Quilting needles, also known as Betweens, are the needles of choice for traditional hand quilting. This needle is short, narrow and sharp and features a small, rounded eye. Betweens will surprise you with their very small size, but don't be fooled; they may look little but they are designed to perform. Their shorter length helps make the needle easy to control while creating tiny, accurate stitches. Their thickness and sharpness make them strong enough to penetrate multiple layers with ease. Betweens range in sizes from 3-12. It is recommended that beginners start with a size 8 or 9 needle and when comfortable with that size try a smaller size.
Milliners needles, also called straw needles, are very similar to sharps, but longer.
Big Stitch quilting
In recent times there has been a rise in popularity for Big-Stitch Quilting also known as Pick Stitching or Perle Quilting. This technique results in relatively big, showy stitches that add a different texture and color to a quilt. Most often perle cotton thread in size 8 is used, or a few strands of embroidery floss. These threads are thicker than standard quilting cotton and therefore require a needle with a bigger eye.
Embroidery or Crewel needles are best to use for these threads as they have large eyes and sharp points. The aim is to pick a needle in which the thread will fit comfortably through the eye of the needle and the point has a thickness that won't bend in the layers of your quilt. For Perle 8 cotton I recommend a size 8 or 9 Embroidery needle.
Tapestry needles and chenille needles Chenille needles have a large eye and a sharp point and can be used to add silk ribbon embellishments to your work. are numbered commonly from 18 – 28, with 28 being the smallest.
The best needle is the needle that works best for you and your project.
StitchintheDitch carry only the leading quality needles available for quilters, sewers applique enthusiasts and more!
Ideally, what you want is a needle that feels comfortable, glides through the fabric, has an eye that you can thread, doesn’t bend and is the right size for the fabric you are sewing.
When you choose your hand sewing needle size, the larger the number on the package, the finer/smaller the needle will be.