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Keeping Track of your Needles

Posted: 15 February 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

Titanium coated Topstich Needles by Superior ThreadsWe have been asked from many customers just how we keep track of our needles?  We sell four different sizes of our titanium-coated Topstitch needle for home sewing machines as well as many different sizes of our Longarm machine needles.  We love the plastic cases for our needles as they can stack well or hang from a pegboard.  Some of us at the office also take a spin on the standard Tomato pin cushion to store our needles.


We thought it would be a fun Blog post to show one method of storing needles.

Tomato Pin Cushion

Start with your basic Tomato Pin Cushion. Notice how there is a green thread which creates sections on the large tomato.  This particular pin cushion is divided into 6 different sections.

Take a permanent marker (like a sharpie) and wrote the following into each respective section: 70,80,90,100.  Since our staff member who made this likes to use self-threading needles for burying thread tails, for the two open spaces, 5 & 7 when written for #5 & #7 self threading needles.


 If you ever run into questioning that you really did put the #90 needle back into the correct spot, look at the top end of the needle (not the point) and you will see what the size is.  (You can see in the photograph below "Organ 100/16" written on the needle)  Viewing under a microscope or taking a picture and then zooming in is recommended unless you have eyes like binoculars. :)


 Do you have a favorite way to keep track of your needles?  Let us know!

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  • 11. Mary (26 April 2012 at 2:33 p.m.)

    I use the pincushions too -- however, I use a different color pin for each machine, so I'll know what is in each one. (i.e., Bernina is RED, Pfaff is BLUE). I only put used needles in it, and leave new ones in the packages. Also, I drew a line around the equator and then put sharps, leather, ballpoint, etc in their own category within the right size segment.
  • 10. Barb Bolesta (07 April 2012 at 11:01 a.m.)

    I don't understand why people feel the need to take the needles out of the perfectly marked package in the first place. My needles and packages are color coded with different colors of Sharpie markers. I can now justify buying that 24-pack of them. I color the entire top part of the needle that goes up into the hole. None of the marker can rub off onto the fabric. I put the same color on the package front and the top edge, and I've made a list of my needles on paper with a corresponding marker dot by each type and size. I also put the package of the needle currently in the machine in a diffent spot in my drawer organizer. If two marker colors are similar, I'll use one for a very small needle and one for a very large needle. No confusion. The ones that have been used slightly are returned to their original package, but put in flat side up and to the far right. Upside down works, too, since longarm needles don't have a flat side. No confusion. This way, I never need to get my magnifying glass out. I can see the colors, and all my needles are in their original package, so I know what brand they are, too. I do this for both domestic and long arm needles. The needles can't fall out or get mixed up if they're still in the original package.
  • 9. anne (14 March 2012 at 4:21 p.m.)

    I make and sell a needle organizer. It holds the needle cases and any used needles. You never have to wonder what needle is in your machine, what you have on hand, or when it's time to buy more of a particular needle.
  • 8. Donna (14 March 2012 at 10:47 a.m.)

    At Bed Bath and Beyond they have a jewelery keeper that hangs in the closet with zippers -- it is perfect for organizing your needles. It has zipper compartments on both sides. The price of it is $9.99. You can get a 20% coupon off the internet.
  • 7. Bonnie Konkle (01 March 2012 at 9:06 a.m.)

    I also use the tomato pin cushion to keep track of my needles. When using a needle, I place a flower head pin in the place where the needle should go, and then I know where to place it when finished sewing.
  • 6. Sue Sweeney (23 February 2012 at 4:47 a.m.)

    I use this system too - I call it my tomato recipe! I've never heard of a self threading needle either!
  • 5. Deb Meyers (15 February 2012 at 9:20 a.m.)

    I'm just waiting for my sister, Dr Ricci to come to my house and sort out my needles for me.
  • 4. Wendi (15 February 2012 at 8:50 a.m.)

    Years ago color coding was used and it was very helpful. I use the tomato pincushion method now and am pretty good about putting the needles where they little fingers at my place..:) I use an empty metal gum container as my "dead pin and needle coffin".
  • 3. Patcollie (15 February 2012 at 6:41 a.m.)

    I have never heard of a self threading needle. Some education please.
  • 2. Bonnie (15 February 2012 at 5:26 a.m.)

    I purchased a container similiar to a weekly pill box at my local JoAnne fabric store. Each section is large enough to store machine needles. I labeled each section with the size/type of needle. This container also has a locking mechanism so little fingeres cannot open it. perfect! I also use an old prescription bottle to store used needles until they go into the trash. Again, with a safety top little ones cannot open it.
  • 1. Jan (15 February 2012 at 4:15 a.m.)

    My machine has a place where I can use a bulldog clip to fasten the plastic case of the needle size I've got in there. A Universal color coding system would be nice for the different sizes.

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