The Best Machine Quilting Stitch Length
by Kelsi Watts: The best stitch length for machine quilting is 2.5 to 3.0 which will give you 8 to 12 stitches per inch. Adjust your stitch length based on fabric thickness and weight.
Stronger fabrics often require fewer stitches per inch but pieces with heavy padding require more.
Best stitch length to stitch in the ditch
To lock your quilting pieces together securely the best stitch length to stitch in the ditch with is 1.5mm. Several layers of stitching will ensure you don’t end up with a hole in your quilt and 1.5mm is sufficient to keep your pieces together tightly.
What a 90 14 needle is used for
90/14 needles are suitable for medium weight fabrics, slightly heavier weight cotton, polyester, linen and lightweight upholstery fabric. Lighter weight fabrics such as silk require a smaller sized needle. The lighter the fabric, the smaller the needle required.
Choosing the best needle for free motion quilting
For free motion sewing machine quilting choose the needle size that best suits the weight of your thread. As a general rule 40 wt thread requires a size 75 needle.
Unless you are piecing together extra thick padding a small to medium sized needle that is sharp to slightly rounded will work fine.
What the numbers on sewing machine needles mean
The numbers assigned to sewing machine needles represent the fabric thickness they are able to sew. Larger numbers are capable of sewing thicker fabric. Conversely, smaller numbers are for sewing lighter weight fabrics. Care must be taken to match needle size with project material for best results.
Tips for quilting on a regular sewing machine
Quilting with a regular sewing machine isn’t easy but it is possible. Straight-line quilting with a walking foot or a free motion quilting foot work best. If you want to give it a try be patient, keep the scissors handy and work a little more slowly until you get the hang of it.
Beautiful sewing machine quilts are very satisfying to make.
The best sewing machine needle for cotton
The best needles for sewing cotton fabric are medium-sized needles such as 80/12 and 90/14. They work well with quilting pieces, lightweight upholstery, denim, cotton, silk and other fabrics of similar weight.
Needle size for sewing vinyl
Vinyl is a heavier weight fabric requiring a larger size needle to handle thickness without breaking. Before starting your next vinyl project, prep your sewing machine with a leather or denim needle size 90/14. For perfectly symmetrical stitches in vinyl use a denim twin needle.
Between needles, when to use them
Between needles are what quilters use to ‘sandwhich’ padding and patterns together. The shaft of a between needle is shorter than average so that it does not bend as easily while quilting.
Between needles come in different sizes, however, the best size for your quilting application is the one which barely allows the thread you are using to fit through the eye of the needle.
Properly setting sewing machine tension
A 4.5 sewing machine tension setting is the default position for normal straight-stitch sewing. 4.5 is suitable for most fabrics, however, if you perform any stitch that requires width, like a zig zag stitch, you may find the tension is too tight.
Conversely, fine threads may require less tension in order to prevent thread breaking.