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Thread: Quilting with two colors of thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member grandma7's Avatar
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    Smile Quilting with two colors of thread

    I am about to quilt my DGD's quilt. I will use white thread on the top and the backing is navy, so I'm thinking I should use navy thread in the bobbin. Does this work well? I know I have to be sure the tension is balanced. I wanted to know if any of you have done this. Thank you so much. When I have a question, I ALWAYS know where to turn.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CharlotteO's Avatar
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    I have done it and it worked beautifully, I was using beige and burgundy, and the machine had been recently cleaned and adjusted and the tension was beautiful.

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would do some quitling on a test sandwich to get the tension right. If you can't get it perfect, set it so you have the top white thread show a tiny bit on the back, then either call it a design element ;-) or get a permanent navy fabric marker and touch it up. Good luck!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  4. #4
    Senior Member coldquilter's Avatar
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    I often use two different thread colors and find it to work great. Good luck.
    Michelle

  5. #5
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    I quite often do, as I want the thread to match the backing fabric. I've never had any trouble with colors showing through to the front. But then, I keep my old Bernina set up for FMQ all the time, so I don't have to mess with tension or anything.

    I always clean and oil well before I start quilting a new quilt. New needle as well!

  6. #6
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    Actually, one of my most embarrassing moments was finding a quilt I absolutely loved at Road2CA. It was black with all different colors of thread-work making up the pattern. I found it and then lost it. Finally, as my daughter and I were searching, I found it again and showed it to her. She looked at me and said "Mother, that's the back of Sharon Schamber's quilt." Her applique quilt had won the $100K challenge. She had used the same thread on the front as on the back (different color for each applique color). It really looked gorgeous. You might use white on both top and bobbin. You could use a Sashiko design overall to quilt and you'd end up with a gorgeous look on the back.

    Make another block of leftovers and quilt a small 12" sandwich. The white on the navy back might just be gorgeous.

  7. #7
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I do this all the time, only issue would be tension.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
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    I've used cream on the back and a color on the front. Had a little show on the back but nothing too obvious. (No quilt police please!).

  9. #9
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    It depends on if you want to showcase your quilting or not. If you don't, then do the navy on the back. If you want to show off your quilting, do a light color. It depends on if you want the blocks to be the focus or the quilting!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member grandma7's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your help. I feel much better in doing this!

  11. #11
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Good luck - please show us how it came out!
    I have tried this but I either get a shadow on the front or on the back
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  12. #12
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Jst make sure the threads are balanced with the tension and you should be fine! I just finished one with navy blue in the bottom and a varigated purple in the top. It worked out great!
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
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  13. #13
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    Obviously a BEGINNER question...why do you have to check the tension when using 2 different colors of thread?
    Vi

  14. #14
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beginner10 View Post
    Obviously a BEGINNER question...why do you have to check the tension when using 2 different colors of thread?
    I'm no expert, by any means, but I hate to see a beginner's question go unanswered. If the tension is not equally balanced on your machine, either the top thread will show as dots of a different color on the back or the bobbin thread will show as dots on the top. A perfectly balanced tension will interlock the stitches between the layers of fabric.
    Sue

  15. #15
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    The key here is the tension. Try it out on a sandwich piece and see what it looks like to you. You are the final judge. I use two colors often but do keep an eye on that tension--sometimes just changing a bobbin makes a difference as they all seem to wind a little differntly.

  16. #16
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    Thank-you Pinkiris and ka9snd...I was making this harder than it was. I was thinking the "color" made the difference, not that the different color would show through the other side.
    Have a great weekend
    Hugs
    Vi

  17. #17
    Senior Member sept97's Avatar
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    I do it all the time and I've never touched the tension on my machine. I leave it on auto all the time. Does using different colors really affect your tension?

  18. #18
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    I do this with every quilt I make.

  19. #19
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sept97 View Post
    I do it all the time and I've never touched the tension on my machine. I leave it on auto all the time. Does using different colors really affect your tension?
    No, using different colors doesn't affect the tension. But it does make it easy to see if your tension is off.

  20. #20
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    quilting with 2 threads

    Quote Originally Posted by grandma7 View Post
    I am about to quilt my DGD's quilt. I will use white thread on the top and the backing is navy, so I'm thinking I should use navy thread in the bobbin. Does this work well? I know I have to be sure the tension is balanced. I wanted to know if any of you have done this. Thank you so much. When I have a question, I ALWAYS know where to turn.
    I have done it but only on place mats. It worked well but for a full-sized quilt I would imagine that the weight of
    the quilt might tug on the threads and pull the bobbin thread to the front. In any event, I had to go really slowly
    because I was outlining in black on top and pale gold on the bottom. I had to settle for an occasional black
    stippling on the back - this occurred on the 7th and 8th place mats - and by then I was getting too tired to be as
    careful....
    Good luck - it does work but for me it wasn't always perfect. Also my machine is a very old Kenmore and maybe
    it doesn't hold the tension as well as yours.

  21. #21
    Junior Member catsnchina's Avatar
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    Ditto to the above comments, but one other suggestion about avoiding tension problems. Be sure you use the same weight and type of thread for top thread and bobbin. If the bobbin thread is a different weight, it can cause tension issues (I've had that happen to me).
    CMC

  22. #22
    Member JReadman's Avatar
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    That happened to me recently - had the tension just right then had to change bobbins UGH what a mess! Had to rip out and adjust all over again. Learned the hard way to do a test after each bobbin change.

    Quote Originally Posted by ka9sdn View Post
    The key here is the tension. Try it out on a sandwich piece and see what it looks like to you. You are the final judge. I use two colors often but do keep an eye on that tension--sometimes just changing a bobbin makes a difference as they all seem to wind a little differntly.
    “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
    The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

    ~ Dr. Seuss

  23. #23
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    This is a very timely question for me. I did FMQ on a tablerunner yest. using an off white thread on top & a brown in the bobbin. No matter how much I practiced on a scrap sandwich & kept changing the tension I still ended up with a bit of brown coming up to the top. I was just sick since the runner belonged to somebody else who doesn't do FMQ. I felt I ruined her runner but she was happy with it.

    On a tute video I watched yest. the person said to really crank the top tension up to a very high number. Like 8. I didn't think to go that high.
    I'm anxious to see how others manage this.

  24. #24
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    I have used the stitch-in-the-ditch technique on 4 quilts. All had much different colored backs so I used the matching color for the backing in the bobbin and the other colors of batiks and vintage colored squares/triangles, etc. for the top thread. They all turned out very well. Great blocks on the back so that they could be used as quilts on both sides.
    Busy in Ohio

  25. #25
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    I have also done that.

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