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Thread: Can we talk about thread?

  1. #1
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Can we talk about thread?

    I usually use the same thread to quilt as I use to sew and am questioning if this is the way to do it. I want to get 'serious' about thread and fabric lingo and quality, because I want this year to be the year I actually sew things to sell.

    I have Gutermmann thread, some Mettler Metrosene, and some C&C Dual Duty. When I bought my Janome years ago the sales rep said to use good quality thread and at that time they had the Mettler. Some of you have been talking about Aurofil, is that for machine quilting or sewing or both?

    Also, about fabrics. There are a few fabric shops near me, higher priced tho around $9+ yard to start. Is that what I should buy if I want to sell? Does price matter?

    Any wisdom, websites, or books you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Now I need to go and remove some crooked stitches. I'm thinking stitch-in-the-ditch may be more stressful than free motion...
    Nancy

    Just keep going!

  2. #2
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    I look forward to any responses you receive. My questions are about the same. I have used both "regular" thread that I use for piecing as well as quilting. Also have used "machine quilting" thread for quilting. I haven't noticed any differences in durability. Of course, I haven't kept track of those quilts that I gave away.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  3. #3
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    Hello.. I am no expert, but I can tell you what I do. I usually do use the same thread for quilting and piecing. I have Gutterman, Aurafill, Superior and King Tut. I can say that I nearly exclusively use King Tut to quilt... but I have used it to piece as well.

    I personally don't believe all fabric is equal. I have purchased the cheaper fabric but what I have experienced is that it is often thin. I have actually even double layered fabric because it was so thin that the color was pale.

    I don't think its always the price, sometimes I have to feel the fabric.

    You can find lots of info on YouTube and Google

    Have fun

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I find stitch-in-the-ditch to be so stressful I no longer do it! It is much easier to use the walking foot and make wavy lines -- variations become part of the pattern. Just pull the sandwich from side to side as you feed it to the walking foot; makes soft wavy lines. Not sure what you are making, but here are some examples of what I am talking about:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=wavy...ed=0CAYQ_AUoAQ

    I have used Aurifil 50wt 2-ply for both piecing and quilting on my domestic machine. It leaves *much* less lint than the threads you are using. It seems more expensive but, if you cost it out by the yard, it's not necessarily any more expensive than other threads. There are more yards on a spool because it is a fine thread. It leaves little lint because it is a very smooth thread. If you look at it next to a thread from one of the spools you are using, you will see the difference in "fuzz" on the thread. Aurifil 50wt 2-ply is too weak to use in my frame setup, however.

    If I didn't use Aurifil on my domestic machine, I would use Presencia 60wt 3-ply. It is similar in size and quality, but the 3-ply makes it stronger than Aurifil. Aurifil is easier for me to find to purchase online.

    I use Glide thread (http://www.bobbincentral.com/quiltin...ead/glide.html ) almost exclusively in my midarm frame setup because it never shreds or breaks on me, plus it has a nice shine that adds a little sparkle to my quilts. It is also a great thread to use in a domestic machine. This is a thicker thread than Aurifil (and polyester instead of cotton) so the quilting thread is more apparent with it.

    Edit: Just want to add that Aurifil and Presencia are great for piecing because they are very fine threads. I get better accuracy with my scant 1/4" seams because the thread is not taking up more of the turn-of-the-cloth. I think it is much harder to do accurate piecing with thick thread (such as the standard 50-wt 3-ply that you are probably using).
    Last edited by Prism99; 01-02-2015 at 12:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    if i've learned nothing else during the years we've been "live", here at the QB, i've learned that different threads will please different people for different reasons.

    some machines are pickier than the pickiest person. others will function just fine with anything you run through them.

    one person will say "this" thread leaves lint, while another will swear she gets little to no lint from that brand.
    same goes for shredding, etc.

    if you like the brands you are using already, there's no need to switch unless you know you'd have fun trying out something different. if you do decide to experiment, just buy one or two spools of each new thing so you don't waste piles of money on things you find you don't like.

    my own two favorites are connecting threads and aurifil.
    like all of the big-name threads, aurifil is horribly over-priced, so i can only buy that when i absolutely must have a specific color i can't get elsewhere.

    threads are like handbags. slap "gucci" or "coach" on it, and you can shoot up the price by about 1000%. LOL
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

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  6. #6
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    For me, thread weight is more important than brand (although I really like presencia for piecing). I use a 60 wt for piecing and, depending on the look I'm going for, 40 to 80 wt for quilting. I use cotton for piecing, and cotton, poly or a blend for quilting.
    As far as fabric, I have found great fabric for $2 at a chain store and have seen really bad fabric by name brand manufacturers at specialty stores. I like to touch it first to estimate it's quality.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  7. #7
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    As long as it is a good quality and not cheap thread. The 3 you have been using are fine threads and very commonly used. There are so many threads out there that are good. I have used all 3 you use, plus king tut, rainbow, connecting threads, YLI, and aurifil. I still piece mostly with gutterman because simply it is easy to run down to joanns and get some with a coupon. As for FMQ I prefer king tut by superior for cotton(I had shredding with many other popular brands for cotton) and for poly any of the superior brands or isacord are my favorite because they simply have had the least amount of shredding both brands are very high quality. I like floriani and madeira for embroidery but have some cotton madeira I have not tried yet. I assume if its anything like their poly embroidery it will be high quality. The only problem I find with using other brands is I have to buy online and color matching is hard if you don't have thread charts. So I am working on getting some of my more favorite brands so I don't always have to use gutterman even though its a good quality thread as well. Fabrics is different If you are selling quality goods at a high price I personally would want it to be made from a high quality fabric, would not care what thread you used as long as it was good quality. As for thread though superior is by far my favorite brand, but I went on a thread binge last year and bought spools from different brands to find out what I personally like as I never go off of what others say. I have found that many things people swear as the best I have wound up hating so my motto is always try and see for yourself.
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  8. #8
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    When I bought my Bernina, I was told to use Mettler silk wrapped. I have been happy with the results.

    Good Luck in selling things because since hand quilted items have been imported from China, there isn't much of a market for selling items even when they have won awards in quilt shows.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  9. #9
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I've become a big fan of Superior So Fine #50 thread, for both piecing and quilting. It's poly, so very little lint results. I buy the cones, which last forever and saves me money. When I have to match a fabric for top stitching, I first check my supply of C&C threads, since I used to do much more garment sewing and have lots of colors.

    As for fabric, I buy most of mine at either Thousand of Bolts (.com) or Hobby Lobby. When buying from TOB, I stick with brands I know. Their brands are quite varied, ranging from LQS quality to bargain basement quality. Their prices are fantastic!
    Neesie


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  10. #10
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    I also use aurifil on my longarm, and glide I have also used yli I use metler on my domestic

  11. #11
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the helpful info! The Gutermmann I have seems thick and it is very linty. The Metrosene I have to order on line which I don't really like to do, so I might try the C&C again, but I should buy a few new spools because I've had the ones I haven't used for decades.
    Nancy

    Just keep going!

  12. #12
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the helpful info! The Gutermmann I have seems thick and it is very linty. The Metrosene I have to order on line which I don't really like to do, so I might try the C&C again, but I should buy a few new spools because I've had the ones I haven't used for decades.
    Nancy

    Just keep going!

  13. #13
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Dolphyngyrl, I agree on all points. I have tried many things others swear by and end up scratching my head, lol. I guess if it works and holds up, it's good.

    Neesie, I haven't yet bought fabric on line, I'm such a chicken sometimes, but I guess I won't know unless I do.
    Nancy

    Just keep going!

  14. #14
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    I have used C&C for years and once in a while may try something else. I get the magnifying glass out and check for rust and knicks in the needles if the thread starts acting up. Check my tension, all that. I do keep track how old my thread is. I have some I got from estate sales. Those are in the same bags as when I bought them. I use those for mending.

  15. #15
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    As far as quilting goes, the type thread I use is entirely dependent on the look I am going for. I highly recommend you try and get a copy of Diane Gaudynski's book "Guide to machine quilting" She has an entire chapter devoted to thread with up close photos showing the different effects you get with different weights and plys of threads. She happens to love silk thread more than anything. Beautiful but very expensive.

    I do not limit myself to brand name when it comes to quilting thread and I love buying on line, I have so many more choices and don't have to leave the house. When deciding what thread I want to use I consider the application, the density of quilting, how much do I want the quilting to show or not show then I go by weight, ply and effect I want. But sometimes I will throw all that out the window for a specific color. That said, I am a self avowed thread snob and freely admit it so there are certain threads I won't even bother with any more. But I quilt on a longarm and the speed at which these machines operate are so much faster than any DSM out there. So thread I would turn my nose up to due to lint or breakage could be perfectly fine in a DSM because the reduced speed they operate is not as hard on the thread as a LA. For example, I won't use Connecting threads cotton in my LA anymore due to the amount of lint buildup but I will happily use it in my domestic for machine applique or even machine quilting. It is a little too heavy for my taste for piecing. For that I use Aurifil in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. I piece on a Bernina. But I have run many threads through her with no issues.

    As far as fabric is concerned, I do 90% of my fabric shopping on line too. I try to find bargains and sales of fabrics from manufacturers I know I like and trust. I usually get LQS fabric $4 to $7 per yard. Rarely will I pay more than $9. It may be last years lines but to me that is worth it. But again, I am making quilts for my pleasure, not to sell. My longarming capabilities is what I sell.

  16. #16
    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    I have a ton of Connecting Threads large spools which I use when piecing with matching colour Superior Threads Bottom Line in the bobbin.

    For quilting, I use Superior Threads King Tut, Rainbows, Masterpiece, etc. at the top thread with matching Bottom Line in the bobbin.

    I also have most of Superior Threads Thread Charts which use real thread so you really know the exact colours when you order online.

    I use Superior Threads needles as recommended by whatever top thread I'm using (that info is on the cone).

    My two machines are my old faithful 1966 Elna Supermatic and my beloved Husqvarna Sapphire 875 Q. Neither machine is picky no matter what thread I use.
    If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

  17. #17
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    Go to the Superior Thread website for a more than extensive discussion of threads.

  18. #18
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfli19 View Post
    Dolphyngyrl, I agree on all points. I have tried many things others swear by and end up scratching my head, lol. I guess if it works and holds up, it's good.

    Neesie, I haven't yet bought fabric on line, I'm such a chicken sometimes, but I guess I won't know unless I do.
    Just stick with the manufacturers you know. One thing you can do, is go to a store and feel the different ones and make notes of which ones you like. If in doubt, ask on this board if such-and-such is a good one.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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  19. #19
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    I have a lot of "regular" thread from years of sewing. I tend to go to it first for piecing my quilts. So far, I have had no problems. As for fabric, buy what you can afford. I rarely pay full price at a quilt shop. If I buy elsewhere, such as JoAnn's or Hancock's, I just make sure the material is not thin and flimsy.

  20. #20
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Looks like you've got some good answers. For my 2 cents I prefer King Tut or YLI for quilting on my long arm, I like to see the stitches. Guttermann for piecing because it takes up less fabric. And as for fabric I try to stay with the name brand companies for good quality. Try out some online stores with small amounts and find out which manufacture you prefer.
    Joyce

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  21. #21
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    I usually use Aurifil for piecing and Isacord for quilting (if i want that polyester shine). I stock up on neutral Aurifil colors when I see them on sale - there is a lot of thread on those big spools, so I do not find the price out of line at all. Isacord is easily found for about $4, also a lot of thread for the money - so I think it is a bargain. I have a stash of various colors of Mettler, Guterman, C&C that have been purchased for garment projects over the years, so I can almost always come up with a special color for a small project.

  22. #22
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    I have great things about aurfil thread, I think if you buy it you should buy in as a set I think its like 32 dollars to save money. I try to buy fabric as cheap as possible but If I decided to buy some I try to get on sale around 4-6 dollars a yard or less depending on the fabric unless it is a charm pack. I would see the places near you run a coupon sale some times that helps on fabric if its not on sale that's what I do when I go to hobby lobby.

  23. #23
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Something I learned from this board is the use of a few neutral colors for piecing. That was a big mental change for me after many years of "garment" sewing that always meant standing in front of the thread displays matching thread to fabric lol. Because of this change I purchase mainly Aurifil 50 wt for piecing because my Babylocks love it, and along with my walking foot have helped me more consistently maintain a scant 1/4 inch in piecing . Those that have said its a very individual decision are giving you good advice because it really does depend on your machine and the look you want to achieve. If selling is what you're hoping to do, I hope you find a successful way to do that. Happy creating!
    “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest”~Jesus

  24. #24
    Senior Member kristijoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maminstl View Post
    I usually use Aurifil for piecing and Isacord for quilting (if i want that polyester shine). I stock up on neutral Aurifil colors when I see them on sale - there is a lot of thread on those big spools, so I do not find the price out of line at all. Isacord is easily found for about $4, also a lot of thread for the money - so I think it is a bargain. I have a stash of various colors of Mettler, Guterman, C&C that have been purchased for garment projects over the years, so I can almost always come up with a special color for a small project.
    I've used Isacord fro FMQ (It comes in TONS of colors and there is a lot on the cone!) Buying one cone of Isacord is going to be a lot cheaper than using C&C. I did one quilt with C&C with a lot of FMQ and I'm pretty sure I put more than $30-40 of thread on that quilt. That's when I switched to Isacord. I could do the same quilt in just 2 spools ($8!!!)

    I've also used a shiny embroidery thread for FMQ which gives beautiful results if you want to draw some attention to your quilting. Right at the moment I'm trying out some "Intressa" for FMQ on a cone because it was available at the store/location I was visiting. I like that it's on a cone, but somehow the Isacord seemed to behave better tension wise on my machine.

    For piecing I use my C&C I have left up in my cupboard. I also think the 'Intressa' will work for that purpose as well.
    Kristi

  25. #25
    Super Member roserips's Avatar
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    If you really want to talk thread go to www.superiorthreads.com and find a class on threadology near you. Bob is very well spoken and full of information. I have attended his talks at Sew Expo in Puyallup, Wa, of course he is trying to sell you on his thread (which of course I have used and love) but I also use all of the other brands you have listed and others as well. You want a clean thread that is durable do not cut corners and use serger thread for quilting trust me ask me how I know? Well of course I tried it and well after years of usage and lots of washing there is a lot of breakage and should be taken out and requilted but that is way to much work for me so I use it on my bed and love the education it gave me. by the way I am not affiliated in any way with Superior Threads or there representatives.

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