Do you sometimes find that threading your needle is difficult? It happens to all of us at one time or another whether we are hand quilters or machine quilters. For whatever reason, someone once showed us to lick the thread or to moisten our fingers with saliva then wet the tip of the thread, but there are other ways to make needle threading easier that do not involve sharing slobber.
You can always use a needle threader. Chances are if you are sewing with a new machine, you probably have one built in. A lot of quilters never take time to learn how to use the needle threader, but it can be worth the time. Most of the time a machine needle threader only involves wrapping the end of your thread around a small built in accessory then the tool simply pulls toward the back, threading the needle.
You can use a needle threader even if you sew by hand. These handy little tools are big enough to easily be held in your hand on one end. The other end is small, thin, flexible and looped into a “V” shape – a very fine wire. You slip your thread inside the flexible end and slip the pointed “V” end into the eye of your needle. Along the same lines, you can use those dental floss threaders the same way.
Another way to thread your needle is to utilize that “V” shape principle from the hand needle threader. If your thread is giving you trouble, bend a small area into the shape of a “V.” The tip of the “V” will often help slide your thread right through.
Keep some finger tip wax, petroleum jelly or lip balm around to help you thread pesky needles too. A little of either of these three products goes a long way. Rub a little on your finger tips then rub the end of your thread between your fingers. This straightens the tip of the thread and makes it easier to slip through the eye of your needle.
In addition to these few tricks, there are a few things to always keep in mind to make needle threading easier. For instance, always snip the end of your thread at an angle. Angling the end of the thread helps point it directly through the eye of the needle.
Patience also goes a long way in needle threading. If you have trouble seeing small things, add a magnifying glass to your sewing kit. If you have trouble holding onto the thread, use a pair of tweezers. Some quilters find that the tweezers help steady the hands.
You should also make sure you use the correct needle and thread for your sewing and quilting. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to thread a thicker, heavy weight thread through the eye of a small, thin needle. Be sure the needle matches your sewing needs, then get the right thread for the job.
The same is true for your sewing machine or quilting machine needles. Match the purpose to the needle, then the needle to the thread.
If you have never used the wrong needle for a project, you probably haven’t considered how damaging the situation can become. If your needle is too thick for the fabric you are sewing, you run the risk of puncturing holes that remain large in the fabric.
This can be especially damaging if the thread you use is a very fine one because the thread will float amid the large holes punctured by the needle. Floating thread inside large holes does not make very stable quilts.