Ever have little white dots pop through your fabric when machine quilting? Has your sewing machine skipped a stitch or two? You may be using a dull needle.
Those white dots are called bearding which occurs when batting comes through your fabric during quilting. A needle too large, dull or one that has a burr or nick in it could be the problem.
If your sewing machine begins to make a popping sound each time the fabric is pierced, you needle is probably dull or damaged.
A dull needle can also cause skipped stitches. If your needle is too small the front groove of the needle may be too shallow to protect the thread which can also cause stitches to skip.
Shredded thread? The eye of the needle may be too small for the thread. Always use metallic needles for metallic thread. They have a larger eye which reduces the friction and heat caused by the speed of the machine needle piercing the fabric.
Rule of thumb: Change your needle at the beginning of a large project and again after 8 hours of sewing.