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Thread: Hand applique question

  1. #1
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Phoenix, AZ

    Question Hand applique question

    Of course I have picked a quilt with appliqué flowers -Happy Daisies. I do know I can machine applique but I want to try doing it by hand (needle turn method) as I will be traveling for a few days and I think this will keep me busy. I have the pattern, I have cut out all the daisies. My question is, every video and instructions say to use silk thread in the color to match the flower, not the background. How vital is this? The daisies are every color in the rainbow, now that I may have to purchase thread to match each. How hard and fast is that rule?? This will be a little girl's quilt with a white background so it will probably be washed often. HELP!!!! Have I gotten myself in a pickle??
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  2. #2
    MTS is offline
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I use silk thread for all my hand applique...#100 weight.

    It's wonderful to work with as it glides through the fabric.
    But best of all is how it just sinks into the material.

    So even though I have a gazillion colors of silk thread, I usually end up using only the white, black or gray regardless of the color of the appliqued piece.

    If you've got multiple colors on the white background, go with the gray.
    It's a safe choice.

    Even if your stitches aren't that great, they will hardly be visible.

    Worth every penny (approx $6 for a 200m spool).

    Check your LQS to see what they stock.
    The thread is available online as well - search for YLI or TIRE 100 silk thread.

    eta: The #100 weight is the best choice but the even the #50 weight works great.
    Last edited by MTS; 09-29-2012 at 09:00 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Member LAQUITA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    DFW / Texas
    I also hand applique, and I too use silk thread, but I use Taupe, it seems to 'hide' very well in just about any color or pattern you are using.

    I agree with MTS that your LQS (or if you don't have one close by, it will give you an excuse to stop along the way at one! ) tehehehe anyway they should carry silk thread.

    Enjoy your trip and your appliquing.
    LaQuita (aka) - Yai-Yai to the most precious grandbaby around of course I'm partial! LOL


  4. #4
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    canterbury uk
    silk is best but can be pricey so any other 'fine' thread can be used, I tend to use a pale grey regardless of the colour unless of course the fabric is dark like black or just good old white just go through your threads and see which look best its a great project to do whilst travelling - enjoy

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I always use cotton thread in the color to match the applique pieces. Works just fine, and I already have a gazillion colors. Have fun!

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Blog Entries
    there are NO HARD/FAST RULES!
    when appliquing with multiple color fabrics choose a neutral thread color...grays blend well- light gray on light fabrics, darker gray on darker colors. you do not have to change color constantly-it's ok to use the same one throughout. taupe also blends well...i use silk thread too- it glides so nicely- but often i simply use a neutral instead of trying to match anything- it is fine enough that it is pretty close to invisible anyway. but don't stress over (Hard/fast rules) there are none! people use what works for them- they may recommend their choice- but someone else will recommend something totally different because that is their choice.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
    Blog Entries
    i love using silk thread. i only have one color... it's pale beige. it doesn't show no matter what color the fabric.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I use 100 wt. silk thread, too. I don't have a lot of colors, just light taupe, dark taupe, grey and black. The spools may cost a lot, but they last forever. I lay a strand of the thread over the applique to see which color blends in the most, and use that color.

    There are quilters who do not like to use silk thread, so it's really up to you. If you can find light weight cotton thread, that will work fine - 60 weight is good. With cotton thread I like to match the color to the applique (not the background). Some people even use embroidery floss with good results.


  9. #9
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I do a fair amount of applique and use 60 wt. cotton in off white for nearly all of the applique. I use the ladder stitch. It is pretty much invisable.

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I use silk thread too (YLI 100 weight), but I've only found a good selection of it on the internet, or occasionally at quilt shows. Nancy Chong, of Pacific Rim Quilt Company (Hawaiian quilts) uses 50 weight Aurifil cotton thread, and she does superb applique. If you were making a Baltimore Album quilt to show in a big quilt show, I would say always match the thread color to the top piece, but for a child's quilt that will be used, that just isn't necessary. Be sure to post the quilt when you're done!

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