Facts Everyone Should Know About Quilting Needles for Sewing Machine

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Learning About the Different Quilting Needles for Sewing Machine

You will need a sewing pattern, a spool of thread, and fabric as you begin a new quilting project. When it comes to quilting, don’t forget about the needle on your sewing machine.

In order to sew through numerous layers of fabric and wadding, quilting needles are designed with a reinforced shaft. To help quilters stitch more swiftly and evenly, these needles are shorter than sharps.

Have you ever fantasized of making quilts on your home sewing machine? Fortunately, sewing machines equipped with quilting needles make this a reality. You may learn how to quilt at home by reading this article.

Quilting Needles for Sewing Machine

sewing machine needle size for quilting

Machine quilting needles, like their hand-quilting counterparts, are created with quilting in mind. For machine quilting to do its job properly, the needles must be sharp enough to easily penetrate the layers of a quilt sandwich.

While sewing machine needles may be interchanged, what distinguishes the two? Needles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, as you may be aware, including universal needles, quilting needles, Microtex Sharp Needles, and so on.

However, how can you decide which kind is most suited to your quilting project? You will learn today about the differences between different kinds of sewing machine needles and how to pick the best one for your quilting project.

Before we get started, it’s important that you understand a few terms

quilting sewing needles

Point Style

When it comes to needles, point style is important since it specifies how the needle’s tip is fashioned, which in turn indicates what sort of needle it is.


It is the size of the needle that dictates the kind of material or thickness of cloth that should be used, as well as the weight of the thread.

Color Code

If the needle is not in its packaging, the color of the shaft reveals which sort of needle it is. This is especially useful when using a sterile needle.


The quilt top is constructed by putting fabric pieces together in a piecing technique.


Sewing across the three quilt layers (top, batting, and backing) to hold them all in place is known as quilting (or piecing) (sometimes decorative).

For quilting, there are many different types of quilting sewing machine needles

Quilting Needles are used to make quilts

The purpose of quilting needles, as opposed to sharps needles, is to sew through numerous layers of fabric and wadding at the same time. They are, on the other hand, substantially shorter in length than sharps needles, enabling quilters to stitch more swiftly and consistently.

Typically, a smaller needle, such as a size 7 or 8, would be preferred for beginners. More experienced quilters, on the other hand, will want a larger needle. A green color code stripe on the needle helps you identify the size you’re working with; sizes 75/11, 80/12, and 90/14 are all available.

Needles That Are Used Across the Board

Universal needles, as the name says, are the needles that are used the most often. Their applications include woven textiles, synthetic fabrics, and certain knit fabrics, however for particular knit fabric applications, please check the other needle kinds mentioned below.

Lightweight fabrics are often stitched with finer needles to provide a more delicate finish. In the case of medium to heavyweight fabrics, bigger sizes are required.

When working with polyester/cotton or silk threads, a universal needle should be used. It is available in a number of different sizes, the most common of which are 75/11, 80/12, and 90/14.

Sharps Needles

If you’re quilting with many layers of cotton and wadding, or if you’re working with tightly woven materials such as silk or microfiber, you should use a sharp needle. These needles are designed to be used with numerous layers of cloth without breaking.

Of course, a stronger shaft prevents needles from being bent or breaking, and a sharp tip helps them to puncture the material and generate flawless buttonholes when they are used. A small round threading eye is also beneficial to the stitching process since it provides strength to it.

Needles for topstitching

Topstitch needles feature a razor-sharp tip that quickly penetrates a variety of different kinds of fabric. Because of the big eye, it is possible to use thick top-stitching thread.

80/12, 90/14, and 100/16 are the sizes that are available; there is no color designation for any of them. Because the higher sizes will result in larger holes in the textile, while using these needles, be sure you use the right thread size for the fabric.

Sharp Needle from Microtex

It has a thin shaft and sharp tip, and it is suited for use with delicate woven fabrics such as poplin cotton, voile, lawn, and other lawn-type fabrics. The point method is crisp and pointed, resulting in beautiful stitches that are great for putting together pieces of fabric.

It is available in sizes 60/8, 65/9, 70/10, 80/12, and 90/14, and features a purple code stripe on the side. It is recommended that the thinner needle be changed more regularly due to the increased likelihood of it breaking. If the needle breaks on a regular basis, it is recommended that the needle size be increased.

The Difference between a Universal Needle and a Quilting Needle

A universal needle, as the name indicates, is a needle that can be used for a variety of different sewing tasks. When you are unable to get specialist quilting needles, this needle is the most suitable alternative. The tip of this needle is not as sharp as the tip of a quilting or top-stitching needle, despite the fact that it is ideal for all-purpose stitching and may also be used for quilting.

The Quilting Needle is the best needle for piecing and machine quilting since it is so flexible. The sharp point of this needle helps it to puncture through numerous layers of material and stitch evenly across seams without catching or fraying.

What Needle Size Should I Use for Machine Quilting?

As a general guideline, you should use a needle that is the same size as the thread that you are working with. Whenever you see a little number on a scale, remember that the needle is becoming smaller. As the number of people rises, the needle grows in bigger. Because of the differences in the way various manufacturers label their needle packages, the size of a needle is sometimes stated as two additional digits on the packaging.

Threads in the 40-weight and 50-weight ranges are the most often seen on quilting machines. It is recommended that you use this thread weight with the size 18/4.0 needle.

When working with finer threads, such as 60-weight and 100-weight threads, you may choose to use a smaller needle size, such as a 16/3.5. When working with thicker threads, such as strong cotton, you may need to use a 19/4.5 needle.

Most people try to use the tiniest needle possible to produce the smallest hole possible in order to get the best-looking stitch. With each stitch you make, the eye of your needle will be shaving away the outside of the thread.

It’s a solid sign that you need to raise the needle size in this situation. Of course, if you’ve been quilting nicely for a while and your top thread suddenly starts to rip, it’s an indication that your needle has become dull.

Depending on the size of the quilt, the density of your patterns, and the kind of fabrics used, you may need to replace your needles more often. The finest bit of advice, though, is: When beginning a new craft, always start with a fresh needle!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is the difference between a quilting needle and a standard needle?

Quilting needles are characterized by their very small length, sharp point, and round eye. The diameter of the needle is the same as that of a sharp needle, but the length of the needle is much shorter, which enables the quilter to produce swift and uniform stitches.

Can you quilt with a universal needle?

For example, jeans and denim needles are constructed to stitch through heavy textiles, while universal needles are designed to be used for a variety of different types of sewing, including the construction of patchwork. Quilting needles feature a tip that is ever-so-slightly rounded, and their design is tailored to the process of machine quilting.

How do I pick a needle to use for quilting?

Pick a needle that has a big eye and can handle a thread weight that is somewhere in the middle while you are hand quilting a quilt. You might consider going with a size 7 or 8, as these will have a longer shaft that will make it simpler to maneuver between the several layers of your quilt. When using sewing needles, the number indicates how much shorter and finer the thread is.

What is the ideal needle size for quilt piecing?

For both piecing and quilting, I always use a needle with a size between 11 and 11, and I have done so for the whole of my time spent sewing. There are a lot of individuals who think that size 11 shoes are too small for them and would rather wear size 10 shoes instead. Betweens needles are shorter and more robust in comparison to applique needles, which are longer and more delicate.

What is the most recommended thread for machine quilting?

A cotton thread with a weight of 40 is an ideal option for the majority of quilting projects that can be completed on a home machine. As a result of the greater weight of the 40 weight cotton thread compared to the finer weight of the 50 weight cotton thread, quilting stitches will be more clearly seen on the finished quilt.


During the process of quilting, stitches are employed to create designs as well as to keep the quilt’s layers together. Quilting and sewing are not the same thing. The primary difference between sewing stitches and quilting stitches is whether you want the stitches to be visible or if you want them to contribute to the overall look of the finished product.

As a consequence, in order to successfully finish a quilting job, you must always use the appropriate quilting needles.

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.

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