Thursday, 12 February 2015

More ways to thread a needle

A couple of days ago I showed you the new embroidery threader by Clover (second left in the picture below).

Today I want to discuss some more ways to thread a needle, and the tools needed.
 

It was Julie of My Quilt Diary who reminded me that I have a 'steam engine' threader. A Japanese little device that works like this:
Insert the needle (eye down) into the chimney. Place the thread between the chimney and the engine.
Press the lever on the right and the thread is pushed though the eye to the outside.
Pull the needle out of the chimney and you've got your threaded needle.

Then there are self threading needles. These are made by Clover but there are other makes, too. For this type I'd recommend protecting your finger tip with a rubber thimble.
Mary Corbet writes about another kind of self threading needle here.

You can make a lasso of a thinner thread.
When the end of the thread is beginning to split, or the thread is fluffy, you can make a new sharp cut with a pair of scissors, of course

or use glue.
Place a tiny blob of glue/bond (or even nail varnish) on your fingertip.
roll the thread firmly between your fingers in the direction of the twist. Press hard and shape like a point.
The thread dries quickly and remains hard and sharp. This is a very useful method for TAST #35 Drizzle Stitch or when you want to add a bead to a thread and the eye of the needle is too small. The hard glue tip of the thread can usually get through the bead.

What about you, do you have any tips for threading the needle? Please share them with me, as I am always ready to learn new tricks.

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing all these ways to thread a needle. So far, I'm not having any problems, but my eyes are getting older every day! I've seen the little threading machines, but haven't seen them in action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually don't need a threader - yet! - but some threads are too thick, too soft, too fluffy, too darn troublesome. My steam engine threader is of low quality, the 'proper' ones do a grand job, however.

      Delete
  2. Great tips: needle threading is the bane of my life. I usually thread a dozen or so in advance to save me having to stop mid-sewing–that way at least I can put off a tiresome job for longer. I love the little steam train, does it work on all needle sizes, including ones with tiny eyes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The steam engine is ESPECIALLY good for thin needles with tiny eyes!
      Threading a dozen needles in preparation for sewing makes for smooth work. Great idea!

      Delete
  3. Great post Queenie and smashing macro photography. I have two tips which work particularly well when threading a sewing machine: the first is to place a piece of white paper behind the eye of the needle as this makes the eye far more visible and, therefore, easier to thread and the second is to wet your receiving finger - the finger you hold behind the eye - not the thread itself as the wet finger attracts the thread like a magnet and helps you pull the thread through from the other side - Chris :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris! How nice to hear from you, I'm sorry I haven't commented on your lovely work for a long time. My life has been filled with hand embroidery, but this year I will do some quilting and use the sewing machine.
      Thank you for the tips. My old sewing machine had a white foot holder (the part behind the needle) and it was a great help when threading the machine. My new sewing machine does not, and I have been contemplating painting the foot holder white. However the machine has a built in threader and so far it has worked.
      Wetting the receiving finger sounds intriguing and I will check it out. Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your kind words, I know how it is - I read a lot of blog posts on the subway with no signal to comment and once I'm above ground again the moment's passed so I seldom comment myself. Keep well :D

      Delete
  4. Yes, very good photos, Queenie. I've been thinking I should take some time and learn to use more of my camera's features.
    I've been using a clover threader, that has an end for use with small beading eyes, and then the other end is for larger eyes, so far it works well. I just have to be careful not to bend or twist the fine wire loop. careful does it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never seen the threader you mentioned, in a shop. When I checked Clover's websites, I can not find it on the Japanese site, but it is for online sale in the US.
      Export production only?
      As for the photos, I bought a new very cheap and simple, point and shoot, camera (Canon Powershot) after my 'good' camera broke down. The new one takes exceptionally good photos, even the close ups, although you need a steady hand.

      Delete
  5. I have never seen the steam engine threader but there are two more on the market, one with only one chimney and another with two, the only time I really get into trouble threading a needle is when I am down to the last inch or so and need to make a knot or back-stitch.
    If the thread is shorter than the needle, I might have to thread that ratty end several times. In that case planning ahead would be the best choice. I'll bet you never come up with that problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, ha! I face that problem every day! Especially when I am trying to use up my short orts. Making a knot... I supposed one could use a crochet hook and manipulate the thread end into a knot. I'll have a think and see if I can come up with any good solutions.
      Have a beautiful day. The sun is shining in my part of Tokyo today.

      Delete
  6. Great post, Queenie! I used the lasso method for beads, but never for needles. Thanks for reminding me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for these methods threading needles , I'll try to glue my thread the next time I'm having trouble threading a pearl.

      Delete
  7. excellent! as I am sewing, I shall see what method I use - and will pass it along :) the little red steam engine is lovely - makes me smile

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, isn't it cute? Let me know how you are dealing with your thread and needle issues.

      Delete
  8. You've shared some really good ideas and there are more in the comments. Thanks Queenie! I will really keep in mind that a bit of glue might be just the solution I need at times. David and Tommy are on their way to Tokyo in a few days (after the blizzard we are expecting this weekend) and I will travel vicariously through them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a pity you are not able to join D&T on their grip to Tokyo. Julie and I would have been delighted to see you!
      Using glue or nail varnish to stiffen the tip of the thread, and keep the fibres under control IS a good way to thread the needle when you might need to do it repeatedly.

      Delete
    2. They are delayed leaving because of the big snow we've just had, and have to take a train down to NYC to catch their flight - everything canceled from Boston. I'm pretty happy to stay home with the dogs and the wood burning stove but it would have been great to see you and Julie! When I do visit Tokyo I will try to time my visit to coincide with one of the quilt shows!

      Delete
    3. The weather has hindered transportation a lot this winter; northern Japan has had lots of blizzards.
      Do come and join Julie and me at one of the shows!

      Delete
  9. You have shown some good methods that I can try, I love the little engine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope they will be useful. The engine is more cute than efficient - I wish it had more 'steam'! Should you ever buy such a threader, get a proper one from Clover.

      Delete
  10. I've got something very similar to the steam engine, it can be brilliant at times and a real pain at other times....maybe I've worn it out? I don't have problems with threading on the sewing machine as I have an attachment, a magnifying glass which is great for seeing what you're sewing too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are well equipped, Linda! The little metal 'tongue' that feeds the thread into the eye of the needle on the steam engine is thin and I would imagine wears out easily. Maybe a creative person like you have used unusual threads; I guess the steam engine was made for DMC stranded floss and #60 sewing thread in mind.

      Delete
  11. very nice methods. Thanks for sharing them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Embroidery is an old tradition in your corner of the world; are there any special methods or techniques?

      Delete
  12. A long time ago I bought the needle thread, well known brand, like the red one, thinking it would make easier to thread the needle, unfortunately, it just threaded one thin thread, not any kind of embroidery thread,so, I returned it. I see you threaded the needle with two thread. And one of the little girl I had in sewing class, had one, and I tried, the thread got easily in the open part and get cut. Don't like it, but I think is good for people with vision problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angelica, you are so right. The threading machine does only take thin threads and not embroidery perle e.g.
      No there is only one thread, but the machine folds it and pushes it through the eye of the needle so it looks like double.
      Many quilters in Japan are of 'mature age' and have problems with their eye sight, so these needle threaders are selling like hot cakes.

      Delete

Thank you for dropping by and adding a comment.


Says Google: European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.

As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies.