Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thread, Part 2

No pictures tonight, but lots of good info. Janet, you'll have to be on pins and needles until sometime Wednesday so that I can do pictures to show exactly what I'm talking about, but there is a hint at the end of the list. (Somehow I doubt you need any of this info, but thanks for playing!)


100% cotton thread is best for working with cotton fabrics.

Thread weights (color coded to Mettler labels in parentheses):
40 wt. threads are for quilting (brown).
50 wt. is for all sewing, hand and machine (purple).
60 wt. is for appliqué and embroidery (green).

The larger the number, the finer the thread, so if you find threads listed as 12 or 30 wt., they will be very heavy.

Using a thread conditioner such as Thread Heaven helps control knotting and tangling.

Remember to keep moving the needle toward the free end of the thread every few stitches. It will prevent the thread from wearing and breaking.

To prevent knots and tangling:
Roll thread from the side of the spool, not from the top;
Thread the needle before cutting the thread; knot the end that came off the spool last.

Many spools of thread are labeled for machine quilting; they can also be used for hand quilting.

Basting thread is inexpensive and breaks easily. Use it for basting your projects, whether for appliqué or quilting.

Polyester-based and silk threads are stronger than the cotton fibers we work with and will, over time, wear holes in our quilts. Cotton-covered polyester does the same thing.

When an exact color match is impossible to find, and you are left with one color that is too light and another that is too dark, choose the darker color; it will roll off the spool lighter.

For appliqué, match the appliqué fabric as closely as possible.

For piecing, match the darker color, or choose a neutral that looks good with all the fabrics. Never choose the lightest fabric to match; the thread will show on everything but that one.


Okay, I know there are those of you (and others) who would disagree with any or all of the items on my list. But here's what I know--I've been using this formula for years and I am happy with the results. Rest assured that I do test different brands of threads from time to time, but I really prefer the Mettler. (And, no, they don't give me any endorsement fees.) I thought I would talk about quilting threads in a different post.

So there you have it--thread according to me. More to come!



1 comment:

  1. I'm constantly amazed at the things I don't know - even though I've hand pieced for years, I learned a lot from you at Wiawaka. Thanks for sharing.

    And I don't agree with everything...but a lot of it I do. :)


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