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Thread: FMQ thread ?

  1. #1
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    FMQ thread ?

    I'm finally facing my fear of FMQ! Have watched several videos on it, especially Leah Day.

    She states in her FMQ Basic video in regards to the thread she uses. http://www.freemotionquilting.blogsp...tart-here.html

    Does it really matter on the type of thread? I thought I could use the same thread for FMQ as I do for piecing, but now after watching her video, I'm second guessing myself. What type of thread do you use?

    TIA
    http://www.OutlawTheWicks.com

  2. #2
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Whatever color works for the quilt. I've used polyester embroidery thread, rayon thread, Gutterman poly quilting thread, C & C poly/cotton sewing thread, varigated cotton FMQ thread. I don't change tension settings, needles or anything, just load and go on a 1956 Singer 301. I did have to purchase an embroidery needle to satin stitch with my Elna with thinner threads, but that's not FMQ.

  3. #3
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    Thanks irishrose.

    It's not the color that concerns me though. So, it would be best if I used a polyester type of thread instead of what I normally use for piecing, which is 100% cotton thread?
    http://www.OutlawTheWicks.com

  4. #4
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    You can use any thread you want.

    I find that the thread Leah Day recommends (Isacord) is fabulous for very tight scale quilting, and anytime you are going to do quilting that backtracks over itself (the build up is minimal). But I don't like it on large scale quilting- open designs on big quilts, for that I prefer cotton thread, and I prefer Connecting Threads essential. I think it looks too shiny on these quilts, and that is a less traditional look.

    Silk thread hides a TON of mistakes, so it is excellent for a beginner.

    The only thread I've tried and don't really like for FMQ is Dual Duty by Coats and Clark- but it does work. I just felt like it didn't stand out OR sink into the quilt, it was just kind of blah.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Skittl1321.

    The only thread I have in my home is the connecting threads essential.

    After watching her video, I thought I was going to need to go out and buy more thread. Good to know I don't need to.
    http://www.OutlawTheWicks.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I use thread of any and every kind and weight. I like my quilting visible so I tend to use thicker thread. I tried it all and everything seems to work. The way I see it, three most important things of FMQ are turning your stitch length to 0, lovering/covering your feed dogs, and useing FMQ/darning foot. Everything else is matter of practice and personal preference. It looks awesome with any thread. Have fun!
    P.S. I fell in love with FMQ recently and I am hooked.
    I've got a smile on my face, I've got four walls around me
    The sun in the sky, the water surrounds me
    I'll win now but sometimes I'll lose
    I've been battered, but I'll never bruise

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I bought some of the isacord thread, have not used it yet. I use either coats and clark or connecting threads. It all works the same. I use machine quilting thread if I have the right color. Use the same thread in the bobbin as the top. Whatever you have will work. Enjoy.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I don't recommend rayon thread for FMQing on quilts that will be used and washed often. It's an inherently weak thread and will shed, ravel and break eventually. But, other than that go with what you like. I only use cotton thread in the 50 wt. to 30 wt. range typically. But, that's my preference. Different weight thread will give you different outcomes.

  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Candace, I won't be buying any more rayon thread, but I'm going to use up what I have.

    Sharon, I wasn't recommending polyester, just saying I'll use it if the color is right. Isacord has worked well for me, so has CC cotton, though it's a little linty, IMO. No big deal as my machine is far from computerized and cleans up easily.

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I've found that my machine (a Janome 1600 on a New Joy frame) only likes certain threads, mostly Superior. You may find after practicing a while that your machine has preferences.

  11. #11
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    I do a lot of fmq and i like to use surger thread in top and bobbin. Works very well for me.
    Dena

  12. #12
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    I'm guilty of using surger thread too. Cheap and comes in lovely colors. I tend to "quilt to death" my quilts, so I'm not worried that it's not as durable as thicker thread, and, IMO, easy to dart around the quilt on (not dart as in "darts to make your clothes fit, I mean, zoom around with the thread!!) It's easy to make those little designs with. When I'm doing a larger pattern, I like a thicker thread.
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  13. #13
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    I've used a lot of different threads for FMQ. Do a few quilt samples with different threads and see what you like and more importantly, what your machine likes.

  14. #14
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    For me it depends on how much I want the quilting to show. If not a lot ... I'll use a matching (or blending) lighter weight thread (50wt Aurifil on top, and either same in bobbin or a Mettler 60wt). If I'm doing thread painting and it is going to be heavy I might use a 30 or 40 wt in the top (and 50wt in bobbin). If I want the quilting to really stand out I'll use a 12 or 28 wt.

    I always ... and I do mean always ... quilt a sample sandwich with the threads and batting I am contemplating using and the fabric I am working with. I also practice the FMQ stitch I plan on using. I do this both to determine the best tension and bobbin wt thread, how it behaves in the machine, and to see how the color and thread wt are going to look on my piece.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  15. #15
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    Thank you all for your advice, I so appreciate it!
    http://www.OutlawTheWicks.com

  16. #16
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I would say buy a few samples of different kinds types and weights, make practice sandwiches and quilt them. Different threads give different types of looks so you might just like some over another. polyesters tend to be shinier than cottons. Every person has their own tastes. You might like isacord, you might like superior, sulky, king tut, star. There are so many to choose from. I have only practiced with sulky variagated 12wt and 30wt cotton and guttermans cotton, but i have heard great things about isacord but haven't gotten around to buying some, my recommendation is to try different things.

  17. #17
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    well to start off I would use a real fine thread like silk that is what I really got started using and it is so forgiving not showing the mistakes.

  18. #18
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    When I first started FMQing, the thread mattered a lot. I could barely get a good stitch with "good" thread. Now though, after a few years of quilting, I'm more likely to pick the thread that has the color and sheen I'm looking for and I can usually get pretty good stitches. I find that I can now use thread that at first I thought "didn't work in my machine". (Really it was all about how I was moving the quilt, and over time I've gotten better at it.)
    Wendy

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