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Thread: For thread basters

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    I read somewhere to use tatting thread (used for making lace)for hand basting a quilt as it is not polished, so it holds the threads of the fabric tighter and the fabric layers won't slip. The article suggested using thread the length of your arm to prevent tangling. It also suggested using DMC brand. My Joann's carries DMC embroidery floss, but not tatting thread, but I imagine it's available online. Has anyone tried it? Does it work better than sewing thread?

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I'll be watching this. Thanks for the post.

  3. #3
    Senior Member drivingsusan's Avatar
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    I use hand quilting thread for basting----By mistake several years ago, before I even thought about quilts or quilting, I bought some Coates & Clarks hand quilting thread.
    The first time I basted a quilt I started out with just regular thread and that was NOT working very well, so I tried the hand quilting thread and it does hold everything in place very well...no puckers!!!
    I have only done up to twin size so that may make a difference.

  4. #4
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    I just use cheap, crappy, or old thread. I try to use yellow or pink.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I use the weakest thread I have because if I sew over it (which sometimes happens..oops) it will come out without messing up the quilting.

  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    For me, it would be going too far to search out a specific thread like that for basting. It can't make *that* much difference. Regular thread does not slip and slide so much that it should ever be a problem when thread basting.

    I also don't agree with the arm's length idea. It *is* important to cut thread fairly short when hand quilting so the thread doesn't get twisted and knotted. However, basting is done in large stitches and straight lines, so there isn't a lot of opportunity for the thread to twist or knot. Traditionally you would simply thread a needle and not cut the thread off the spool until you had completed a line of basting. The large stitches make it easy to pull the thread through.

    I agree with the comment to use the thinnest, most breakable thread you can find in neutral colors. (It's not a good idea to use dark red or blue thread for basting, as the colors can transfer to your quilt when you pull the thread through.) Serger thread is good for thread basting.

    When there is a problem with slippage from thread basting, it always seems to be because the basting lines are not sufficiently close to each other.

  7. #7
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    I, too, use just any old thread. Usually I pin baste but on a large quilt it can add to the weight that you are wrestling with either hand or machine quilting so thread basting has that value for me. I also agree that you don't need short lengths of thread for this process. In fact I had read/heard/seen somewhere (and it worked for me) was to place the spool in the center of your quilt, thread one end and baste to the edge. When you get that side finished, pull enough thread to go to the other edge, thus you get a single thread from edge to edge each time. I also thread baste about the same distance as pin basting - about a hand-width apart. I hand quilt so that works for me - not sure how that would work for the machine quilters.

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