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Thread: What color thread?

  1. #1
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    What color thread?

    Is it okay to use a beige thread on a pink & white quilt? If not, what color should I be using?

    I am newer to quilting & just finished a modified McCall's 6412 pattern, which is a dimensional quilt with tiny little doll-sized outfits hand appliqued onto nine different 9x12" white polka dot blocks. Surrounding each block is a 3" triple stripe of pink-white-pink (the pink is a batik with a bluish undertone). I have a bright blue batik border to bring in the main accent color from my pink, white & black dresses. My backing fabric (I hope) is a brightly colored pattern set in a black background.

    The back is busy enough to tolerate a wide range of colors. The front is giving me trouble. I really wanted to use a beautiful Light Beige thread by aurafil (#9112) for the pink & white part and a variegated blue for the blue border. But I've been reading that "one should never" use anything other than pure white thread on a white fabric. I did the thread pooling test & the light beige looked good to me, but what do I know? I'm worried the Bubblegum variegated will detract from the beautiful applique & call too much attention to my beginning FMQ skills (quilting pattern is a simple 1" stipple). Is white-on-white really the only way to go?

  2. #2
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board. Can you post a picture?
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you can use any color you want/like!!! who ever told you you should not use anything except white??? people use many, many colors on white every day! if you like the beige- then use the beige. I have a white whole cloth quilt that was quilted with a lovely pink- and the binding is a turquoise print- it is a lovely quilt that people comment on each time it is seen. the white quilt on my bed was quilted with a variegated blues to lavender thread- it to is quite lovely. there are no rules- you can use what ever thread you like!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    Use what looks good to you. You're the artist!
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  5. #5
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    It's your quilt, your decision. Use what looks good to you. I base what color thread I use on how much I want the quilting to show. Sometimes the quilting is the star of the show and sometimes it's the patchwork design. I will often take a scrap and do some quilting on that in making my decision. In doing your test piece use some batting and backing too because that will more closely replicate what the finished quilt will look like. This also allows me to decide on the stitch length if I'm not doing free motion and tension setting if I'm using a different color bobbin thread.

  6. #6
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    Sure you can! Whatever color you want to use is the right one!

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Boards!!

    I too agree with the others ... do what you like! There are no rules!

    Contrasting thread can make for a lovely effect. Although it can also look disastrous.
    It really depends on the effect YOU want and what YOU like!

    One of the nicest baby quilts I have seen was a white background with variegated thread (blues-white) cross hatched. It was subtle and broke up the constant white quite nicely. That one really sold me on variegated thread use. Likewise, some of the loveliest wholecloth hand quilting I have seen has been coloured thread on white or cream.

    You have already tried pooling your thread and like it.
    If you want further confirmation, do a test piece of the same fabrics and threads with you are considering. Then make your decision.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Leslie333's Avatar
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    Do you have any leftover scraps of the fabrics from the quilt? If so, I would make a small practice quilt sandwich and give the beige you like a try. It could be pretty small to just get the idea of how it would look. You could just piece some of the scraps together, just strip piece the together since it's the colors that matter and not the pattern. Then quilt over the fabrics using the FMQ and colors you plan. I sometimes do this to get a good feel for how the thread will look sewed on the fabric, plus, it's a little bit of extra FMQ practice too!

  9. #9
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggramma View Post
    Use what looks good to you. You're the artist!
    Yes, you are the artist. I always lay a bunch of different threads on the quilt top to see what looks best. I did a pink and white and quilt and what worked for me was a pastel pink. It didn't scream on the white and blended with the pinks.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  10. #10
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    If the beige thread looks good pooled on the white than use it. My only concern would be the dark backing but if it is busy enough it should be fine.

  11. #11
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I love it when everyone gives you permission to do what you want to do...... confidence building. But really, do what you want. There are no quilt police here. And WELCOME...... you came to the right place.
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  12. #12
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, so many replies!!! Thank you all so much for your quick answers. I will try to get a useable picture to post of my quilt top later today (my "dumb" phone is not taking anything that shows colors remotely well).

    So many talented artists telling me to "break the rules"! The problem is that I don't even know what the rules are in the first place. lol. What bit of design background I have in working with color is based on pantone numbers. I am a VERY mathematical-logical person and because of that, my color choices tend to come out perfectly balanced. Then again, I usually work with either a very traditional dark-mid-cool palate or very modern tone-on-tone palate pretty much all of the time.

    I have literally never worked with pure white fabric before. The polka dots are already giving me trouble with my quilting because they're dimensional iron-ons. I didn't even notice that when I bought it, but it's extra resistance for my needle -- yay. I really want the quilting to just blend in to the top. With over 7,000 1/8" hand stitches on those little doll dresses with hand-drawn ruffles & individually placed button decals & that 1/4" rickrack that nearly ruined my sewing machine, on this quilt, I want the quilting to barely be noticeable.
    I did find a link to a picture of my backing fabric: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1606487...w_type=gallery

    I suppose I could always put a true white in the needle and the more muted beige/cream in the bobbin (I'm too nervous about a grey or black bobbin thread peeking through). I'll get quilting and try a few different combinations (the only fabric I don't have much extra of is the backing fabric -- black nesting dolls) and then try to snap some pics. Thanks again for all the quick responses!!!

  13. #13
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    When I started reading this thread, my first thought was red on white and the red ran. Maybe that was the reason for the comment. Test thread just like you do fabric with dark colors and if it is safe, the sky's the limit. Your quilt sounds lovely. I just read your last post, and I think your backing is darling and will look good no matter what color thread you use. Also, the only rules in quilting is there are no rules. Ha.
    Sue
    Last edited by susie-susie-susie; 07-06-2014 at 08:44 AM. Reason: add a comment

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    I was told by A professional quilter that often silver or gold thread, depending on the colour spectrum you are dealing with can be a perfect choice for blending in with multiple colours on a quilt. I'm thinking silver/gray might play well with your mentioned colours.

  15. #15
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Not entirely done with quilt top, but heading to store to pick up more thread. Here's a pic of the middle of it. It will be surrounded with more pink/white stripes and has a blue batik border (I'll be using a 2nd color -- blue variegated -- thread for the border). Also, the black squares will have flower yo-yos in them.

    I've been thinking more & more about it. It seems like the cream colored thread might be a lot more visible on the white and the pink sections than a cream/light beige colored thread (since cream/beige is the color used to quilt whole cloth pure white quilts). Can anyone verify that is the case? I want the quilting to blend in as much as possible on this quilt so that the focus is on the applique, rather than the quilting.

    I've also been watching some more classes on line theory & think I will change my quilting design to a diagonal crosshatch, rather than stippling, to help balance out the design. Has anyone done that pattern around an applique? It seems much more advanced. I've done it in squares and for an all-over pattern using a walking foot, but obviously I'd have to FMQ it on this quilt unless I want to have to bury dozens of thread ends.

    Thanks so much for the ideas.

    (Kwiltr, if I can get my tension perfectly balanced, I would definitely use a grey or silver thread on the back, but between the seams and the dimensional polka dots on the white fabric (& the fact this is my very first actual quilt to be quilted FMQ), worrying about peeking loops is more than I can take on with my little Singer Genie. My local quilt shop makes Berninas available to people who buy their fabric from them, so that might be something to experiment with when I have normal fabric, no dimensional appliques & a stitch regulator. Thanks so much for the suggestion, though!)
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    Last edited by Bree123; 07-08-2014 at 01:18 PM.

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