this class, you’ll learn how to create improvisational fused art quilts and how to embellish them as well. I show you how to make various embroidery stitches and discuss thread weights and needle sizes too.

Why talk about needle sizes? It’s important to match your thread with the correct size of hand embroidery needle. Needles that are too small for the thread are difficult to thread and difficult to pull through the fabric. If a needle is too large for the thread, the smaller thread will not be able to fill in the giant hole the needle makes. Here’s a simple chart to help you match your hand embroidery needle to the correct size of pearl cotton thread.

So match your needle with your thread and happily stitch away. Here’s a simple chart to help you match your hand embroidery needle to the correct size of pearl cotton thread.

Win a Set of Hand Embroidery Needles!

Would you like to win a packet of hand embroidery needles like I use in Fused Art Quilts: Tiny Homes?

Then please leave a comment below and you may be the lucky winner!

A Needle Tip

Cloaked in mystery, the hand embroidery needle industry has an enigmatic method of sizing needles.

I use Mary Arden needles. They come in the standard packaging for most hand embroidery needles. See the size notation of 1/5 in the upper right corner?

Here’s a rundown of what the 1/5 means. And how to use the different needle sizes with pearl cotton threads:

  • Size 1 (the largest needles in the packet). Use them with a size 3 and sometimes a size 5 pearl cotton thread.
  • Size 3 (the middle size needles). Use them with size 8 and sometimes a size 5 pearl cotton thread.
  • Size 5 (the smallest needles in the packet). Use them with size 12 pearl cotton thread.

And here’s another strange thing. When you compare needles between brands, you find they vary in length and girth even though they are labeled as being the same size. It seems there is no Needle Standardization Authority. Like I said. It’s a mystery!