Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Park Your Needle Safely

If you sew by hand, you know how vexing it can be to lose your needle. Maybe you were interrupted from your hand quilting, and upon return, you cannot find where you left your needle.

What if the needle is on the floor? That is a real hazard! It happens, but it can be easily prevented with this little trick of mine, whether you piece, applique, or quilt by hand, even embroidery, cross stitch, etc.:

Stop when the thread is not pulled through, and leave the needle hanging with the thread tail still "caught" in the work. 

Upon your return, pick up your quilt (or sewing project) and shake it - the needle can be easily found. The needle will not fall out, or be lost inside a quilt, and is less likely to stick you (or others) accidentally as you search for it. Then you will pull those stitches through and hear "that lovely sound of thread being drawn through fabric" (as my friend, Gina Prosch enjoys in This Day's Joy).

Whenever I teach hand quilting, hand piecing, or hand applique, I always leave my students with this motto: “Park Your Needle Safely!”

Keep Stitching!
Barbara M. Burnham
(c)2019 Barbara M. Burnham. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without prior written authorization.


  1. Good advice, especially since you made the point of leaving the 'tail' captured in the quilt.......since one tail is loose and one is stitched.

  2. Love this idea! I have so many needles to park with all the projects going on it will keep me in mind of where that needle is and also will make my husband happy that I am making an attempt at him not finding the needles where they shouldn't be

  3. Wow, great idea! I've found needles in the arm of the sofa, in the cushion of the sofa, in the carpet...!

  4. Thank you Barbara makes sense and more time stitching instead of finding another needle?


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