Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Night

Today was the hand pieced hexagon class at O'Susannah's. Imagine my delight when one student brought in not one, not two, but three finished quilts, all since March 9! These are the work of Diane C., who is a wonderful lady and prolific quilter!

The first piece is from the All Curves Cutwork Class on March 31. Instead of one block, Diane made three and made a runner out of them.

The next two quilts are from the Thimbles class. What a difference the choice of fabrics makes. The tea cup piece is very elegant, while the novelty print one is whimsical and fun.

Diane hand quilted all three pieces. Great job, Diane!

Here's a tip for you on this Sunday night: When choosing a hand sewing needle, the larger the number, the smaller the needle. For example, a 12 is smaller than an 11, which is smaller than a 10, etc. My preference for needles is this: For hand piecing and applique, I like John James Gold n' Glide Size 11. They are not cheap and you may want to try something a bit less costly if you're not sure you'll like the technique. On the less costly side: John James Sharps 11 (or 10 if you like a bit bigger eye and a bit more length); Richard Hemming Large Eye Sharps size 10 or 11.

For hand quilting I like Richard Hemming Large Eye (NOT big eye) betweens size 10. With the technique that I do, there is a lot of torque on the needle and the size 11 and 12 tend to break, especially when quilting through seams. Hands having a hard time holding a small needle? Move to an 8 or 9 between for a bit more length.

The good news? Needles are probably the cheapest part of our projects, yet can do the most damage when not used properly. Do you have a burr at the end of the needle that catches in your fabric? Does the eye have a rough spot that keeps breaking thread? Is there a point on the needle? (Don't laugh at this one: I tried to applique with a new needle and kept wondering why the fabric handled like iron--there was no point!) Change your needle at least every 8 hours of sewing. You need more hand strength to work with a dull needle--give your hands a break!

Remember every day that you are special and unique. Celebrate you!


  1. Nice work Diane and thanks for the great needle info Sharon! I always struggle with which needle and which thread to use.


  2. HI Sharon...

    You truly inspire your students. Hey, look at me! I'm a dyed in the wool machine piecer, in a hand piecing class. You've made me want to get back to those hexagons! :-) You're what a teacher should be, educational, inspirational, and fun. Who knew??!! lolol Quick question, why do you not want your fabric starched for hand piecing? I knew I should have wrote my questions down! Take care and thanks again for autographing my book. Can't wait for those new ones! sylvia

  3. Hi Sharon,

    The best handquilting needles I've ever used are #11 betweens sold by Anita. They practically quilt by themselves, LOL.

    Thanks for giving me something interesting to read!

    (Wiawaka 2005 and 2006)


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