Open Line Friday–Needle Sizes, Collecting

Vintage Sewing ScissorsGood Morning, Quilters!

Welcome back to Open Line Friday–Everyone Asks, Everyone Answers!


This week, I received a great question from Kathy about needle sizes.  She asks if a size 90 needle will leave large holes in the fabric.

I use size 90 needles regularly and I don’t have a problem with holes.  However, it is somewhat dependent on fabric.  Some fabrics are less forgiving-like very tightly woven fabrics.  In which case, you may have to create samples to see if  you notice the holes.  If so, you may be forced to chose a lighter weight thread to accommodate the smaller needle.  (Remember, we choose the TYPE of needle based on our sewing application–e.g. quilting or piecing, and we choose the SIZE of the needle based on the WEIGHT of the thread.)  See more in the The 80/50 Rule post.

On the other hand, if you DO see holes, they may relax with a spritz of water or as soon as you wash the quilt.

These are the little things that require testing.

Does anyone have any other thoughts about this question?  We’d LOVE to hear!

Vintage Sewing ScissorsCOLLECTING

Today my question is:  Do YOU collect anything?

(Besides fabric, thread, rulers…)

It doesn’t have to be sewing related.
Vintage Sewing ScissorsA few years ago, I found a pair of vintage scissors at an antique store for $5.  Every since then I keep my eyes peeled for vintage scissors.  I hope to create a wall hanging with them at some point.

I’m really amazed by the variety and the beauty.  Some are still functional, but most are not.

What I like most about them, is the connection with seamstresses from long ago…I wonder what beautiful dresses, quilts, projects they made with their shears…if only the scissors could talk!

Vintage Sewing Scissors


The  Scissor Free Motion Quilt Tutorial


What about YOU?  Do YOU collect anything?

We’d love to hear!

Do YOU have any questions this week?  We’d love to know!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!


75 thoughts on “Open Line Friday–Needle Sizes, Collecting

  1. My family would say I collect sewing machines! I have four plus a serger. Now we sewists all know that is NOT true. I need every one of them! In years past I have been a collector of Ohio made baskets. I have and use them all through my home and still love them.

  2. Lori, my family are “Seed Savers.”

    I’m not sure whether that is considered collecting or not but we enjoy the many stories that often accompany the seeds. The old fashioned seeds of our grandparent’s are vanishing quickly, being replaced by seeds that have been altered in some fashion. Are these additives good for our health? We won’t have an answer for generations.

  3. I love to collect old (vintage) sewing items. Cards of old snaps and buttons that were never used, I have a couple pairs of scissors, just about anything connected with sewing. Hey Judy, I also have 4 sewing machines & a serger. Just in case one doesn’t work!

  4. Regarding needles: I use a top stitch needle for almost EVERYTHING. The groove down the front is deeper than most needles so it accommodates heavier weight threads as well as the lighter ones. I have cut down on needle changes dramatically without sacrificing the stitching. Also, I have a self threader Pfaff Quiltmaster machine. The eye size in the top stitch needle seems to work better with the threader than it does with smaller needles.

    Regarding collecting: does fabric count, or is that a given?

  5. We’ve traveled extensively worldwide for our work, so I started collecting thimbles from states and countries. They’re very small and lightweight for baggage, and they usually don’t cost that much.

    My question: I’m so confused about thread! I do not have a good quilt store nearby, so I have to order online and hope I chose the correct weight, color, blend, etc. There’s just too much information. Can you help narrow the field? I don’t embroider, just piece and FMQ. My machine seems to like Aurafil, but to show off a design, it’s very thing. Thanks for all your wonderful links, tutorials and teaching tips.

  6. I collect thimbles from every place I visit. Some of my friends have even started bringing me thimbles from their travels. I also look for silver thimbles in antique stores. I just filled up the display case that I have that is behind an acrylic cover (to keep from having to dust all those little thimbles) that holds 100 thimbles. I have a smaller display case that I will use until I can find another larger one.

  7. I collect any vintage sewing related treasures-buttons, quilt blocks, pin cushions, patterns to frame, irons, notions. They are all over my shelves.

  8. Guess I’m the oddball here. I collect glass paperweights, and have about two dozen Glass Eye ornaments that never seem to be taken down from the windows. Glass Eye ornaments are made in the state of Washington and have a certain amount of Mt. St. Helens ash in them.

    I seem to have a “collection” of scissors also, although not by conscious effort. My mom, grandmothers, and mother-in-law all had scissors that wound up in my possession (by default). None are particularly ornate, but several are still wickedly sharp.

  9. I collect owls. Some of the most “unusual” are a fly swatter, a tiny oil lamp, several netsuke, and an eggshell painted with an owl, as well as (of course!) a number of quilts.

  10. I have a collection of dolls that I have saved from my childhood, plus dolls that belonged to my sister and my mother. Barbie dolls, Shirley Temple and The Quintuplets, and two Madame Paderewski Polish Refugee dolls that date back to 1916.

  11. I have been collecting stamps since I was 8 years old. My aunt in Germany started me off by sending a stamp book filled with beautiful stamps from Germany and I have been hooked ever since. I have them from all over the world including Iraq with a former dictator on them. A military pal brought those back when deployed in the early 90s. I am going to be 50 this year so it’s been a lifelong joy. 🙂

      • I envy you your collection of stamps. I always buy the prettiest ones I can and enjoy using them but wished I had started collecting them years ago. Enjoy!

  12. I have a tiny, old pair of embroidery scissors I’d be happy to send you–I picked them up at an estate sale because they are so cute, but they’re useless for cutting. My own collecting includes depictions of hummingbirds and quail, but they have to be what I consider pretty ones. I even bought a kit of paper-pieced hummingbirds, with fabric, before I even got into quilting; I just thought they were gorgeous, and someday I’d learn how to put them together. Now I just need that often absent necessity, a round tuit!

  13. I collect elephants…not the real ones..just decorative ones. This started with a gift from my son when he was small. I now have over 200. I also collect bells and have not counted them but there is more than 150. I collect one in every state and country that I visit. Both of these collections have made me a very easy Mom to buy gifts for over the years.

      • Hello, Lois! I collect elephants too! But they have to be special ones, in my eye. Special as in unusual looking, made with folk materials of a particular culture. Since elephants are from Asia and Africa, most in my collection represent the cultures of those continents. Also being a tea-drinker (never touch coffee), I have an adorable elephant shaped tea-kettle.

      • I think that is the nature of collections–at first you just collect anything that fits, then you get more fussy about choosing! I’d love to see your elephant tea pot!

  14. At one point I had 14 sewing machines and have 2 treadle tables. And I gave another table with head to my parents. I’m trying to reduce the number of machines and have it down to about 10 now. But, I can’t bring myself to part with the remaining even though I keep telling myself that only about 6 of them are used. I even have one at work for my lunch breaks and one specifically for travelling to classes. And out of my machines, they are either really old (over 65 years old) or really new. I only have one that is in the middle (Singer 401A). The oldest is probably only 100+/- years old.

    • That is really cool. I’d love to see them all. I think I would collect old machines too but the space considerations hold me back. Many of them are gorgeous!

  15. I, too, collect elephants. It began when my husband and I became romantically involved (we were best friends for 13 years before that happened). He was on active duty with the Army and the symbol for his unit was the elephant. He picked up a small glass elephant for me when we went to Disney World and the collection was off and running….

  16. I am an embroider turned quilter. I have lots of 50 wgt thread. I have been using it for quilting. I like the look of the indentation and not noticing the thread. Some is quite old. 10 years or so. Any suggetions on remedying the problem of it breaking or should I not use it? I use topstitch needles to and love them for the big hole. My eyes appreciate it.

  17. I used to collect owl figurines, then cow figurines and now Chickens/Roosters seem to have won out. I have a few favorite owls left, most of the cows but they are packed away. I guess you could say I also collect sewing machines as I have 7 – from a treadle to a Featherweight to a longarm and 1 other Singer and 3 Janome’s in between. I also have a collection of St. Jude bears which live in a glass door cabinet. They make me smile to look at them.

  18. I used to collect coffee mugs but since I’m the only one who drinks coffee in my house they took over the cabinets. I still buy them occasionally but try to be very selective. I also collect pitchers and creamers, they are everywhere in my kitchen! Again, I try to be selective but when they “speak” to me they have to come home!!

  19. Having spent a stint as a preschool and kindergarten-third grade teacher, I tend to collect everything! However, as my dh and I travel, we tend to collect masks from the countries we visit. we have a long hallway, and one whole wall is full of masks.

  20. Well I guess I have to add my 2 cents worth, love reading all the comments. I collect Coca-Cola any thing and everything. I was very happy to see all the Coke fabric come on the market within the last few months.

  21. My first collection started when my mom gave me a hand-painted wooden napkin ring she had bought on a trip. Since then, I have been on the look-out for one of a kind rings to add to my collection. My husband built a shadow box for the wall to house them, but I out-grew it and he had to buy another one. I also collect vintage creamers and vintage children’s books, especially Junior Elf hard covers. I have a few vintage dolls from the 50s and 60s, too. Now I have to get rid of my collection of fabric and patterns so I can breathe again. Oh, and I also have a small collection of vintage wall pockets.

  22. I seem to be attracted to any sewing paraphernalia … from buttons to machines, including scissors … some old, some new and useful. I don’t collect Teddy Bears, but some of them have followed me home!

  23. This is funny, and appropriate–last week I was rummaging through the bottom drawer of my sewing table and discovered that I own five pairs of pinking shears (two were my mom’s, one my aunt’s, and the other two mine–one from junior high Home Ec.) Then I went on a search for how many other pairs of scissors I have collected over the years, and I’m embarrassed to admit to having 55 pairs, including the pinking shears, though a couple of friends suggested that I shouldn’t be counting the little embroidery scissors I have in all my project bags, as though their size disqualifies them.

    Oh, and I have six sewing machines, from a hand-cranker Frister & Rossman from about 1923 to a computerized Brother and a long-arm!

  24. I have 3 collections- lace, vintage sewing machines (which I quit counting when I tallied number 50), and black cougars that often were placed on television sets in the 1950s. Last summer, I found an industrial Singer Hemstitcher, made in 1915, that had been the first vintage machine I put on my bucket list. It only took me 30 years and 28 hours of driving to finally have one in my stable!

  25. My collections include reindeer (which fill my house mostly at Christmas, but a few are out year round) and coasters – the flimsy cardboard ones. Whenever we are out with friends or on a trip, whoever is there signs the coaster, then I date it and write where it was an why (vacation, birthday, etc.) – I love using them and thumbing through them to remember the fun times.

  26. I didn’t think I collected anything and then I read all the comments and I realize I have 14 various sewing machines and about 32 scissors lots of antique sewing notions and supplies from women in my life that have gone before me. I guess I’m a real sewing junkie and collector.

  27. Something different, I have a collection of tweezers. Didn’t mean to collect them at first but needed one that I bought at a drug store, then those cute painted girl ones that are handy and this year I found several vintage ones that caught my eye in antique stores and trift stores. Some of the very old ones work better than the newer ones.

  28. I have a question…even tho it is now Sat morn ! Our computer (shared) is on a desk in the dining room with all the accompanying cables, printers, wifi box, etc.. My sewing room is thru 2 other rooms and down the hall. How do you all view the tutorials and sew at the same time? I need to get set up in a way to do this…..tired of running back and forth from room to room. 🙂 Thanks for any advice..

      • I was fortunate to fine a corner computer desk on sale at one of the big box computer stores. I have my two sewing machines on the ends and the computer in the middle. works great for me. Need a big room though. My son in law built me a quilting table around one sewing machine so I have room to quilt large quilts . Love it.

      • Hi, Marta! I had the same problem, until I hit upon the idea of using my Kindle Fire in my sewing/art room. I also use the Kindle in the kitchen for cooking recipes I found on the web.

    • Do you have an iPhone or iPad? I take mine to my studio, aka office/spare bedroom, when I start to work on a Lori project. I save some footsteps.

      • Good suggestion but we don’t have any of those things.. cell phone and one computer… old fashioned I suppose,,, thank you..

    • To June who had replied further below about making space for the computer…I don’t use the master bedroom as my bedroom. It is the largest room in the house that is not the living/dining room, so I have it set up as my art and quilt room. Why occupy a large space just to close your eyes shut for a few hours? The rest of the time it is unoccupied! I use our spare bedroom as our “master” bedroom – it has a much prettier view anyway, instead of looking at a neighbor’s backside.

      • Actually I have been thinking about exactly that! But the view now is thru double French doors..sooo..nix that. My sister suggested IPad and Tablet. she has both. I am going to look up the Kindle Fire suggested here ..Thanks, every one!

  29. I live with a collector of sewing machines. One evening while dear friends were over for dinner, Kim asked, “How many do you have?” My husband wouldn’t answer. So Kim and I started through the house–opening all closets and cubbards and counting those, as well as the ones on open book shelves and in sewing cabinets and treadles. We counted 55. The Singers include six featherweights, four 301s, four 99s, and many models and makes not as well known. When we announced our total, he said, “But you haven’t found them all!” He never says a word when I bring fabric into the house so it’s pretty peaceful around here!

  30. My husband would say I collect fabric. I still have some from the 50’s and 60’s that I get out and use in a quilt occasionally. I will admit that I have more fabric than I could ever sew in a lifetime. I also have too many sewing machines but, they have come in handy as I take 5 to our QOV monthly meetings and those who can’t carry their machines or, are just learning are appreciative. Still have 3 at home and 2 that are decorative(they don’t sew well). I have way to many quilt books, magazines, a wall of threads, and drawers full of sewing tools.
    I love to collect puppets, western picture books with landscapes and Indians. I also have my fair share of wind chimes, fountains, bird houses, tiny oil lamps, cookbooks, and good movies.
    I can keep myself entertained for years. Please realize I’m in my 60’s and this is a lifetime of collections. A little here, a little there and gifts from family and friends.

  31. Oh I forgot to mention I have a collection of over 50 Nativity sets. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I leave a few of them out all year long.

  32. I collect sewing machines. Right know I have seven. I have an old Kenmore which was my very first sewing machine that I bought, a Bernina, Feather Weight, 2 treadles a full size and a youth size both by singer. I sewing machine I picked up at the swap meet which is also a singer but weights a ton and my newest the Tiara II. I still want to get a embroidery machine. I also collected thimble a long time ago. Still have them somewhere packed in a box. They never got unpacked after we moved.

  33. I collect cigar boxes. I remember them from elementary school back in the ’60s when we used them for pencil boxes. Now, I go to the liquor store in Austin just to buy their empty boxes–wooden are my favorite but I also have a lot of cardboard ones. They are great for stashing stuff! My grandchildren love to go through Gigi’s boxes to see what they can find….

  34. I love this post. I have many sewing items,never thought “collection” but after reading the comments I guess they must be collections from over the years. I tell people I started quilting in 1978 but went to work and forgot to stop buying fabric! Now I’m retired and can get back to quilting. Love this blog. Bobbie

  35. Pingback: Poppies-The Free Motion Quilt Tutorial | The Inbox Jaunt

  36. I have 16 sewing machines (three treadle, all working, in my living room) . I collect animals as well. I have 5 horses, 34 alpacas (new boy born Sunday pm), 4 llamas, 3 emus, 30+ rabbits both fiber and meat types, 80-100 poultry – chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, turkeys, plus the usual assortment of house pets: dogs, cats, birds. I also collect old thread spools and sewing stuff to go with the treadle machines.

    I’m really enjoying your tutorials on FME. They help free up my imagination. Thank you!

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