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Thread: Fat Thread?

  1. #1
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I was in a couple of quilt shops lately and looking at the quilts they have on display the thread seems really thicker than regular thread . Is that what longarms take? It was like buttonhole thread. I don't get out much and most of the quilts I've seen in person were hand quilted. This thread really showed up well and looked very nice, none of my machine (regular singer) quilting thread looks like that.

    Waiting to be enlightened
    kathy

  2. #2

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    Hi, I'm also wondering about the thick thread I saw on a quilt recently. The stitches really did show up and looked soooo good. Hope someone has info! :lol: The background seemed to be done with that thread - each block different.

  3. #3
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    I was in a couple of quilt shops lately and looking at the quilts they have on display the thread seems really thicker than regular thread . Is that what longarms take? It was like buttonhole thread. I don't get out much and most of the quilts I've seen in person were hand quilted. This thread really showed up well and looked very nice, none of my machine (regular singer) quilting thread looks like that.

    Waiting to be enlightened
    kathy
    I am not an expert... but...

    I have tried some fat thread in variegated colors on my test lap quilt, I am making for keeping warm on these cold, cold, san jose nights. Thread size 40 if I remember correct.

    You need a different needle for the old sewing machine. A 130 instead of a 90 quilting needle is what I used, the bobbin thread is the standard thin quilting thread.

    Since I didn't do every line in this thread, only certain patterns (diamonds echo stitched, if you must know), it really popped out on the dark background, and blended in on the lighter colors. Very interesting effect, no more trouble than using regular thin thread(50 - 60), I didn't need to adjust tension on the Bernina at all. Your mileage might vary. I am contemplating using it in small amounts on the big quilt, if I ever get it basted.

    tim in san jose

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    why Thank You Tim

  5. #5
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Tim, Dear ...

    you forgot to tell us where you got it ...and - especially - the needles.

    i have wound #30 crochet cotton onto spools and bobbins. works fairly well - especially in a machine with a bobbin case so i can adjust the tension there, too. but those special needles would sure make it work better.

  6. #6
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Patrice , I'm glad you're here to push Tim around and squeeze info out of him... I wasn't going to ask but make a special 2 hr. trip tp the quilt store to look for it.
    kathy

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    nudge a little, maybe. something tells me he'd push back. i might fall-down-go-boom. LOL

  8. #8
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Hand Quilting thread cannot be used in a sewing machine.It is 100 percent cotton and quite heavy. Most of it says glace finish cotton., which I believe is a wax. It would gunk up your sewing machine and damage it.

    When you sew on a botton or mend heavy garments it works great. :D

  9. #9
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    ok Patrice, if he starts pushing back i'll get in front cause I don't have near as far to fall as you do,, I'd be more of a thud!

  10. #10
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    Is that what longarms take?
    I have had several quilts long armed and the thread used is the normal thin quilting thread. I think the thicker thread is for a certain look. I have seen quilts done with it. The stitches are more noticible... sort of a folksy-primative look. Barb C

  11. #11
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    Tim, Dear ...

    you forgot to tell us where you got it ...and - especially - the needles.

    i have wound #30 crochet cotton onto spools and bobbins. works fairly well - especially in a machine with a bobbin case so i can adjust the tension there, too. but those special needles would sure make it work better.
    Hmmm. I am going to need to go up to my sewing room (the messy one) and look up who - what - andwhy of this subject as far as who made the thread. I think some of it is YLI. More tonight.

    The needles are easy, They are standard Schmetz 130HQ needles. I didn't put the thicker stuff in the bottom so I didn't need to adjust my bobbin case. It seems that Bernina 830 is pretty tolerant of mismatches in thread size.

    tim in san jose

  12. #12
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    ok, i take back the messy room remark....when i made it i thought you were a lot younger............ now i figured out that you're old enough to be messy if you want to be

  13. #13
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    "Fat Thread" being an interpretation, I have only used this YLI 40/3 (Tex40) variegated yarn. It only says "YLI Machine Quilting" "Earth (the color) 13V"

    Very nice. I also have put some Sulky 12 wt through the machine. To my fingers, just a hair thicker than the YLI thread. It comes in a ton of different variegated colors also.

    Hope this helps.

    tim in san jose


  14. #14
    Senior Member Sparky's Avatar
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    Hi
    I was wondering if this was the type of "fat thread" you were talking about. See attached photo of turtle block. After doing the majority of quilting I went back and put in some blue diaganol rows for accent. I used DMC 5 Perel Cotton. I used both strands. Usually it is done as a running stich. I thought this added a bit of whimsy. A little tough on the fingers though.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    Hi
    I was wondering if this was the type of "fat thread" you were talking about. See attached photo of turtle block. After doing the majority of quilting I went back and put in some blue diaganol rows for accent. I used DMC 5 Perel Cotton. I used both strands. Usually it is done as a running stich. I thought this added a bit of whimsy. A little tough on the fingers though.
    is that HAND stitching? if so, i am in awe!!!
    if machine, did you have to use any needle in particular?

  16. #16
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    I bought a second bobbin case for my machine so I could set it for "bobbin stitching" and marked it with a dab of red nail polish to set it apart from my regular sewing bobbin case.
    The adjustment screw on bobbin-case is only good for so many adjustments, then you need a new bobbin case anyway.
    You can do some really nice decorative stuff with the heavier threads, even some lightweight yarns if you use them in the bobbin, threads that would never go through the eye of a needle.
    You can do this with a zig-zag stiich as well as a straight stitch.
    I have a good book on this somewhere. If anyone wants, I will look up the title and author.
    You need to keep in mind the decorative stitching is going to be on the bottom side of what you are stitching on. So have the back of the piece looking at you under the needle so the decorative stitches will be on the "right" side when you are finished.
    Joyce

  17. #17
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    This sounds harder than paper piecing!

    I'd love the title and author of your book. Thanks for sharing.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Sparky's Avatar
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    It was done by hand. I had to use a large needle to get the two strands of thread through.

  19. #19
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    Ilove that stiching. can you use it on the bobbin also? it really shows nice. like it would be hand quilting. I tink we need more information.

  20. #20
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    well Sparky that does kinda look like it but I know what I saw was done by machine. I thought perle cotton was thicker than that (or is there different sizes?) that really did add a nice touch

  21. #21
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    Hi Joyce
    I have a question concerning purchasing a new bobbin case for your machine. I have not done so yet, but was wanting to. I was wondering if they already come with the tension set like they do when they come with the machine, or do you have to set it? Thanks for any help

  22. #22
    Senior Member Sparky's Avatar
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    I have seen perel cotton on a larger ball, it's not quite as thick as the 2 strands I used. What I used was on a skein like embroidery floss. If you want to use your machine for a "hand quilted" look, one way is to put the colored thread in the bobbin and use a clear thread on the top. Adjust the tension so that the bobbin thread comes up to the top of the fabric. Do this by tightening the top tension and lowering the bottom tension.

  23. #23
    Crickett Sweet's Avatar
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    The "fat" thread you saw was probably a heavier weight thread like 12 wt. or 20 wt. I love the look these threads make as well but they are a little tricky to work with your machine but worth the effort. Others can probably help you with needle size, bobbin thread, tension, etc. I don't know what kind of machine you have Anyway, give the 12 wt. a try, it is a great look. :lol:

  24. #24
    Carla P's Avatar
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    I have used poly serger thread (verigated) when I wanted the stitching to show. Even the Mettler #50 is a bit heavier looking than #50 mercerized cotton. My experience is this with this type of thread: pre-wash your fabrics for minimal shrinkage/distortion, use a smaller needle with a bigger eye (embroidery needles are usually easier to find, but sometimes I get lucky and find quilting needles- and stock up when I do- or "sharps" as a last result- NEVER "universal" because they cut or puncture instead of sliding between the fibers of the fabric). This reduces the thread pop-ups you will occasionally see when machine quilting. I loosened the top tension just slightly, and left the bottom tension alone. (Because of the smaller needle size you play with the tension a bit less.) One word of warning about this thread: it is a poly thread which means it is stronger than your cotton fabric, so I (would recommend) only use it on large quilts where I am doing larger quilting designs. (If I decide to add smaller quilting to the quilt, I switch to a cotton thread.) After using this type of thread you will want to wash the quilt, throw it in the dryer for a short time, removing before completely dry, and then spread out to dry, "blocking" it before binding if possible. I am no expert, but I do love to play with many threads just to see which effect I like for each quilt I make. If you want to stick with all cotton thread I can recommend Valdani #40, or Star (I think is the name) #50. Both quilt a bit heavier looking and are available in many colors. (The Star brand is more effective if you use the same color in the top & bobbin.) You can also "Trick" the eye by using a #40 or #50 for your main quilting and then do your background quilting with a bit finer thread like a #60 on up to a #100.
    With all of the new threads in the market and access to the internet the possibilities are endless; jump in & have fun with as many of them as possible! Here is one rule I learned to always be true- keep like threads in both top & bobbin (cot/cot, poly/poly, however, you can mix silk & rayon). Poly thread will cut cotton thread.
    Sorry to be too verbal on this subject, but it is so near & dear to my heart!! I could go on, and on, and on... Have fun!! Have fun!! Have fun!!

  25. #25
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    thanks to everybody for the thread advice
    kathy

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