Which sewing machine needles do you use? I use Superior Titanium Topstitch needles and only those. I use them because they stay sharper longer. Since I foundation paper piece a lot this is really important to me as normally the paper blunts needles very quickly. When using other needles, I used to find slipped stitches and snagged fabric were regular issues as well as the needle pushing the fabric down into the machine. Since using these needles, I don't have these problems. If you want to find out more about them, this infographic posted on the Superior site explains how these needles differ from regular sewing machine needles and how much longer they stay sharper because of the titanium tips. You can click through to read it properly.
I discovered them about two years ago when I was browsing the Aurifil website to see which needles they recommended and these were the ones which were mentioned. I tried them out and instantly noticed that I was going from changing my needles quite often to very rarely if at all. Before using these, I would bin needles when I swapped from one size for piecing to another for quilting, knowing that the needle would not be worth keeping after one big project. I no longer do that - I keep a note of which needle is in my machine by leaving a post-it on the front of the machine as I change them and swap them back into the correct slot in the needle pack when I swap them over.
The needles come in a variety of pack sizes and this video will help you choose which size you need although I just go for the multi pack so I always have a variety of needles to hand. In simple terms, I use the 70 and 80 for Liberty lawns and Oakshotts, the 90 for quilting cottons and the 100 for actual quilting.
If you haven't tried out these needles, I have a chance to win five packs today - that's about $50 worth of needles. You can win one of each of the following packs: 70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, and an assortment pack which contains all of those sizes. If you look after the needles, putting them back into the correct pack or slot as you swap them over, I bet you will be surprised at how long this prize will last you. Good luck - just leave a comment for a chance to win and I will pick a winner a week from now!