Needle In A Haystack?

MarveLes Art StudiosBlogs, Sewing Loves, Tutorial 6 Comments

Do you have problems keeping track of your needles? 

I used to.  

Now a colorful Fons and Porter Flower Pincushion I bought several years ago at JoAnn Fabrics is a close ally next to my machine at all times.  Used my 40% coupon.  I suppose they are at least $10 bucks now, but I recall something like $7 or $8 when I purchased mine.  

You can use a tomato pincushion as well.  They are inexpensive, but … well, boring!  I started out with one of those, and actually wore it out.  Also, I can’t see the writing on the sections as well on the red color… now that I am ‘older eyes’ so to speak!  And I LIKE color.  And I like all the multiple sections ~ no limitations!

I even keep some of my hand sewing needles handy in the center. 

I’ve marked mine using a black Sharpie pen, writing on  each colored petal, which indicates a size of needle, or point or style of a needle. I have a petal section for 90/14 metallic, topstitch, sharp, & so on, as you can see from the pic above.  I use alot of titanium needles nowadays, but ‘in the day’ when I first began to do alot of quilting, this was my system.  And it works well for the titaniums as well.  They are easier to know what they are, because they are gold toned, instead of silver… but try reading their size, and without a magnifying glass, that can be a bit daunting! So they go into these same slots, by size.

If my needle is pretty ‘fresh’ – as in I’ve only used it for a few minutes, I will place it towards the outward part of the petal section… if it is brand new, I’ll put it towards the center of the petal.

So what’s that pearly pin for?  Well, as in ‘x marks the spot,’ this pin indicates what size/type of needle that is actually IN my machine.  Some days I can’t remember what I left in my machine, and if I switch from piecing to free motion quilting, I probably need to change needles. So I look at my handy-dandy pin cushion to refresh my memory (as we say in the courtroom!)

Unless my snap trap mind happens to remember.  Now that’s not a bet I’d take! This system really only works well, IF you remember to move the pearly, decorative pin into the section of the type of needle you’ve got in your machine…

Organization I love.  Forgetfulness, not so much.   I am some of those things some of the time… and most of them, most of the time!  But I love my flower petal needle system. And it travels to classes with me ~ READY TO GO.  Any size, type, or style of needle is going with me, and I keep it well stocked.  Love it!

This isn’t the only way you can store needles… I’ve seen a few different types of ‘needle storage systems’  out on the market.  

But this is my favorite.  We’re good friends!

Comments 6

  1. Barbara Shapel was a featured guest at my guild last year. She inspired me to do this very same needle organizing system with the Fons & Porter Petal Pincushion. It works like a dream for me, and I see you are thrilled with it too!
    Great Minds think alike….
    LuAnn in Oregon
    p.s. I will post Part 2 of Snow Dyeing on my blog tomorrow.
    Thanks for your comment.

  2. What an excellent idea! I can never figure out which needle is in my machine. I just went through this yesterday and today as I switched to free motion and back again. I'll be on the look out for a suitable pin cushion now.
    was it you that had the problem with the needle (skipping stitches) while doing free motion work?
    I did too if so, and I called the quilt shop today and ordered more needles. He did say titanium might work well, but also my needle may have been to small. I switched form a small quilting needled to a larger top stitching needle (14) which worked well on teh painted fabric.

  3. I got the book marks (and post card! THANK YOU!) in the mail the other day. My daughter loves hers and I love mine! Thank you so much!

  4. This looks like a great system. I reluctantly admit that I'm very guilty of putting a new needle on my machine and then over using it. I use it until it absolutely needs changing and then I just toss it in my pins and needles container for the trash. Then a new needle comes out of the package.

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