Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: How would you test this?

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    2,522

    How would you test this?

    I have a spool each of several different threads here.
    • Sulky
    • Connecting threads (partial spool possibly 100 yards)
    • Aurifil
    • King Tut
    • Mettler
    • Gutermann
    • Robison Anton

    I'd like to do some testing to see which of the threads I "like" the best. Thread cost is not the factor at the moment. I already did some calculations on that, and found that Aurifil, masterPIECE, and several others are cheaper on average than Mettler or Gutermann.

    A couple of things I know to test:
    • Lint in the bobbin case (and around the top tensioner)
    • How it lays on the fabric, when piecing and when quilting
    • Breakage during normal sewing (i.e. not using messed up tension settings just to see it break)


    What else should I be looking at?

    I'm thinking of using a 301 for this test, because it always just seems to work. Additionally, I'll be using a thread stand, so that the tension is hopefully a known constant, since some of these threads are stack wound and some are cross wound. Any other suggestions for the machine to use? I think most of the machines I have are listed in my signature.

    I guess I need to come up with a project I want to do several times over in order to have a "fair" test, any suggestions? I'd like it to be a relatively short test, so I'm going to say not a King Sized Quilt each.

    Maybe a mug rug? Other thoughts? I still have 2 - 3 featherweight case liners to build, and untold numbers of foot controller bags, maybe that's a good choice.

    The other hope is that this will jump start me back into some quilting / sewing. I haven't been making the time lately, and the next project (a lap quilt for DH, but the blocks he's chosen are way more difficult than the 4" squares I used on my first and only quilt so far) is a little daunting, so I haven't begun cutting it or planning it out.

    Also, if anyone has any recommendations for needles for a particular thread, etc, I'm all ears. I'm thinking a topstitch needle, but all I have is a size 14 at the moment.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-03-2013 at 04:02 PM.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 431G, 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99, 115, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Grundy Co Illinois
    Posts
    5,114
    Are you testing the thread for piecing or quilting? Or both?

    One other thing I can think of is how it looks ... I personally see a difference in the amount of "sheen" in two of the threads you have on your list.

    Do

    Another thing you should bear in mind, even if you are using all 50wt threads - not all 50wt's are the same. As an example 50wt Aurifil is a 2 ply and much thinner than a 50wt Connecting threads.

    I use an 80/12 when I sew with Aurifil but I can't get away with that with Connecting Threads which is a much heavier 50wt. Sulky and King Tut I only buy in heavier weight so I can't compare. Gutterman 50wt I can also use an 80/12. Mettler I only buy in 60wt so I can't compare. The other brands I have not used.

    Above needle sizes are all for piecing. My heavier weight threads I only use for quilting and all are different.

    As for machines ... I think I would lean toward the 301, the 99 or the 15.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pollytink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    784
    Oh wow! This is fascinating! I want to try the two: Connecting threads (partial spool possibly 100 yards)and Aurifil and have been wondering about them. Specifically, The machines I use do not have horizontal spool pins, will both of these work that way? Are they stack wound? Also, I've read that Aurifil is two ply and makes a difference in 1/4" seams when piecing. And DHM says she only uses the heavier ones for quilting. I'm a fan of Wendy Shepherd who uses Aurifil and I love the look of her quilting. I just did my first attempt at anything but sitd with some designs on the border and blocks and didn't really like the look of it....just used C&C which I figured wouldn't look that good.

    So I will look forward to your testing and all we'll learn from it! I hope you'll do both piecing and quilting so we can see what they all look like. Quite a project you've taken on and I think it's wonderful!! It will make a wonderful tutorial and reference piece.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    3,669
    It's great that you are looking into this - one web site I would suggest you look at would be Superior Threads - they have a lot of information on threads and needles - One should be armed with the most information we can get.

  5. #5
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    2,522
    DHM - The thought is to test both. I'm sure that I'll decide I like one for piecing and one for quilting, or more than that, but I don't really expect to like one for both. Who knows though. Yes, sheen is another good one to look at, I think it will influence how it looks for sure.

    I had learned a lot about the thread weights on the youtube channel that Superior threads has. An excellent use of time for anyone who wants to make quick little improvements to how their machine deals with thread. You have a good point. I wonder if a spool of masterPIECE is in order as well. It would be more "fair" to go up against all of the other 50wt threads. (All of the rest are 50 wt, 2 or 3 ply) What you're describing is also probably why so many people like the aurifil for piecing. It would take up less "space" and make the piecing seem crisper I think.

    I definitely need to step out for some needles tomorrow then. I have quilting and topstitch needles in 14s only. The goal is to give each one the best chance at success. Generic setups I don't think would be "fair" in this case. The King Tut is labeled: Topstitch 90/14 so that's where I'll start with it.

    Thanks for the machine recommendations. I've used 2 of them for quilting already, so I will be familiar with the feel of them.

    PollyTink - I have rarely heard a bad thing about Aurifil, besides price, but that seems like a misconception. It's one of the cheapest threads on my list when you figure its price per yard / meter. I'd say it's a safe bet to try it.

    The only threads on my list that are stack wound are the King Tut, and the Sulky thread (which I just realised is a 30wt thread).

    Name:  IMG_5459.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  102.1 KB

    (I'll probably use a more neutral colored Mettler thread. That was the first one I grabbed. And the Coats is too old to really make a fair comparison.) There's no reason you can't use a cross wound thread on your machine, just put the spool in a teacup behind the machine, or on a stand alone spool holder. What I learned about weights of thread is that it's not really standard. Use it just as a guideline. 2 and 3 ply can affect the thickness, for sure. This is again where I'd recommend Superior's youtube channel. It's where I learned about that, and the spool holders and the differences between stack wound and cross wound spools and where each excelled. I think it's going to be a huge undertaking, and I expect it will take me more than a couple of weeks. But I've been wanting to do it for some time. I think in the long term, it will save me frustration and money to settle on some favorites and forget about the rest.

    N27 - I LOVE their site!! There's so much information and just the bits I've read, and their YT channel have taught me so much.

    I think I'm going to try to make some foot pedal bags. Apparently there are 18 machines here with cold toes, so it wouldn't be wasted effort. That should start out with about a 12x12 block. I think if I did a "simple" D9P, or something with a couple of HST too maybe, it should give me a bit of an idea about the threads for piecing, then I can quilt them.
    Last edited by ArchaicArcane; 05-03-2013 at 07:24 PM.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 431G, 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99, 115, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  6. #6
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Grundy Co Illinois
    Posts
    5,114
    Arcane ... did you notice that the spool of Mettler you have there is silk??
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  7. #7
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    6,384
    Arcane, I may be misunderstanding your post but it sounds like you want to pick one thread to use across the board. Thread is like any other tool, the right one for the right job. This is just me, but I would never use King Tut or silk for piecing. King Tut is a marvelous thread to quilt with though and silk is more for quilting or applique because it is so fine it sinks right down into the fabric and is nearly invisible. I use finer threads in quilting when I don't want the thread to be obvious or I am worried about build up. Alternatively if I want the quilting to really stand out I will use a heavier thread. It is great that you want to experiment; this way you will know what threads you like best for which tasks but don't ever limit yourself to just one thread for everything because you are doing yourself a disservice.

    Thread can be almost as much fun as fabric!

  8. #8
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    14,872
    How about a set of quilted placemats? using the same fabrics and battings in all of them? They are small enough to not use lots of fabric, but large enough to get an idea of how the threads work.

    For piecing, I usually use an 80/12 needle.

    I've been very happy with the results of (gasp!) the 'older' cotton covered poly Coats & Clark dual duty threads. I may be 'happier' with other threads, but so far, so good with it.

    My quilting has been limited to Stitch in the Ditch and/or straight line quilting, and I've used the same C&C cotton covered poly Dual Duty thread for that. I've also usually used the 80/12 needle for that most of the time when working with quilting cotton fabrics.

    I go up to a 90/14 or 100/16 when I work with denim.

    feline fanatic has a good point - some threads work better for some projects and purposes than others.

    It's also important to match up needle size (and style) with the thread and fabric it's to be used on.

  9. #9
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    14,872
    How about a set of quilted placemats? using the same fabrics and battings in all of them? They are small enough to not use lots of fabric, but large enough to get an idea of how the threads work.

    For piecing, I usually use an 80/12 needle.

    I've been very happy with the results of (gasp!) the 'older' cotton covered poly Coats & Clark dual duty threads. I may be 'happier' with other threads, but so far, so good with it.

    My quilting has been limited to Stitch in the Ditch and/or straight line quilting, and I've used the same C&C cotton covered poly Dual Duty thread for that. I've also usually used the 80/12 needle for that most of the time when working with quilting cotton fabrics.

    I go up to a 90/14 or 100/16 when I work with denim.

    feline fanatic has a good point - some threads work better for some projects and purposes than others.

    It's also important to match up needle size (and style) with the thread and fabric it's to be used on.

    If your machine will take plastic or metal bobbins, it may also be a good idea to use only one style.

    I think the most important thing in your testing process is to keep the variables to a minimum.

  10. #10
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    2,522
    DHM - The mettler is Silk Finish Mercurized cotton. That takes up the whole circle though.

    FF - Looking at the weights of the thread, I don't think I could pick just one. The heavier threads (the King Tut, the Coats and Clark, and the Sulky for instance) no, I don't think I can piece with them. I will try each of the threads out, rate them based on what they're meant for, and the lint in the hook area, etc. This will help me pick the threads that I like best, and let me focus on them, rather than grabbing new / different / cheap whenever I'm anywhere. Part of the reason for this is that thread IS expensive here. 3000m of MasterPiece (the only spool I could find today) was $35. I sure hope I like it! If I can narrow down to a couple of threads that I like, I would like to put a bulk order in for say a year or two's supply. I know that the right tool (or right thread) for the job makes a lot of sense, but if I can standardize to some degree, I think it will help me in the long run. It doesn't mean I won't experiment, just gives me a good strong foundation to work from.

    BIG - placemats are good, I might have to make them for the trailer, the house, the patio set... It's the two of us, and we don't have a lot of company. I was also thinking a quilted foot pedal bag, but the placemats would show the quilting off better...

    It has been looking like the general consensus is an 80/12 for piecing. And Superior recommends Topstitch needles almost across the board. I picked some of those up today, because all I had were 90/14. Use what you like for thread! That's why I'm doing this. I will record relative tension settings, etc, and then by the end, know what I like, what seems to get along with my machine, or not. (Though the tension adjustments should make this mostly moot)

    If you're using a 80/12 needle,.. does that mean the cotton / poly is about a 50wt? I couldn't find a straight cotton today that was more than a 35wt in Coats and Clark. I'm thinking I will need the 90/14 for that, or possible a 100/16? (It didn't -seem- like it was thicker than the King Tut, so I thought I'd start with the 90/14...

    I'm definitely trying to be careful and match the thread and needle to the project. For now, I think it will be regular quilt cotton, and some warm and Natural (because it's what I have). This has been historically one of my weak spots, so I'm making a special effort for this. Usually, I go "yup, there's a needle in there,.. let's go!"

    So far, I'm thinking 80/12 for piecing, 90/14 for quilting, or possibly 10/16 for the 30wt Sulky... ?
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 431G, 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99, 115, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.