Sunday, August 21, 2016

Accuracy

How important is it to change your needle?  Well, I can tell you now, it's very important.  Let me tell you about it....


I'm currently working on a new pattern that has patchwork in it.  Before I start cutting, I do math - how big my applique block will be, and how many squares and what size.  Math is not my favorite, but I got it all worked out on paper.  On Paper.

I started cutting and stitching.  Cut my applique block the right size, cut the blocks, and started stitching the blocks into rows.  They were a quarter inch too short!!  Was it my math???


I thought it was, so I trimmed my applique block down 1/4".    The first row fit fine.  I went back to my math, and there was nothing wrong with it - even had hubby check - so I took a look at my needle!

Sure enough, it was off just enough, even with my single-hole 1/4" foot.  Maybe 1/16th of an inch, each seam, it sure added up in a hurry.

The new needle went in, and the next row was perfect.  Unfortunately, I had already cut my applique block down.  But I made it fit.

I have to add, I checked my seam with my ruler, and it said it was 1/4" - but it wasn't.


So, don't be cheap like me, go ahead and put a new needle in.  Honestly, I don't know why I didn't, I buy them by the hundred count box, and they're not expensive.  If you're finding your accuracy suffering, check your needle!

Hopefully I'll remember this post......

Love,
Allie

28 comments:

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Loving this....must check my needle😜💖💖💖

Gretchen Weaver said...

Thanks for the reminder. I try to remember to change my needle every project I sew, sometimes more, depending on the size of the project. The cost of the needle is nothing compared to having the necessary accuracy. Blessings, Gretchen villacrestfarm@gmail.com

Donna Pheneger said...

Thank you for that - I'm starting a new quilt and needed that reminder! Even when they feel sharp, they aren't, are they? ;-)

West Michigan Quilter said...

Great post. I'm terrible about adding a new needle. Thanks for the reminder.

KaHolly said...

EXCELLENT advice! I'm changing my needles today! For me it's not so much being cheap as it is being lazy! XO

Little Quiltsong said...

Thank you for this tip! I'll have to check my needle - never thought how that could make such a difference!

Kate said...

Allie, I would never have thought it was the needle skewing my measurements - thanks so much for this. k

edith csokmay said...

Isn't it amazing how something so simple can make such a big impact. And the last thing we check. New pattern looks adorable.

donna said...

Thank you for the tip Allie. I really need to remember to change my needle more often.
Your blocks are beautiful.
Hugs
donna

Ondrea said...

Great tip. I have been trying to work out why my machine pieced blocks are slightly out and I think you may have solved the mystery. Thankyou!

Lin said...

Great advice Allie. xx

puddlingabout said...

I was always a cheapskate about changing needles, usually only changing them when one broke. I have learned my lesson on that. I sew mostly garments and when you get a dull needle on some fabrics you know it catches threads and pulls and can ruin an entire piece so now I faithfully change my needle at the beginning of every project no matter what. And I make sure it's the right type of needle for the fabric. Despite doing that I never once thought that a skewed needle might put my seams off by a bit. Something more to watch out for! Glad you wrote about it.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Wow....I never thought about the needle...time to change for sure. Love your patchwork and the flower....too cute.

Nancy J said...

I will have to find out where I can get them in bulk down here, usually I get the sets of 5. I know years ago a dressmaker told me he changed the needle for every garment!!!

Jeanette said...

Good idea Allie. Also you've reminded me i need to buy some more - making a note right now. Hugs,xx

Michelle said...

This is a fantastic tip-never thought of it!! Thanks

Kathy said...

Interesting but I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that a dull needle punches a slightly bigger hold which throws off the seam allowance?

desertskyquilts said...

1/16 over 4 seams adds up to 1/4 inch. =) Yes, I change mine at least on the first every month - needle and blade in cutter. More often if it needs it. I also clean out the bobbin area of the machine. Usually 1st and 15th. I sew a lot and even Aurifil thread is messy with that much of it going through the machine. I love how accurate your seams are, though, and the colors and the block you showed.

sunny said...

I'm terrible about changing my needle! And I've recently found that if I move my needle one hair to the right, I get much better results. Off to change my needle now!

WoolenSails said...

This is great advice, I didn't know it could effect my seams like that, maybe it isn't me, lol.
I use mine on other items, so I need to make sure I use a fresh needle when I am quilting.

Debbie

Águeda said...

It is the best suggestion for the today :) Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Allie

I really love the colours and design of the project you are working on!
Thanks for the tip-I always try to put off changing a needle but I can see this isn't a good idea.
Thanks also for your tip on one of your patterns about getting a design using a frixion pen to reappear by putting it in a baggie in a cool place. I was telling myself how silly I was to iron on the interfacing after drawing the design but your hint has solved the problem of having to redraw if-especially as I don't have a light box and have to do it at the window.

Blessings to you
Kerrie
kezzie.k@hotmail.com

Karen said...

Never thought about a somewhat dull needle causing that kind of problem. Will have to check it out.

Rachaeldaisy said...

What a great reminder to change our needles!! I keep new needles next to my machine to remind me too. The fabrics you are using are so pretty!

Tanya said...

I think what keeps me from changing my needle is that I finally find one that works nicely and don't really know what number the new one should be so I don't know what I should buy. I can't even SEE those tiny numbers somewhere on the needle!

Karen Schurr said...

Great advice, Allie. Those tiny numbers surely DO add up! Your quilt is lovely, too. Have a great weekend, Girl :)

Jan said...

I LOVE your patterns. They have a "freshness" to them.
"

Shasta Matova said...

Interesting - I didn't know an old needle could cause this, but I did have a size issue I needed to adjust lately.

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