My house, etc., was pretty neglected after those two Rail Fence finishes, so I haven’t been sewing much. Also, it’s been hot and very humid. Each day I’ve put a few minutes into turning these strings of fabric into something artful. We’ll have to see how I do, eventually.
As I pieced today, the thread started to do that maddening thing where it had double strands coming out of the needle, into the fabric, and back through the needle again. How is that even physically possible? I fixed it and rethreaded the machine a few times, and then finally I changed the needle. Yep, that was what it was. Sewing fine now.
The reason I was reluctant to change the needle (even though I knew that was what it needed) is because I just changed it a few days ago while quilting the Cowboy Rail Fence. It had begun to skip stitches, so I changed it then and got back to work. So I quilted most of that quilt and then the whole Plaid quilt with that needle, then did some mending through twill and light denim fabric with it. Yep, only a few days, but it was probably due.
When I was growing up, I swear my mother never changed the needle until it broke. I was usually in trouble for forcing her to get out a new needle from her tiny stock. We were only sewing garments, but I don’t remember any trouble with those well-used needles. Were they harder than today’s? Were the machines more forgiving? I don’t know, but today I know I put a lot more miles on a needle in a few days, and I need to change them frequently (when I don’t break them off doing stupid stuff with different feet or the wrong plate or my finger…).
Skipping stitches? Change the needle. Stitches going, “Thack, thack, thack”? Mmhmmm. That weird tangley thing I had today? Yep. You know it. Go ahead and change it, and save yourself a lot of grief. Wish they came in bigger packages!
I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
July 2, 2014 at 7:35 PM
You can actually buy them in bigger packages online. Here is a link to red rock threads, you can buy them in a 100 pack. http://www.redrockthreads.com/schmetz/schmetz-sharp.asp This link is for the sharps, since that’s what I use, but they have all kinds on the side bar.
And I agree, my mother was sewing as I was growing up, and I don’t remember seeing her changing the needle in her machine either. She had an industrial one since she was sewing those heavy duty suede gloves.
July 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM
It probably is a good idea to change the needle frequently, but I usually wait until a “problem” arises.
July 3, 2014 at 8:08 AM
I find the titanium ones will go a bit longer but there’s nothing like a new needle or a new rotary blade!