Friday, June 24, 2011

A New Way to Thread the Needle...and another OPAM finish

It hasn't been a very quilty week for me thus far.  I did manage to finish Block 1 of Baltimore Album Quilt 2:

(Don't look at it too close, especially the center....I've still got to do one just like it for the other quilt and I'm hoping it turns out much pointier, and rounded and I'm not worrying about any of those inside points fraying when washed.)

I gotta tell ya, it is not easy doing needle turn applique with a bandage on your index finger. While I can get used to using my thumb and middle finger with the needle, I've still got to turn under fabric, and I feel like I'm doing this with a big old bear's paw. 'Precise' is not achievable. I have tried it without the bandage on, but then the very fine silk thread gets caught up in the slit I cut into my finger...I can't win. It'll heal, eventually, and I'll be back to normal. (And in case you're worried, the doctor saw it Tuesday and used it as an opportunity to give me a Tetanus (Diptheria, Pertussis) vaccine...ouch!!

I think I need to go back to a project on the machine for the weekend.  Sigh...if only tomorrow were Saturday.

Now, I don't know about you, but as I get older (and hopefully wiser), I find it's not so easy to see to thread those little tiny eyed applique needles. I've been pretty lucky so far and have managed to get that thread into the needle on most occasions..even while riding in a car or on a plane, but I can't count on divine intervention forever, so I took my 40% off JoAnn coupon and bought myself one of these:

It's the Clover desk needle threader. The concept is pretty easy, lay the thread across the the little channel in the center, stick the needle (eye down) in the slot, push down on the lever, and after a few tries, you'll get the thread pushed into the eye, and if you are ever so careful taking the needle out, you'll be able to grab the tiny little millimeter of thread that has pushed through and pull it further. Bottom line...not thrilled, waste of money, glad I didn't pay full price ($14.95) for it.

Save your money. I'm going to give you an easy way to thread a needle without the need for bringing in the heavy equipment.

The concept is a simple one. Instead of holding the needle steady and guiding the thread through the eye of the needle (which is how the majority of us thread a needle), you're going to hold the thread steady and drop the eye of the needle on to the thread. 

I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos....the hubs had to take them as I needed two hands, and he's about as adept with the digital camera as he is with the computer (which isn't saying much).

Start with about 18" of thread (any longer and you're just asking for it to tangle itself) and hold it between your thumb and first finger of the hand you don't write with. Be sure you have a nice clean cut end.

 Now pull the thread down through your fingers so that only the tiniest bit of end is sticking up. This is the trick to having the thread 'stand up' and not flop; over.

Now hold the needle in your other hand between your thumb and forefinger (unless you've got on a spiffy purple bandage, in which case you need to use your middle finger).

And guide the eye of the needle down over the thread.

And wah-la! Your needle is painlessly threaded....JUST LIKE THAT.

Now go try it yourself. You'll never thread a needle  the 'other' way again.


  1. Thanks for the review. I had plans to purchase a needle threader. Now I will think twice. Love your purple bandage!

  2. What great tips today. I love your applique....sorry about your finger.

  3. I went and tried threading the needle with your "new" way and it worked! Thanks for sharing. Take care of that finger.


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