Sunday, November 14, 2010

My favorite market product: new needles for big stitch

I've tried the big stitch, quick quilting with perle cotton. I wrestled with my needle and wondered what would be good to use. So when I noticed a schoolhouse presentation by Pepper Cory on that topic, I joined a line of quilters to file inside and learn more. I was hooked when Pepper started her pitch by saying one of the roots of the big stitch was poverty. 1930s scrap quilts that were needed for bedding were purposely quilted with a big quilting stitch to get the quilt onto the bed quickly. Other roots were 1920s sashiko quilts, and 1930s mail order quilts that used larger stitches in contrasting thread so hand quilting would show. She also said today's modern quilt guilds (boasting 10,000 members in just one year) have been known to favor the big stitch on solids.

Here's the product, slated for an early 2011 release. There are 6 needles in 3 sizes - good for using both #8 and #5 perle cotton.

Pepper has a blog too, check it out.


  1. Deb,
    This information comes at such a perfect time for me! I have been quilting with pearl cotton for a while and really having a hard time. So much so that I recently ripped my hand quilting out from one of the quilts and machine quilted it because I could not see myself continue with amount of quilting I wanted on that quilt with pearl cotton and my achy fingers!
    I can not wait to get my hands on those needles. Thank you!

  2. I REALLY need those needles. the last time I tried to big stitch with perle cotton I broke a bunch of needles. I tried different tapestry needles and I wasn't happy with any of them, which is why I haven't done it again. thanks for sharing the info.

  3. Info comes at the right time for me too. I sell vintage quilts and sometimes have a hard time with people who come up with their magnifieing glass to count the stitches and turn up their noses at anything less than 8-10 spi......its not the ONLY thing of interest in an old quilt.

  4. Isn't it funny that there is so much to see at Houston, that I would miss this even though I was in that booth!!! I have some big stitch needles but the tips are strangely very blunt.... I must get these... I do a lot of big stitch and I've been slacking lately because it's so much work and hard on my wrists.... Thanks for posting this!!

  5. I'm looking forward to these! I've been using sashiko needles, which are plenty sharp, but they don't work for #5 perle cotton.

  6. I am dying to try big stitch quilting, when I am able to return to sewing.