Hand quilting needles are available in a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses, and they enable you to practice this age-old craft most manually. Some may argue that hand quilting gives you more control over the entire process because it is slow and manual, which means you can tailor-make some very intricately designed quilts.
Regardless of this, the importance of hand quilting cannot be overlooked, and it all starts with the quilting needle. To help you pick a good piece, our article covers 5 of the best hand quilting needles that you can buy in the market.
Are You Looking For Best Hand Quilting Needles? Here’s What You Need to Consider
Before buying a hand quilting needle, there are a couple of things that you need to consider. These are:
The needle size is the first thing to consider, as well as to notice as you look at any needle set. However, this can be a little bit confusing as there are two main size classifications, which are the UK and US classifications.
Using the UK sizing, the larger the number, the smaller the needle and vice versa. On the other hand, for US sizing, the larger the number, the larger and the longer the needle, and vice versa. Even though all of the above products are made in the UK, the size classification used above is based on US standards.
With that in mind, the large size needles are ideal for use by beginners because they have a larger surface area to grip on.
However, most hand quilting experts prefer between needles, which are small and much shorter, because they easily penetrate through thick quilts that have different layers of fabric and batting. This means that as a pro, you will work at a faster pace.
Therefore, it is recommended to begin with size 11 or 12, then work your way down to the smaller needles, the more you perfect your skills in this craft.
Number Per Set
Having understood the needle size classification, the next thing to consider is the number of needles per kit. Of course, the more the pieces, the better, and these usually range from around ten going all the way up in multiples of 10.
Apart from the number, another thing to check is the assortment of sizes. If the pack contains only a single size of needles, then make sure you buy according to your preference or skill level.
However, the best pack should contain differently sized needles so that it can accommodate hand quilters at different skill levels as well as different personal preferences for different quilters.
A needle’s eye size directly affects how easy it is to thread it. The larger the eye, the better, and these are either round or oval.
However, there is a catch. The bigger the needle eye, the wider it will be at the end, and therefore, it may be a little bit difficult to push it through multiple layers of fabric, especially if the hole is round.
Generally, the best needle should have a large oval eye that extends downwards as opposed to widening that end.
Since it is designed to pierce through multiple layers of fabric and batting, a hand quilting needle should be made using a tough metal so that it does not bend.
This metal should have a sharp, pointed tip and a rustproof coating for durability that is also smooth enough to glide through the quilt with ease easily. Any piece that does not meet these standards should be avoided.
Even though most hand quilting needles and, in fact, all types of needles generally come without any kind of accessory, it would still be a nice thing to have something extra included with the package.
For instance, some needle sets are shipped with a needle grabber, which helps in preventing slipping when quilting, while others come packaged in a reusable container, which makes it easier to store and carry the needles wherever you go. Generally, the more the accessories, the better.
Even as you consider getting the kit with the most accessories, the highest number of needles, and in assorted sizes, you should always look at the cost.
Of course, with more needles, a higher price is expected, but it should not be too high, and you can try to determine the cost per needle if you want to make a good comparison.
Also, with the addition of accessories, the cost should not be exaggerated to the point where buying the accessories on their own and the product without the accessories is a cheaper alternative.
Reviews of the Best Hand Quilting Needles 2020 – (Editors’ Choice)
Considering that you are in the shopping mode, after carrying out our research, we have listed these five hand quilting needles for you to go through them and pick the one that suits you most.
1. John James Gold’n Glide Quilting Needles – Best Hand Quilting Needles for Beginning Quilter
John James’ Gold’n Glide quilting needles are literally designed to glide through fabrics and batting with ease, just as their name suggests. This is because they have a metallic construction with a smooth coating that ensures little or no resistance is faced when piercing through these materials.
In terms of number, this product comes as a pack of ten needles, which are more than enough, especially if you are a beginner. However, all of them are of the same size (9), and this limits you a bit because these smaller sizes are ideal for use by pros.
This means that you may have to buy the larger sizes if you are a beginner, but the good thing is that John James has got you covered. They produce packs of ten of size 10, 11, and 12, which give you larger training pieces, and although they are slightly more expensive than this size 9, these will help you build your hand quilting skills.
Another benefit that you get with this set is that each needle has quite a big oval eye, making it very easy to thread. Quality is also assured with their English manufacturing, which makes them very reliable.
Features at a glance
- Strong metallic construction with a smooth coating that ensures they glide easily through fabrics and batting.
- Comes as a pack of 10 needles
- All ten are size 9.
- Available in packs of size 10, 11, and 12 needles.
- Big oval eye for quick and easy threading
- High quality and reliable English manufacturing
2. Fons & Porter Hand Quilting Needles – Best Rated Hand Quilting Needles
If you are looking for an assorted needle pack, then Fons & Porter’s hand quilting needles are an excellent option to consider. This is because the set has eight size-7 needles, eight size-9 needles, and four size-10 needles, all totaling to 20 per pack.
With such a set, you get the larger size ten needles for training on hand quilting, then the smaller size 9 and 7 help you as you advance to become a pro. These short sizes are best for seasoned experts because they easily penetrate through multiple layers of fabric for quick operations.
On construction, each needle in the set is made using nickel-plated steel, making them strong and durable, yet smooth enough to glide through fabrics easily. They are also corrosion resistant due to the nickel plating, which does not rust.
Other features include a big oval needle eye for quick and easy threading and the inclusion of a bonus needle grabber in the set, which prevents needle slipping as you work on different quilts, especially when using the shorter needles.
Features at a glance
- Assorted needle pack containing eight size-7 needles, eight size-9 needles, and four size-10 needles, all totaling to 20 per pack.
- Ideal for training and expert quilters
- Sturdy steel construction with a nickel plating for smooth gliding into different fabrics and durability
- Big oval eye for quick and easy threading
- Needle grabber included for slip-free operations when quilting.
3. Dritz Quilting Between Hand Needles – Best Hand Quilting Needles for Thicker Fabrics
Just like in Fons & Porter’s unit above, this quilting set also comes as a pack of 20 needles. However, all the 20 pieces are of the same size (7), but on the bright side, the kit is very affordable and is of European quality, which assures you of their strength and durability.
This high-quality design also makes the pieces the top-rated hand quilting needles in this review, and this further assures you of a good quality build.
Structurally, each of these units has a metallic construction and is quite short. They all have small rounded eyes, which might make threading a bit difficult, but this does not mean that it can’t be done. The small eye is actually as a result of the entire small, slim and pointy structure of each needle in the set.
Features at a glance
- Comes as a pack of 20 needles
- Size 7 needles.
- European quality. High-quality metal construction with a good build.
- Short, small, slim and pointy design
- Small rounded eyes.
- Ideal for quilting and detailed handwork
4. Colonial Needle Quilting/Betweens Hand Needles – Our Recommended Hand Quilting Needles
Colonial Needle is a well-known brand when it comes to making hand quilting needles, and by looking at this product, you can see why. For starters, it is shipped as a pack of 20 pieces, which include two size-5, eight size-7, eight size-9, and two size-10.
This gives you a wide assortment of differently sized pieces, with the larger sizes being ideal for beginners and the small, short between pieces being suitable for pros.
The needles have a metallic construction and are made in the UK, which means they have that English build quality that is synonymous with strength and durability.
Other features include availability in 1, 2, 3, and 4 packs, giving you different quantities that are all a perfect start to any project and are a great way to add extra designs to whichever quilting project you want to use them in.
Features at a glance
- Comes as a 20-needle pack containing two size-5, eight size-7, eight size-9, and two size-10 pieces
- Shipped as either 1, 2, 3, or 4 packs.
- Sturdy metallic construction.
- Made in the UK and, thus, have the English build quality.
5. Colonial Needle Creative Hands 58912 62E Jingle Bells – Best Sharp and Smooth Hand Quilting Needles
This is another hand quilting needle set from Colonial Needle, and though very expensive, you get a whopping 50 pieces of the finest English quality needles per set.
However, each of them is a size 9, which limits the options that you get. The product is also available in other sizes, though, and these include sizes 10, 11, and 12, which cost slightly more but afford you different size options.
Since they are quite many, storage can be quite a challenge, but they come with plastic tubing, which holds them all and helps you organize and keep them safely in storage after use.
Other features include a very large eye for quick and easy threading, evenly tapered shape for smooth penetration through fabrics and batting, and sturdy metal construction with a high-quality plating that makes it smooth for easy piercing and durable enough not to rust.
Features at a glance
- Comes as a set of 50 needles
- Single size per set and is available in size 9, 10, 11, and 12.
- Plastic tubing included for storage purposes.
- Very large eye for quick and easy threading
- Evenly tapered shape makes it easy to push it through dense fabrics and batting.
- Sturdy metal construction with a high-quality plating
- Made in England and thus, bear the English quality that is known for strength, reliability, and durability.
Best Hand Quilting Needles Comparison Chart
|Model||IDEAL FOR||CONSTRUCTION||NEEDLES/PACK||SIZE||Our pick as|
|John James Gold’n Glide Quilting Needles||Gliding through fabrics and batting with ease||metallic construction with a smooth coating||10||9||Best Hand Quilting Needles for Beginning Quilter|
|Fons & Porter Hand Quilting Needles||Sewing multiple layers of fabric||nickel-plated steel||20||eight size-7 needles, eight size-9 needles, and four size-10 needles||Best Rated Hand Quilting Needles|
|Dritz Quilting Between Hand Needles||quilting and detailed handwork||metallic construction||20||7||Best Hand Quilting Needles for Thicker Fabrics|
|Colonial Needle Quilting/Betweens Hand Needles||making hand quilting needles||metallic construction (English build quality)||20||two size-5, eight size-7, eight size-9, and two size-10||Our Recommended Hand Quilting Needles|
|Colonial Needle Creative Hands 58912 62E Jingle Bells||quick and easy threading||sturdy metal construction with a high-quality plating||50||9, also available in size 9, 10, 11, and 12||Best Sharp and Smooth Hand Quilting Needles|
To finalize, a hand quilting needle is the most basic item that is required to work on hand quilting projects, and the products that we have discussed above are your best bet if you want to work on this type of craft.
After going through this review, we hope that you will have an easier time selecting the best hand quilting needle that suits your needs.