Having some trouble hand quilting simply because of problems with needle threading? Ami Simms shared some great tips for threading needles in two of her recent newsletters. She said:
If you’re “Slow Quilting,” otherwise known as plain old “hand quilting,” and formerly known as “quilting” (before people started quilting with an electric needle), then threading a needle is something you do with some frequency. Try these tips:
Hold the eye of the needle over something white, or at least light colored, so you can see the eye better. Jamming the thread at the side of the needle isn’t as effective as aiming it at the eye.
Use new thread, and cut the end off the thread at an angle just before you try to thread the needle. Old thread is too limp and hairy. The point you create will give you a slight advantage.
Lick the thread and use your lips or teeth to flatten it on the way out of your mouth. (Sorry if I grossed you out there.) Thread is round but needle eyes are various degrees of oval.
Update the prescription for your eyeglasses, find a 10-year old you can bribe to thread your needles for you, or…
Invest in a good mechanical needle threader like the Bohin Easy Needle Threader.
Then Ami shared a BONUS TIP that I really liked, because I like to sew on trips and it’s REALLY hard sometimes to thread a needle in the car, depending upon the road surface:
Thread the entire pack of needles onto a single spool of quilting thread, then pull off one threaded needle at a time with the exact amount of thread you need.
This might not mean what you think. Watch Ami’s video to see how she does it!
In her next newsletter, Ami mentioned that several of her subscribers e-mailed to remind her (kindly) that she had forgotten two needle threading tricks in the last newsletter.
Forgotten Trick #1: If the thread doesn’t go through on the first try, turn the needle around and go at the eye from the other side. Needle holes are machine punched. One side may be microscopically smoother than the other. I use this trick frequently. Maybe my thread is extra sensitive. Or, maybe I just need a “do-over” to get the thread in. Obviously, this isn’t something you can do with a sewing machine needle.
And, Forgotten Trick #2: Lick the needle instead of the thread. Ami reminds us, “You can’t use this tip on a sewing machine needle either. Truth be told, I purposely left this trick out. It never made sense to me. The argument is that licking the thread makes the thread swell, making it more difficult to pass through the eye. Licking the needle somehow attracts the thread. I never understood that and, possibly for that very reason, this trick never worked for me. But, hey, if it works for you, I’m all for it. Try it! Please note: you have to lick the part of the needle that has the eye. Licking the point of the needle won’t help at all.” Ha!
“New Trick: This is a new one for me. Morgan48 shared that her “sewing machine guy” told her to hold her thread with both hands to thread her sewing machine needle. That puts the thread moving from the middle of your body towards the needle. Getting the thread situated between my two index fingers was a little awkward, but I could keep my head in front of the needle (to see better) and I didn’t have to bend my wrist a lot as I normally do threading with one hand. Interesting. Unless I totally misunderstood the tip. It happens.”
May all your needles be threaded smoothly and your stitches glide like silk.
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