Friday, May 17, 2019
sunday afternoon i walked into my sewing room to locate a new needle for handquilting "beauty for ashes" quilt. as i looked around the room i recently (but not completely) rearranged, i realized i was looking in the proverbial haystack for a new needle! i have no idea where the particular orange box containing my tulip betweens was hiding in that vast and convoluted space. so i grabbed some sashiko needles from the same maker and quickly shut the doors behind me.
i've been using the same needle for several of my handwork projects for months now and figured it was a good idea to replace it, like you do with the machine periodically. it wasn't giving me any trouble, but it just seemed long overdue since i've handquilted a few quilts and bound several others all on the same little needle. it's slightly bent after all it's use.
i had the sashiko needles around because last time i was at the sewing store they didn't have the sharps i wanted in stock. sashiko is a handwork tradition so i thought it might be a good bet for my handquilting. i know absolutely nothing about sashiko other than what i just said, so i knew nothing about it's needle's dimensions or properties.
well, the needle is larger and longer. it's easier to get a grip on than my tiny little sharp was. and the eye is more compatible to 12wt thread. but it didn't allow me to make my stitches as small as i was used to doing. and it was difficult to push and pull through the fabrics. i felt like i was punching holes in the fabrics. perhaps this is all my inexperience or because i'm using it in a way not intended. who knows? obviously i need to research that more.
either way, after struggling through one row of stitches, i located my warped old friend and got back to work. despite it's age and extensive use, it still slides through the fabrics quite easily and oh so daintily. yes, the eye is still a challenge to thread, but it's manageable (with my readers on and a little patience) and i feel like it leaves less of a mark behind than the large needle did.
i don't have time to trek over to the fabric store across town, but i did locate more of the needles i want online. until then, this trusty little fella is working for me just fine! i'm curious to see if a new one feels any different at all.