I am now on the 2nd block! It was slow progress at first, but I am picking up speed. It is still going to take a while. When I work on hand quilting, it is usually for an hour or an hour and a half if I am lucky. This is ok with me, because I am also machine quilting MQ6 on my machine. If I get tired of working on one, I move to the other quilt so that it stays fun. Question: How often should I quilt with a new needle? I know on the machine, they say 8 hrs, what is it for a hand quilting needle?
I use a size 10 between sharp. they are short and thin and usually snap several during a quilt. I can stack 4 stitches before I have to pull it in. But if you are lucky enough not to snap the needle, I would change it at least half way through a full size quilt or larger.
your work looks great.
I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules for changing needles but I change mine when I start to get resistance while sewing. The coating on the needle wears off and creates drag. Different brands wear differently. I suppose batting and fabric play a role in how often needles need to be changed.
I know you asked this question way back in May, however, I came across two products lately that may help. I went to the Houston Show last fall for the first time and found two different needles--Regal Needles/Betweens size 12 and Colonial Big Eye Quilting needles size 11. I used both on a king size quilt doing intricate designs and neither broke or bent. This was over a three month period (I was in the latter quarter of hand quilting the quilt when I brought the needles). I have been using the size 12 more recently and it is still going strong--staying sharp and not bending or breaking. True, they do not take as many stitches as the larger needles, however, I get at least six stitches on the needle prior to pulling it through. I don't know if the size or maker has anything to do with it, but I would buy them again in a heartbeat if and when I run out (I have a tendency to lose them while sewing).