I was fortunate enough to be asked by Barbara, the owner of Joggles, to stitch a few of her wool houses for a video. She was generous and gave me extra pieces to use for my own designs. Here is an example of one of the houses that I turned into an etui or needle case.
As a teacher of embroidery everyone, I mean everyone asks me if the needle makes a difference. YES is the correct answer!
The purpose of the needle is to make a hole big enough in the fabric, or to be inserted into the canvas so that the thread can follow with ease. If the hole is too small, the thread will eventually fray, if the hole is to big then the thread will not cover the hole. So again YES!
Many students get confused once the needle is out of the package, so I suggest dedicating a pincushion to your embroidery needles. I take each section and write down the type of needles that I use with a permanent marker. For instance, embroidery, sharps, milliners, cotton darners, beading and chenille needles are all in my tool box, therefore there is a wedge on the pincushion with their name on it!
Another good idea is to dedicate a piece of fabric or even an index card for the types of needles that you may be using. Then thread the needle with the type of thread or ribbon that you would use for embroidering your project. Insert the needle into the fabric or card, then tape the thread down. Write the name of the needle on the fabric or card. Voila, no more confusion!