Monday’s post “It’s a Thread Thing” sparked some really good conversation and made me realize there is a lot of brand loyalty among us quilters. I enjoyed all your comments and all the info you provided as well.
On Tuesday I spent my day quilting a table runner on my HQ Sweet Sixteen. It is a customer project that is 100% applique and has a LOT of yo-yo’s attached. I spent about an hour choosing threads for the quilting and working out the quilting motifs. Once I started the quilting I had a lot of time to think about all your comments, and I thought it would be a good idea to continue the conversation on the topic of threads.
Yvonne brought up a good point when she stated “one of the big differences in thread is that the weight is only per ply – so 50wt or 40wt can be different if it’s a 2x50wt vs 3x50wt (or 40wt, etc.). The more strands of thread, the thicker it will seem”. I am so glad she pointed this out, especially because I didn’t even mention the ply of threads in my post. If you would like to read more info on thread weight/ply, you can visit this article on the Superior Threads website. It’s the most informative article I’ve found.
Last spring I attended a weekend of classes taught by a HandiQuilter educator. Included in the weekend was a session on threads and it was so informative. We learned about how threads are produced, the different ply/weight, and studied examples of those threads in different quilted projects.
I was reminded of this class when Carole said “I did an experiment some time ago where I quilted three identical table runners in different colors of thread. It was eye-opening how just a change of thread color for quilting can change the character of the quilt.” This is why I think it’s important to spend time playing with different threads, both weight and color, to get a good idea of how they will look in your projects. Making a sample ‘book’ of your stitching is a great way to test threads. It is also a great quilted visual when you’re looking for designs to use in your quilt. In the pic below, I wrote thread/bobbin info at the top of the sample.
Another interesting comment came from Maga, who said “I have found that the kind of wadding I choose makes a big difference to how well I feel a thread performs for me.” She makes a very good point, and I’d like to add to it. Since I started quilting for other people I’ve had to learn how to work with many different brands/types/thicknesses of batting. The fabric/batting/backing combination affects thread tension and performance. That is the main reason why I always test my tension with the same materials that are in the quilt I will be quilting.
There were a few comments from readers who don’t care for the shine of Glide or Isacord, and a few others who mentioned they love Glide. It really is a personal preference. I have used Glide a couple of times and like how it stitches and how it looks in a quilt. I also like the thicker look of the thread. I do want to say that I purchased the 14 spools of Isacord specifically for an embroidery project I hope to find time for soon. But I’ve heard from a few other longarm quilters that they love using Isacord in their LA machine, so I can’t wait to give it a try. I have a couple of quilt tops that will look great with a thinner, shiny thread so it will be a good time to experiment.
We could probably spend days talking about thread, just as we could fabrics, battings, machines, etc. I appreciate everyone who took time to read Monday’s post and comment and for all your thoughtful contributions. I also encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with new to you threads. You just might discover a new favorite!
I’m off to look for an embroidery class through Craftsy. They’re having a sale today only – one class or DVD for $19.99. It’s a good time to add another class to my collection and I need to learn all about machine embroidery that I can. If you want to get in on today’s sale, just click here to their site and use the code PICKYOURCLASS
Just so you know, I am an affiliate for Craftsy and may receive a small fee if you make a purchase. That fee helps me keep the blog up and running – thanks so much for your support!