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Thread: Metallic thread problems

  1. #1
    Junior Member JudyMN's Avatar
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    Metallic thread problems

    I just finished a Christmas quilt with several fabrics having "Gold" in the design. I thought a golden colored thread would look nice for the stippling. After waiting in line for several minutes I asked two fabric cutters their thoughts about the color I chose. Both thought I should change to the metallic gold to make it shine. I did ask if the metallic thread would work. Both clerks said it should, so I put the polyester thread I had picked out back. As I was paying, I asked the cashier if the metallic thread would be ok for stippling. She did not know for sure, but asked the gal on the next register if the thread she held up would work on "Stiff Linen." I corrected her saying I wanted to do stippling on a quilt, not sew stiff linen. Unfortunately, I bought the thread since four people working at the fabric store agreed it would be fine. It was not! I am returning it tomorrow. It shredded after seven stitches.
    What do you use for quilting a top with gold in the design? Mine ranges from white to green to red to black.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I've used gold colored polyester machine embroidery thread purchased from metroemb.com. It shines and is easier to use than metallic. A different needle might help you with the metallic thread.

  3. #3
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    Dunster has recommended a good choice for you to quilt a quilt with.
    Last edited by Tartan; 08-05-2013 at 07:03 PM.

  4. #4
    Junior Member barbgooch's Avatar
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    There is a special metallic needle that Schmetz has - it has a groove in the front of the needle that the thread lays in which helps prevent shredding. I occasionally use metallic in the bobbin and quilt from the back. Wind the metallic thread on a bobbin and use whatever thread matches the back in the needle. You might have to tighten up the top tension a bit, so practice on a scrap quilt first. Looks beautiful!

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    As stated a metallic needle makes all the difference. The second is how the thread is coming off the spool. If its a cone use a cone holder...Note if its a short cone .. elevate it so it does not wrap around the spindle .. I use another spool of thread under the short cone. The third is your tension.. many times I have to loosen the tension with metallic thread. I too have found using embroidery thread to be easier to free motion quilt.

  6. #6
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    Also use a thread conditioner. I used all the processes above and the thread conditioner when I quilted a wallhanging. It worked great.

  7. #7
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    I have used the metallic threads but there are a couple of things to do first. I put sew ease on the spool of thread and that helps a lot but I slow my speed down quite abut and it works well for me. Also make sure their is no rough spot on the needle

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Go to the Superior Thread website. There's lots of info. about what to do to use metallics.

  9. #9
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I stipple with metallics quite a lot. It's no different than stippling with any other thread other than I go a bit slower.

    BUT you do need to use good quality thread (I like Superior) and either a Metallic or Topstitch needleusually in a 90/14. These needles have a larger eye and the Metallic one has a special coating to help prevent fraying. I find that my top tension has to be a bit looser too.

    If you're using good quality thread and the correct needle, I think your top tension was too tight for the thread - I've had this before.

    Good luck.
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  10. #10
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    The fact that NONE of the people you asked in the fabric store suggested you need a special needle for metallic threads says a lot! I have a feeling you were not in a quilt shop but a big box store. (the "stiff linen also says volumes!). That should have given you a bit of a clue they had no idea what you were trying to do or how to go about doing it.

    First time I bought metallic at an LQS as soon as the lady saw it in my hand, she said you need special needles for that. I think you will notice a huge difference once you buy the metallic thread needles, loosen your top tension a bit and slow down. Hope you bought several spools because the metallics tend to have less yardage per spool and a stipple will use up a lot of metallic in a very short period of time. I went through almost two spools doing a table runner.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 08-06-2013 at 04:55 AM.

  11. #11
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I have never tried metalic on my longarm but have used it in both my embroidery machine and piecing machine. When I do use it, I have found that the top stitching needle works best for me. It has a bigger eye and the grove where that thread runs is longer and more pronounced. I also slow way down.
    Betty

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    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  12. #12
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    I use a larger top stich needle and I loosen my tension down to about a 2. Hope this helps . and I also try it out on something else first to make sure my tension is right.

  13. #13
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    I love using metallic but I wouldn't use it on a quilt. I don't think it would hold up to all the use and washing plus it will wear harder on the fabric. I normally only use cotton thread on cotton fabric unless I don't care if the longevity is there for the quilt;like for a tag a long for a kid. If I really wanted the scheen then I'd go with a poleyster because it will hold up to mulitple washing better than the rayon I normally use for embroidery items. That being said, I used rayon to make my daughters tshirt for work, it has her name and a picture of a dog getting a bath in an old fashioned tup (she's a groomer) and it gets washed alot and has held up really well. If heavy use and washing isn't going to happen with the quilt then I guess it doesn't matter what thread is used.

    Now, one thing that helps a lot when using metallic besides making sure you have the correct needle is that if you put your spool down behind your machine so that the thread comes off the top. I used this thread successfully without using metallic needles but you have to have the correct size, if I didn't have a metallic needle then I'd use a topstitch. With my machine it automatically adjust the tension so that has never been an issue. Before using thread conditioner on your thread check with you machine dealer, they normally don't recommend it for the newer machines. But if all the other things you've been told don't work, try it. I would make sure to use a scrap sandwhich square to practice on to make sure its all going well before I'd do the actuall quilt. Good luck and post pics
    Last edited by romanojg; 08-06-2013 at 05:17 AM.
    Judy

  14. #14
    Junior Member JudyMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    The fact that NONE of the people you asked in the fabric store suggested you need a special needle for metallic threads says a lot! I have a feeling you were not in a quilt shop but a big box store. (the "stiff linen also says volumes!). That should have given you a bit of a clue they had no idea what you were trying to do or how to go about doing it.

    First time I bought metallic at an LQS as soon as the lady saw it in my hand, she said you need special needles for that. I think you will notice a huge difference once you buy the metallic thread needles, loosen your top tension a bit and slow down. Hope you bought several spools because the metallics tend to have less yardage per spool and a stipple will use up a lot of metallic in a very short period of time. I went through almost two spools doing a table runner.
    You are right. It was a big box store. Thanks to all who have given suggestions. I should have come here first! I will get a metallic needle and possibly some rayon thread to try. Thankfully I did start on a sample scrap so I do not have to take out any stitches.

  15. #15
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    When I've had major breakage problems with metallic thread, even after using the correct needles, I've found that putting the thread in the bobbin works quite well. Just turn your project over, so the bobbin thread shows on the top.

  16. #16
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I love gold Rayon thread. I've done meandering with it but not stippling though. large eye needle helps!
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
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