You’re never too old or too young to learn about threading the needle.
IMPORTANT Count your blessings. You don’t have to thread a needle. You get to thread a needle because you are lucky enough to be a quilter.
I hope these tips will make it easier to thread the needle any time you get to do it.
Let’s start with a few advanced tips for threading the needle.
1. Thread a few needles onto the spool while your eyes are fresh. Remove one needle at a time with a length of thread as needed.
2. Make friends with children. That’s what Lucy Boston did.
Often one of the village children would come in and thread a collection of needles with white cotton for her. This went on for some years and there are a number of local children, now adults, who remember contributing in this way towards her patchworks. One small girl was often followed by her cat who would sit by the front door waiting for her to reappear. Lucy had a horror of cats in the garden, as it is such sanctuary for birds, so would fiercely shoo the cat away. The child was never brave enough to say that it was hers.
That is from page 98 of Diana Boston’s wonderful book. Lucy Boston was still sewing in her 90s. Wonderful inspiration. You and I can too.
3. Rub the eye of the needle on the thread until it jumps through the eye. This is a big deal on YouTube right now. It didn’t work for me and it frayed my thread but hey, now you know about it.
You probably already know some of these tips for threading the needle.
These tips are in my hand piecing instructions in Inklingo Design Books, like the Inklingo Hexagon Quilt Design Book ($10 or free) and others.
- Good lighting
- Reading glasses
- Cut the thread at an angle to make a point, not straight across
- Hold the eye in front of a white surface
- Pinch the thread between your fingers. Don’t lick it!
- Stiffen limp thread with beeswax or thread conditioner. Some use hairspray. (Sounds messy)
- Use a needle with an eye that is compatible with the size of the thread. Use a bigger needle when you need to.
- Use a needle threader
- Switch hands. Move the needle toward the thread instead of the thread toward the needle. (It works for some.)
- See the tips on the 2-hour DVD lesson in Quilted Diamonds 2.
I think she got it!
I hope you do too and that being a quilter fills you with happiness.
Bonus tips from Monkey
Monkey also suggests we should consider all the ways we contort our faces while we sew to be good exercise. Not aerobic, but good for the facial muscles.
Monkey says it’s one of his secrets for looking so young after all these years. Also, wear sunscreen and a sunhat and drink plenty of water. You might not look as young as the little darlings in the video (link above) but it will help.
Mug Rug Fail
I shared this photo on Facebook yesterday. Monkey won’t put the mug down on this LeMoyne Star. He says it is too perfect. I sewed it with the shapes in the free shape collection.
If you don’t have it yet, start with the free Diamond Triangle Square shape collection.
Will you print, cut, and thread a few needles today? And sew a mug rug? We are soooo lucky to be quilters! Let’s sew all day.
Thank you for visiting.
Linda & Monkey in Canada
6 thoughts on “Threading the Needle, my best tips”
I read long ago that you should look through the eye at the thread and bring it towards you. It worked for me back then. At 79, I don’t see it as well. The needles stacked on a spool has served me well for many years now.
Thanks for all your ideas and tips.
Hi Gay, I’ll have to try this. Thank you for sharing your tip. I think all of us want to be quilting when we are in our 80s and I hope you will be too.
My mom read somewhere, long ago, to touch the backside of the needle with a lick dampened finger. The little bit of spit will pull the thread through the eye. I use it on my sewing machine as well as hand sewing if I don’t have my needle threader.
Thank you, Jaine. I can see why this would work. Great tip.
A day without threading a needle is a sad day for me. Sadly, I’m at a convention for the next few days and won’t be threading a needle, but hand pieced for the 10 hours I sat in the car yesterday and will do the same on Sunday on our drive back home. Thanks for the tips and teaching me about continuous stitching. Sewing the diamonds around the outside edges of over 600 8-pointed stars is “sew” much faster without starting and stopping for each diamond.
Hi Claudette, Your message is music to my ears! Thank you. I hope you will share photos of your 600 8-pointed stars when you get home!!! That is a lot of stars. WOW. I am sorry you cannot sew today but the anticipation of Sunday is very nice.