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Machine Minute - Needle and Thread Pairings: Batiks

Choosing the correct needle and thread combination results in great stitches. Learn how to select the right needle and thread for sewing batiks.

Mon, 22 Oct 2012|

Hi, I'm Jennifer here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Now a great machine can make great stitches, but you do have a couple of choices to make about your machine needle and thread size that matches your project, and that can lead to great success getting a perfect stitch every time. Of course you can refer to your machine manual, which generally have a guide in them for thread type and needle combinations. We don't always have that with us when we go to the store. So I'm going to share with you a few things you might want to look for when you're shopping for your needle and thread combinations. Now typically when we're working with quilting cottons we're using a sharp needle, and it might be listed as micro-tech sharp needle or quilting needle. The important thing to look for is something with a sharp point. And for most quilting projects where we're working with cotton, we might be using a size 75/11 or 80/12. That's fairly common. But more and more, people are finding that they like using batiks along with quilting cottons in their projects. And batiks have a little bit different property than standard do. They have a little higher thread count, a little tighter weave, and it can be helpful to make a different needle choice when you're working on a batik quilt. Choose a little bit finer needle, which I tried to use a 70/10, again using a sharp but a little bit finer needle. For your thread choice you might also consider a finer thread. But for machine quilting threads, they're listed by number -- often at the bottom of the spool or if you flip the spool over and it's signed the very bottom all together, and it might be listed as 60 or 50 or a 40. And it's important to note that thread sizes are the opposite of needle sizes. For needles, the lower the number, the finer the needle. For thread, the lower the number, the heavier the thread. So when you're working with a finer needle like 70/10 for batiks, you might actually want a higher number on your thread. So work with a 50 or 60 weight thread with your batiks and you'll have better results. Finding the perfect needle and thread combination for the fabric choices you're making can improve your stitch quality greatly, so make sure you pay attention to that.