What size thread and what needle for hand quilting?

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sydney gossin posted on Sun, Jul 13 2014 12:43 PM

After a thirty year layoff I have come back to quilting! My question is what size thread is suitable for hand quilting? What size needle would work for hand quilting? I hate those little short betweens.  I don't have a longarm so its either by hand or free motion or stitch in the ditch. I am currently quilting a small quilt for my quilters group. My sewing machine of choice is my 35 yr old Pfaff Creative. It just keeps on a ticking! Is it necessary to use a hoop for hand quilting? 

Thanks everyone

Sydney G

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gini replied on Sun, Jul 13 2014 2:09 PM

Hi Sydney welcome to the group.  If I don't hoop, I get puckers on the back, unless it is closely basted.   Shorts are the needle of choice because they have the strength, unless things have changed recently.

gini in north idaho

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Kris replied on Sun, Jul 13 2014 10:06 PM

I believe betweens are best for hand quilting due to strength, as Gini mentioned. You can get bigger betweens (smaller number) and get the ones that have a bigger eye to make threading easier. Of course if you stab stitch I suppose you could use other needles with success. 

I use a hoop or hand quilting frame when I hand quilt.

Hand quilting thread is stronger than regular sewing thread I believe most are 30 to 50 weight. I think you can quilt with any thread as long it is strong enough to hold the quilt together. Fine crochet thread is an option as well as perle cotton.

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Hi Sydney, the needles I use for hand quilting are Dritz Quilter's Betweens...I get them at Joann's...I have tried every hand quilting needle out there and always come back to these for their strength....I use anywhere from a size 9 - 7, with the larger the number being a smaller gauge....as for thread I have also tried everything  and find the Guterman 100% cotton hand quilting thread to be my favorite, it is the one on a beige spool. You don't have to use a hoop, I do because it is much easier to keep everything nice and smooth. 

newport, tennessee


"may there always be work for your hands to do"

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