We are one week into 2023. How are you doing with your resolutions? Have you made any plans for change this year? Do you have a new focus? Maybe you are ready for a change but not sure where to start? I have a simple one for you that will make all the difference in your sewing and embroidery world at least.
Your sewing needle is one of the easiest things to change. They are inexpensive but can make or break your stitching. My last blog was all about bobbin cases and when to change them. I would say that 90 percent of my problems with tension in my embroidery machine are usually related to my bobbin. The other 10 percent can be attributed to my hooping, stabilizer, fabric choice and needle. Now I don't know if you realize this but a brand new needle out of the package can have flaws. I recently tried a new brand from a local big box store and every machine needle in the pack was off center. By that I mean the flat part of the needle back and the eye were not struck the same. When sewing, my thread kept shredding if it picked up at all. Have you seen a lowering of quality in your sewing needles lately? Maybe other notions you usually purchase are not up to the norm? Buying your supplies from the cheapest outlet will sometimes lead to disappointment. I know I won't buy that brand anymore.
Here is another sign that the needle needs to be changed. You are sewing along and you start to see the bobbin thread. Normally on my flatbed machine, I don't need to adjust the bobbin tension at all. On my multi needle, I usually check the tension at each bobbin change. When my flatbed single needle starts acting up like the picture above it is usually an indication that the needle has become dull. Instead of piercing the fabric and moving in between the thread fibers, it will pound the top thread down. It may look like white space or poorly digitized fill shapes at the join areas. You may even hear a distinct sound change in your machine as this happens.
Here is a second stitch out after a needle change. Look how much smoother the fill is with no separation of thread at the junctions. Everything is the same except the needle. I used the same design, kept the original hooping, original stabilizer, bobbin and thread. When you change one thing at a time, you can isolate the problem more easily.
This was the needle I changed to. I have a local sewing machine dealership and the owner has been repairing sewing machines for longer than most people in my age group have been alive. He has seen it all. On a recent trip to his store and in speaking to him about my needle woes he recommended I keep these in my studio. They did the trick on my flatbed machine. Like a knife through hot butter. Just a plug for your local dealership or quilt shop. They have so much knowledge and training. It is worth it to drop by and talk to them. They love helping you with sewing and embroidery.
So here is that stitch out comparison again. What a difference a new needle can make. What does all of this have to do with resolutions? If you need a New Year change and aren't sure where to start, here it is. Change your needle. You can do this one. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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