“Needle Tips”

For years I kept my sewing machine needles in a drawer in my sewing cabinet.  Each time I wanted to change a needle, I went through the sizes and types that were lined up in one big row inside the drawer until I found the one I wanted.  As you can imagine, my lineup of needle packages was neat, but it was not in any organizational format that allowed me to access the needle I wanted in a quick and efficient manner.  One day a few years ago, I decided to take the time to organize my needles, not only by size and kind, but by whether or not they were used for sewing or embroidery.  My organization took the form of an inexpensive lock-lid plastic storage box with two Dollar Store baskets inside.  Not much to brag about, but it works very well for me.  If you have been thinking about organizing your own needle collection, I hope this gives you an idea to get you started on your organizational journey!

My needle box keeps everything displayed in a way that is easy for me to see.
By turning the box one way, I see all the needles I use for embroidery…
…and by turning the box around, I see all the needles I use for all my other sewing.
I have the needles arranged by size and type. This is the embroidery needle side. As you can see in the bottom right corner, when I buy needles in bulk, they are displayed with the information facing up so I know what’s in the box.
This is the general sewing side of the box. The dividers were made by cutting off the top of the card stock store hanger. The needles that are along the side of the box also have dividers; it’s just hard to see them from this angle.
Most sewers have 75/11, 80/12 and 90/14 sized needles in their collection. If you are planning to sew home decor or items such as heavy coats or tote bags, I’d like to suggest you have some size 100/16 and 110/18 needles on hand. Going through thick material becomes so easy once this kind of “needle muscle” is used!
I have tried many needle brands over the years and have found, on my Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking machines, Inspira, Organ and Schmetz needles seem to work the best. I have not had success with the Klasse needles. These seem to break more often for me and they tend to produce more skipped stitches.
If you have read my blog for a while, you know I really like to use Titanium and Chrome coated needles. They are a bit more expensive than standard needles, but I find them to be well worth the few cents more. I use them in my general sewing as well as in my embroidery.

After organizing your own needles, please remember to change your needle every 6 to 8 hours of sewing time, if you are using a standard needle. If you are using a chrome or titanium coated needle, that sewing time between needle changes usually stretches anywhere from 20 to 25 hours. As a general rule, if you are breaking the top thread more than twice in a sewing session or if your machine is skipping stitches, you may want to change your needle. Chances are, all your troubles will disappear! Happy Sewing!