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Thread: Hand quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member ranbro's Avatar
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    I am very new to quilting (less than 6 months). I would like to start learning how to hand quilt. Are there any "rules" that govern what color thread (s) that can be use on a multi colored quilt. Can I use just one color or should I try to match the individual colors in the quilt? Will the various colors that might be used to match the top affect how the backing of the quilt will look? Many thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    With Hand Quilting, it is your preference what color you use. I usually use a white or ecru thread on everything. It depends on what you want it to look like. Mostly we want to see the effect of the quilting, but not the actual stitches, so we use a thread that blends in. I personally do not like to use black on black because these old eyes cannot see where I have been when the quilt is in the frame. It is the most difficult to work with. If you want to change colors when you are quilting the top to match the color of the fabric on top, use a multicolored fabric on the back to make it less noticeable there. But if you want to see it, use a solid fabrciback. It is your quilt, you can do anything you want. If you are entering it in a contest, check their rules!

  3. #3
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    I also use one color of thread throughout. My favorite thread is YLI -- it's wonderful!! No tangles with this thread either!

    If you need a specific color (like purple), I'd use Dual Duty thread. If the thread you're using tangles, you can get one of those inexpensive "bee wax" circles and run your thread over it before use.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I only hand quilt, and it is great! I love the look of all cotton hand quilting thread. But, I don't think there are any "rules" anymore. the color of thread you use is up to you. Do you want your stitches to stand out? if so then use a contrasting color. Do you want them to blend into the background? if so, then use close to the same color as the block. It is all up to you1 Just have fun and enjoy it!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Do what looks good to you. On the one I'm doing right now, I am using blue in the blue and the white parts and red in the red parts.

  6. #6
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I have been handquilting for 40 years. Everyone's advice so far has been great. I have used everykind of thread at one time or another. I learned the hard way not to cut more than a arm's length of thread at a time. When you handquilt you literally drag that length of thread through the fabric everytime you take a stitch. If you cut it longer it not only tangles easily but it gets frayed and may even break. One trick is to always thread the needle with the end of the thread that is coming off of the spool. It has something to do with how the thread is spun. I usually use the same color thread all over the quilt. Sometimes I get creative and use different colors on different colored areas on the top. This only works well on the back if it is an overall print that hides the different thread colors. Recently we used a multicolored thread meant for machine quilting on a quilt we were handquilting at the senior center. It was a stack and wack star block made with bright batiks and sashed in black. The quilting we did in the black areas really looked fantastic.
    Good luck and happy quilting.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ranbro's Avatar
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    you guys are great-many thanks for your help.

  8. #8
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I mostly go with white because a lot of my quilts are rich darker colors. But you should go with whatever you like. I have seen many different colors on quilts in shows and they look great. Maybe do a little practice piece to see what appeals to you the most.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Be creative, have fun, try different colors on scraps of your fabric to see how it looks. You are the designer so the rules are yours to make :D:D:D

  10. #10
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    I have been hand quilting for 18 years and I've done it every which way when choosing thread colors. It really depends on the look I want and what the quilt will be used for.

    You don't want to cut your thread any longer than 18-inches, and for the exact reason that was listed above. Too much longer and it frays, tangles, and all that not-so-fun stuff. I always use either wax or the thread conditioner in the little blue box called "Thread Heaven." These keep my thread from tangling and it works wonderfully!

    If you buy thread marked 'Hand Quilting Thread,' it is already waxed, which is why it is such a no-no to use in your sewing machine. It gums the machine up something fierce. :( Also, hand quilting thread is wound differently than machine quilting thread or thread made for sewing machines. It isn't such a big deal to use the sewing machine thread to hand quilt, though it really helps to condition the thread with bees wax or the Thread Heaven, but you never want to use hand quilting thread on your machine. Hope this helps some.

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