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Thread: Using a different colored bobbin thread

  1. #1
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    Using a different colored bobbin thread

    Hello I am new here and this is my first post... I am stippling a quint and want to use a different colored bobbin thread so it blends better with the backing. Any tips on how not to have that thread show on the quilt top?

  2. #2
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I often use a different colored bobbin thread when quilting - in fact more often than not. The bigger the contrast the more you may see it on the front - if someone has a way to preven that I'd love to hear it. I figure we are just right up on top of our projects and this is simply not noticable to anyone else. Step away from your quilt and see if you can tell anything about the stitches!

    Welcome from south Texas!
    So many quilts, so little time.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lois-nounoe's Avatar
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    I would like to know if anyone has used duel perpose thread to hand quilt if they couldn't find the color they want in Hand Quilting threat. And I have used different thread on top and bottom as well as regular thread on bottom and clear on top. Works for me.

  4. #4
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    The only way I have found to use 2 different coloured threads is to make a practice sandwich. I fiddle with my tensions to get the stitches balanced as much as possible. If I really have trouble, I try to pull the top down further to the back so it's less noticeable. Another trick is to use variegated thread in the top so that if a few pookies show, they blend with the variegated thread.

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    Hi JanTx
    I appreciate the welcome and the different perspective... You are correct that I have only looked at it sitting at the machine testing the tension etc.. I will try a larger test square then stand back from it. Thanks so much

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    I will certainly keep up the tension fiddling. The colors are orange on top and black on the back. Verigated thread is a good idea too... But I haven't found one that has orange and black and I don't want to take away from the focus on the design of the quilt

  7. #7
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I took a FMQ class at my fave LQS. The instructer is a fabulous quilter and does all of his FMQ on high end Bernina. He (yep, he!) said that he has never been able to get the tension set just right to keep the top thread from showing on the back or the bottom thread from sewing on the top! He recommended to use the same color on top and bottom. . .
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  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My Singer 301 will not show the bobbin thread in the top stitches. Why can't they make the new machines this good?
    Got fabric?

  9. #9
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Welcome from NC!

    I use different colored threads on top and bottom alot. Sometimes you can get them balanced just right if the thread weights are identical, sometimes if the backing fabric and the quilt top are different weights you can do better with different weight threads (heavier on top and lighter weight on bottom if backing is a lighter weight fabric than top). I love the idea of using variegated thread to smooth out the oopsies (nice one Tartan!) and will be trying that one post haste.

    Another thing to remember is that as the quilt fluffs up, whether from relaxing coming out of the quilting tension, or after it has been washed, much of the threadwork will sink into the topography, and not be very noticeable at all.

    Post pics when you decide on a combination...curious minds want to know.

    Alison

  10. #10
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I also use a varigated top thread as often as possible. But ... not always possible. Found a red/black I aboslutely loved, but now with just a tiny bit left on the spool I can't figure out what brand it is and can't remember when/where I bought it. When ordering online I often fill in the gaps with thread - the gap between my order and free shipping, that is. SO ... no telling where it came from.
    So many quilts, so little time.

  11. #11
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Another 301 that doesn't have the problem and I never fiddle with my tension. I also don't worry about thread weight - just color and sheen. Even thread painting the eagle and ducks on my son's quilt, no thread showed on the top or bottom.

    But that being said, with another machine, I'd make a quilt sandwich of the same fabric and batting and play with the tension - both the top and the bottom. There has to be a sweet spot, IMO.

  12. #12
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    Another thing to consider is the thinner the batting the more problems you will have. There is less space for the threads to connect together in the center. I have been working with wall hangings for 2 different clients and used Quilters Dream deluxe weight cotton batting and had good results with different top and bottom thread. Another thing that can make a difference is the thread count of the backing and quilt top fabric. LQS fabric will usually be of a better quality.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  13. #13
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    One of the things I've found that helps is to lengthen your stitch. I use different colors and weights more often than not.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    Try Bottom Line thread in your bobbin. It is very fine and just melts into the backing. I love it!!

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    I have discovered, through trial and lots of errors, that I get really good results when I use a backing fabric of the same quality and weight as my top. I had always thought it was a question of tension, but now I tend to think it is the backing fabric.
    Maggie in Jerusalem
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  16. #16
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    My Bernina 1230 does everything I want with excellence -- except quilting with a different color bobbin thread than top thread. I will always get dots of one color or the other on the opposite site.

    My machine will handle invisible nylon monofilament in the bobbin (I use YLI brand) so, in your situation, I would try that approach. Invisible nylon monofilament requires some special handling, though. For example, you need to wind it onto bobbins slowly so that it does not stretch while being wound. Even with a metal bobbin, it's best to underwind the bobbin. With a plastic bobbin, I would not wind monofilament on more than half-full. This is because it puts tremendous pressure on the bobbin's edges and will distort a bobbin if wound on too tight and too full.

  17. #17
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    I just started my first machine quilting project! After months of practicing, I finally took the plunge. I am using different color threads in bobbin and top, and nothing is showing at all. I am using 60wt thread in both and using my wonderful old Bernina 910 with no tension adjustments at all. The threads I am using are Mettler and DMC.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Just realized that the type of batting you use can make a difference in terms of using different colors in top and bobbin. I use a fairly thin batting. It may be easier to "bury" the other color if you use a thicker batting, such as Warm and Natural. Might be worthwhile to experiment with some practice sandwiches using different battings.

  19. #19
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    Hello all !!

    Thank you so much for all the tips. Everyone is kind and welcoming. Thank you!!

    What I ended up doing and it worked PERFECTLY Was the hand wound clear bobbin thread. Winding the bobbin took me a bit to get the handle on it, but.... After a few drops and a couple wrap ups. All was great. Again thank all of you for the kind advice.
    HeatherAnne

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