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Thread: Machine quilting with invisible thread

  1. #1
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    Machine quilting with invisible thread

    I want to quilt a multi-colored I Spy quilt on my vintage sewing machine with a walking foot. Hypothetically, I'd like to use invisible thread on the top and blue thread on the bottom. I thought I had some invisible thread, but looked at it and it says "for hand quilting".

    I have three questions:

    What brand/weight/type of invisible thread should I buy. I would like to buy it locally. I have access to JoAnns, Hobby Lobby (carries Sew-ology thread) and Walmart. My closest quilt store does not carry invisible thread. (I just called and they said the owner does not like invisible thread for quilting.)

    Do you have any suggestions that might help me make this work well?

    Do you agree with my local quilt shop owner that invisible thread is too brittle?

    bkay

  2. #2
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Invisible thread is nothing like the old "fishing line" of day's past. A quality well made invisible thread is super fine and very supple. There is still a school of thought that nylon will turn brittle with age and use but I have found nothing to confirm that is the case with today's monofiliment threads. Unfortunately the brands I use and am familiar with you will not find at any big box store. You will have to order on line or find a quilt shop that carries them. But JoAnnes should carry something.

    Superior threads monofiliment is "Monopoly" and unlike most monofiliments on the market, Monopoly is a polyester.

    YLI makes a nice one called Wonder Invisible

    Sew Art makes one that gets great reviews but I have never tried it

    Finally Filtec (the makers of Glide thread) make a nylon one called Essence.

    Here is a nice review I just found comparing several brands. Two that I have mentioned are included (Sew Art and YLI)

    https://www.quiltersreview.com/six-i...t-to-the-test/

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    YLI is my favorite monofilament. It is a nylon thread. I have tried polyester monofilaments, but find them less invisible than YLI. However, as fine as YLI is, it is still a little more "wirey" than I like for quilting (I use it for machine applique). What I prefer for invisible quilting is Bottom Line thread, which is 60wt and very fine and supple. The silver thread color (#623) seems to blend into everything from very light to very dark.

    SewArt monofilament was the brand that Harriet Hargrave preferred, but I think it was discontinued years ago.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jokir44's Avatar
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    I believe the man died in the couple that made Sew Art and she never got back to it. Harriet started her own line but don't know if that is still happening either. I just looked at some I bought 2-3 years ago that is Sew-Art International so sounds like someone took it over.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I use to use mine but have forgotten about it lately.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  6. #6
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I guess I was always under the impression that monofilament was not ideal for children’s quilts that are likely to get washed time and time again...has the invisible thread improved over the years?
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    I guess I was always under the impression that monofilament was not ideal for children’s quilts that are likely to get washed time and time again...has the invisible thread improved over the years?
    I don't think they use monofilament anymore. The site FelineFanatic suggested rated the Coats brand highly. Joann's had it. It's polyester. I use polyester thread all the time.

    We'll see how well it works. I'll let you know. Of course, I won't know how it washes, as it will be donated, but polyester usually washes well.

    bkay

    edit: Yes, according to the dictionary definition, polyester thread is a monofilament thread. Any synthetic single strand material is monofilament (one strand).
    Last edited by bkay; 11-16-2018 at 03:03 PM. Reason: clarification

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    It has been always my opinion and others that invisible thread is not safe for children’s quilts. Some charity groups do not allow it in quilts donated.

  9. #9
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    This is an interesting thread. Personally I have enough trouble quilting when I can SEE the thread. I can't imagine what it would be like if I couldn't see it. I guess maybe nobody could the mistakes either. ha!

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    I have used Gutterman and YLI and like both of them. I think the older monofilament threads were more brittle and didn't work out as well. I've made a lot of kids' quilts with invisible thread and only one I've had to repair the quilting which was on the bias (cross-hatched). I do keep my invisible thread in a plastic baggie. This may not be as important nowadays as it was when the invisible threads first came out though. And, yes, invisible on top and regular thread in the bobbin. Have never heard of using invisible for hand quilting. I haven't tried it but would anticipate that it might tangle and perhaps even shred with the process. It's hard enough to untangle thread that I can see!

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    Interesting thread. I would recommend that you check with Dr. Bob at Superior Threads. He provides a wealth of information that is well documented. I personally would not use nylon for any technique because of its low melting point-think ironing and pressing. Polyester is a much better choice and comes in many forms for many uses. I personally prefer Bottom Line in beige or gray if I want an invisible appearance. I frequently use it in the bobbin with a cotton thread on the top. It always looks good.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I use YLI and Superior Threads invisible thread like them both. Aurifil also has a very nice one
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    I was just using Monopoly this week and it worked well. I ran it through a paper clip attached above the machine before threading it and that seemed to help with the tension. Actually I was thrilled that it worked so well. I used a thinner thread in the bobbin - BottomLine or Invisifil and a #70 needle.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    After seeing that information from Bob at Superior threads, I decided to test for myself with a Rowenta iron on the highest setting (which is pretty hot!). I tried this on both my YLI nylon monofilament and Superior’s polyester monofilament. Neither thread showed any sign of melting no matter what I did with the iron, including leaving it sit on the thread long enough to become worried about scorching my cotton ironing board cover.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilt30 View Post
    It has been always my opinion and others that invisible thread is not safe for children’s quilts. Some charity groups do not allow it in quilts donated.
    Is there any evidence to support this?

    bkay

    edit:
    I just emailed Project Linus to check if there is a restriction. It's not listed on their website, so I thought I might double-check.

    I had heard that, too, but had forgotten it. I just wonder if it's really true or it's just an "old wives tale".
    Last edited by bkay; 11-17-2018 at 06:07 AM.

  16. #16
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    Just heard back from Project Linus. They have no restrictions on invisible thread.

    bkay

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    I like Superior Threads monofilament thread as I can get it in matte finish. I don't like most invisible thread because it has a high sheen that seems to glare at you.
    Sally

  18. #18
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    I have used invisible thread and found after using it I should have loosened my tension. I have been using it on applique lately. I have also read not to use for baby items. A friend quilted a child's quilt for me years ago and I noticed the thread had pulled up around the quilt. I should have used regular thread and requilted and taken the invisible out. I did not know then that is wasn't a good thing to use invisible on children's items back then. The danger is getting it wrapped around a finger or toe and getting tight enough to do damage.
    Last edited by MarleneC; 11-17-2018 at 08:52 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Invisible thread is nothing like the old "fishing line" of day's past. A quality well made invisible thread is super fine and very supple. There is still a school of thought that nylon will turn brittle with age and use but I have found nothing to confirm that is the case with today's monofiliment threads. Unfortunately the brands I use and am familiar with you will not find at any big box store. You will have to order on line or find a quilt shop that carries them. But JoAnnes should carry something.

    Superior threads monofiliment is "Monopoly" and unlike most monofiliments on the market, Monopoly is a polyester.

    YLI makes a nice one called Wonder Invisible

    Sew Art makes one that gets great reviews but I have never tried it

    Finally Filtec (the makers of Glide thread) make a nylon one called Essence.

    Here is a nice review I just found comparing several brands. Two that I have mentioned are included (Sew Art and YLI)

    https://www.quiltersreview.com/six-i...t-to-the-test/
    Doesn’t nylon also melt when you iron over it?
    I would choose the polyester!

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