Sunday, February 18, 2018


Bits of this and that--some Sulky, Maderia, Valdani, Aurifil
Quilt Shop Gal has a personal blog called Creative Latitude. In a post, she shared a project she had quilted using rulers. She also shared the type of thread she used.

I started following her when she was SewCalGal and she hosted her initial 12 month free motion (FM) challenge. I learned new techniques participating in the challenge. Since then, I've continued to expand my FM quilting skills. I too have started using rulers. 

It was the photo of the Aurifil thread in her post that got me to thinking about my thread stash. I decided a post about thread was in order!

Although I would LOVE a longarm, I do all my quilting on a domestic machine. (Space in the studio is the biggest factor.) I have FM quilted a table runner on "Inky" my 1947 Featherweight. I've FM so many miles that I actually wore grooves in the throat plate and thread guides of "Bernie" my 1630 Bernina. For the past few years, I've been quilting on a machine with a larger harp. First, I quilted on "Maxine", a 780 Bernina and most recently, "Joie", my 790 Bernina. 
Some of the Masterpiece collection 

With Bernie, I took a machine embroidery class to make cut work and used Maderia cotton thread. I like their monofilament thread. I dabbled with Sulky rayon and metallic threads. I used YLI's monofilament thread in both neutral and smoke. I began a small collection of their silk spools which I enjoy using. I purchased a couple spools of Isacord and a spool of Yenmet thread. At that point, I stitched mostly with Gutterman and Metrosene which was a change from the Coats and Clark and Dual Duty brands that were part of my sewing when I was a beginner.
Some cones of the Kimono

I will confess that my affair with thread began with Superior Threads. I purchased every spool of the original Masterpiece--a two ply 50 wt. thread. I have a few cones of Magnifico--40 wt. polyester, a spool of Monopoly--invisible type thread, two cones of Bottomline--light weight thread for use in the bobbin for quilting and for embroidery, a cone of King Tut--40 wt. cotton, three spools of Razzle Dazzle--specility thread for use in the bobbin, one spool of their micro quilter--a fine weight polyester thread and numerous cones of Kimono silk--100 wt. and my favorite for quilting lots of thread in a small area.

Mostly Floriani; but, a little Superior and Isacord too
I like the ease of ordering from Superior and they stand behind their product. I once ordered four cones of thread. Three of the cones stitched beautifully. One did not. I changed needles, I checked the thread path, I checked the tension, I stitched on different fabrics. . .all with the same results. . .shredding and breaking. I called the company and explained what was happening. Superior replaced the cone and I had no more problems. Yes, I think their products are "superior" and I know for a fact that their customer service is "superior." I will always be a customer.

I love Aurifil thread. It comes in a variety of colors and weights. It is strong, yet fine, 3 ply 50 wt. thread. It also has low lint. I keep on hand three to five mini cones of 50 wt. neutral threads for piecing and quilting. I've a few spools of 12 wt. thread that I've used for embroidery. 

Mostly I store thread by color
For me it is easier to purchase Aurifil locally than Superior. Along the way--meaning at quilt shows, I happened upon some
Valdani variegated thread, some Wonderfil 100 wt. polyester and some of their 40 wt. variegate polyester thread. I've had success with cotton, polyester and metallic threads from Fil-tec. When I purchased a Berninia with an embroidery unit, I became acquainted with Floriani polyester thread. I like it for its sheen in embroidery and quilting. Since it is available locally, I am slowly purchasing more colors. 

Finally, I have a container of some old threads that were part of my grandmother's and great grandmother's notion stash. Most spools are too old to use; but, use them I do! I often use them to stitch around the quilt sandwich edge or to apply the narrow non stretch tape to stabilize the edge. If the thread were to disintegrate in those areas, it won't matter. I smile as I sew, thinking that a little of their stitching magic is in each of my quilts.

I thought perhaps I was becoming a thread snob; but, I've decided that I am a thread connoisseur! Why have so many different threads in the stash?

When I'm quilting, I want to quilt. I don't want to stop and go to the store or online to pick up what I think I need. I have different weights of thread because sometimes the thread should sing--so I'll use a thicker thread like a 40 wt. polyester or a 40 wt. cotton. Sometimes, the thread should be in the background, so I'll use a 50 wt. cotton thread or 100 wt. silk. Of course, sometimes, I'll use a subtle thread color or I'll use a thread that is vibrant. To cover all those possible options, I "need" a variety of threads!  

When I'm playing with machine embroidery, it is good to have a range of shades in a particular color as well as a variety of colors that will play well with each other. Nothing is worse is to want to stitch a motif; but, can't because the design needs a color or a shade I don't have!

Rarely have I purchased thread at regular price. I watch for sales from online companies such as Superior. I take advantage of coupons at local shops that carry the threads I collect. 

When you look at your fabric stash, you probably have a variety of fabric lines, manufacturers, colors, prints, batiks. . .well, it is a collection. The wider range in your fabric stash, the wider range your thread stash "needs" to be! 

To store my thread, I use clear plastic containers. I store threads by color and often by type. I like to be able to see my options. Most importantly though. . .I want to play and use my thread stash.

What is your thread of choice and how do you like to use it?



Nancy said...

Like you, I have a large thread stash. Like you, I don't like to be stopped by not having what I need at home. And I don't have any stores close by so running out to get something isn't an option for me. said...

Nancy, so true! Although, sometimes when I've gone to a show, I've forgotten to bring my thread list of what I have or what I'm interested in collecting. I, like you, try to capitalize on every available opportunity!

Anonymous said...

I love your thread stash! Let it grow! Let it grow! Let it grow! said...

Terri, we can always squeeze in one more. . .after all each spool/cone is small! giggle giggle!!