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Thread: Question for Those Who Do Hand Applique

  1. #1
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Hi! Several years ago, I made a hand appliqued quilt top using ordinary Coats & Clark machine thread. It worked fine and the finished top looks fine. However, I want to do much more hand applique in future and have read that quality silk should be the thread of choice. I don't have any yet. I do have several hundred colors of rayon (plus some cones of polyester) machine embroidery thread. Would those of you who do a lot of hand applique consider using M.E. thread? Or have you tried it? (If I try it, possibly that would answer my own question.)

  2. #2
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be afraid to use it.

  3. #3
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    I use quilt thread, but have heard that the silk is best, I suppose if I were to get into a lot of appliqueing I might try to find some silk, at least one spool to try out and see if I liked it better.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I don't know much about rayon and how it holds up to washing, but I think it should be okay for applique. You don't have to use silk thread - in fact, some quilters really don't like it at all.

    I would use 60 weight cotton thread if I had a local source for it. Since I don't, I use the silk thread and I'm happy with the results. I'm sure the rayon will be fine.

  5. #5
    Super Member Maggiesmom's Avatar
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    I have used both silk and machine embroidery thread. I like both. With thread being so expensive now I didn't see the need to go and buy more silk thread when I already have hundreds of spools of ME thread. I would say us the ME if you have it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I use plain ole cotton. Haven't had any problems, but have heard that silk is "the one to use" Don't know about rayon. I'll just stick to cotton. I also use the ladder stitch when doing applique, and generally only use off white for all the stitching.

  7. #7
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    I use silk, but rayon or embrodiery thread should give the same almost invisible stitch. I'll be interested to know how you like it.

  8. #8
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I found the emb. thread to fray rather quickly at the eye. I've been collecting silk colors, it is expensive but that's all I use it for so it should last a while. silk and rayon are weak when wet so maybe the quilts should be washed on gentle

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i do alot of hand applique :thumbup: i do LOVE using the silk threads, they are very fine, strong, and smooth...but i also use LOTS of other threads. i too have alot of embroidery thread, rayons, cottons, poly's i usually choose my thread by color for my project, and strength, i aways check to see if it breaks easy before using it...but if the color's right, and i try a small bit of applique and it works smoothly i use it.

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I use what I have available and pay more attention to the color than the brand. I prefer to use the thinner threads to applique and as long as the thread is still good quality - I use what I have.

  11. #11
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for your responses. I just did a strength test on rayon ME thread. It snaps very easily so I won't be using it for anything but ME. However, I'm VERY happy to learn that I cannot break the polyester ME thread and, as I have 260 different colors of that, I'm all set to go!

  12. #12
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I like to sew with silk, but I wouldn't applique with it, because silk degrades far quicker than cotton - over time, I think the applique would start to come off.

    I once left a little silk lace d'oyley under a vase on a windowsill at work, and after a few months, it just crumbled to dust as I tried to move it.

  13. #13
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    I prefer YLI silk and Aurifil.

  14. #14
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I was taught to applique with silk thread eons ago. My teacher said that silk buries itself in the fabric and you don't see the stitches as easily.

  15. #15
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    I use whatever matches, would spend too much on it unless it was a competition or extraordinary piece, which I haven't done so far. Rayon thread and other ME thread does melt nicely into the edge, but my stitches aren't that visible either way. I'm somewhat suspicious that a good portion of the thread hoopla is hype to make us buy more thread. I mean, like the thing about old thread. If the thread in my clothes gets exposed to light, temperature changes, wear, and laundering but it holds up, then why won't quality thread, stored away from light and humidity, be okay?

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