Monday 16 May 2016

Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 and Needles

You can see from my recent posts, I am really into the knitty-gritties of FMQ. No wonder really, I have been freemotion quilting for the last couple of months by now. My Wholecloth is nearing the end...

In-lining of the feathers, one grid left and filling in the circle...yep, I am going to go over all those feathers again to give them a bit of a lift. Honestly, I don't seem to be able to stop on this piece and as painful as it looks, I am really enjoying myself...

I use Schmetz needles for my quilting and I have come across two really good articles recently on the Aurifil blog by Rhonda Pierce of Schmetz needles

Schmetz Needles, Part1
Schmetz Needles, Part 2

Rhonda gives a rundown on the various types of needles that are used for quilting and then goes on to talk about which needle she is using and that caught my attention because she is talking about using a 70/10 Microtex needle for the 50/2 thread. That is of course the needle I have been using for a while for my Aurifil thread and I have always felt that I have been a bit out of sink with quilters around me because most people use an 80/12 needle.

I believe that the 80/12 needle is good when you first start out freemotion quilting. It certainly works and it is obviously a stronger needle...when starting off, this makes sense as you are going to be a tad more uncoordinated and probably rough on the needle with some pushing and shoving going on. As one gets more experience and becomes more coordinated it is time to go down a needle size to a 70/10 Microtex needle. This needle is finer and gives more of a refined stitch. This is particularly useful when doing some of the slower designs like feathers where precision counts.

Part 2 is about changing needles. The rough guide is every 8 hours...having stitched my little heart out with this Wholecloth, I can confirm that I had to change needle much more often, probably more like every 4 hours like Rhonda states. After a while of stitching I start having skipped stitches every now and then and that gives me the clue to change my needle (and take a break!). I probably will have gone through a whole packet of needles by the time this Wholecloth is finished.

For that reason, it is also useful to use Signatures Titanium Topstitch needles...I have got them, however have not used them on this particular reason really, other than that I started off with the normal needles...

If you have an Ipad or Iphone, there is also a free little Schmetz App which you can download with everything you ever wanted to know about Schmetz needles. Quite interesting.

Hopefully the next pictures will be of the finished project...not making a lot of headway with my 2016 FAL goals.



  1. Your wholecloth quilt is stunning and you are so close to the finish. Yeah. Very big project, but what a treasure you are creating. Thanks for all the tips on needles.


  2. Guess what?! I've nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award, because you have one lovely blog! Check out my post. No, this isn't spam, and yes, it's actually me xx


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