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Thread: What I don't like about variegated thread

  1. #1
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    What I don't like about variegated thread

    I don't like variegated thread if it has a strong change between the shades/colors. Too often this sets up a completely different pattern in the color change and distort the section on which it is used. I like those which have subtle changes. It blends better.

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I totally agree!

    I love my Aurifil thread ... but was disappointed with their variegateds as they have that distinct colour switch instead of a nice subtle shading blend from one to the next. The darker section of the thread is the problem, and ends up looking like loose threads are scattered on the quilt top.

    I have had one spool of Sulky variegated ... it was much nicer for the colour switching and did not give that look thread look!
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  3. #3
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    I always end up with the dark portion on dark fabric and the light on light which doesn't show the quilting at all. If I am using variegated, I want it to show! I think Superior variegated at least tells the distance between the thread colour variations?

  4. #4
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    I'm with you Holice, and Tartan,
    - in fact I have never found a variegated thread I liked. Dark on light, light on dark, invariably! If the values in the blocks are not very different, and the values in the variety are not very different, I think it might work better.
    The LQS recommends it to me, saying it will blend in beautifully, I get suckered into buying a spool, and when I try it on a sample block before I start FMQ I give up and throw it in the bottom drawer.
    When I want something to shout out CLEVER!!! YOO HOO!!!! LOOK AT MY FMQ!!! then maybe I'll be ready for variegated. Not there yet!
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  5. #5
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    King Tut has some nice subtle blends.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  6. #6
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK View Post
    King Tut has some nice subtle blends.
    I agree - also, their colour change is at 1 1/2" intervals, so there isn't the big areas you get with the ones that change between 5-12".
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I always end up with the dark portion on dark fabric and the light on light which doesn't show the quilting at all. If I am using variegated, I want it to show! I think Superior variegated at least tells the distance between the thread colour variations?
    Can we buy the Superior Threads here IRL or only online?
    Where do you purchase yours?
    Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by Knitette View Post
    I agree - also, their colour change is at 1 1/2" intervals, so there isn't the big areas you get with the ones that change between 5-12".
    I don't know the Aurifil spacings, though not long distances, so I am thinking more like the 1-1/2" you mentioned.

    What I did not like about the Aurifil variegateds was that while the colour switches blended well for the first ones, then there was a a huge jump to a dark. eg. 1-2-3-4-8 (numbers representing the gradation change)
    Last edited by QuiltE; 10-24-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i've started using my variegated for piecing as i don't like it for quilting either
    Nancy in western NY
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  9. #9
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    At PIQF there were LA's set up with varigated threads. Innova had black fabric with light metallic varigated. All the colors showed beautifully for the demo. Another had a light fabric with a varigated from white to dark. It was very interesting as it looked like it was quilted about 6 inches, then a skip, lot's of movement.

    Is there a varigated thread with ~15" between changes? What brand? I'm trying to teach FMQ with a change in the pattern for every color change. 1 1/2 " is just too fast.

  10. #10
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    I love King Tut variegated threads. I have tried several colors and I have liked them all. I do know what you mean about the light being on light and the dark being on dark tho.. and it is a little disappointing. I especially like the variegated thread on the decorative stitching... then the variations really mix together

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    Try Blendables. I forget who makes them!

  12. #12
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    I've had the same disappointments with variegated thread too. Thanks for the heads up about King Tut being more subtle! Also, Meyert, that is a good tip about using it for decorative stitches!

  13. #13
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpsonFrances View Post
    Try Blendables. I forget who makes them!
    I believe Blendables is the Sulky line
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  14. #14
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i've started using my variegated for piecing as i don't like it for quilting either
    Thanks for the tip! I now can feel less guilty about it sitting in the thread drawer! Although I think I'll try the Tut recommended above...
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  15. #15
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    I bought a huge cone of variegated thread (very expensive) and didn't like it for the reasons stated above. The different shades were too far apart. So I have been using it for piecing and on bobbins.

    Now I am going to use the suggestions on this board and use it for decorative stitching where the thread sort of piles up more. A buttonhole stitch around an applique might be a good place for it. ? ? ? ?
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  16. #16
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    I had a customer send a cone of variegated thread for possible use in hand quilting her quilt. The colors in it went perfectly with her quilt. I had never used variegated thread for hand quilting, so I was excited to try it. Since very little thread shows and the stitches really show up most as the puffs of fabric between the stitches, I found the variegated thread did not make a "statement" at all. Some of the colors blended into the fabric completely and "disappeared", and some of the colors showed up nicely or even too much. Not a very pleasing look. I was thankful she also included solid colored thread as an option!
    Thimble and Thread

  17. #17
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I use the variegated thread for blanket stitch and machine applique.
    Got fabric?

  18. #18
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    I love variegated threads, especially King Tut. I like Aurifil also. I do agree that not every project will look good with variegated. It's just another color selection to make.
    Shirley in Arizona

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    I've watched videos where the quilter will stop and pull the color they don't like through the needle until they get to a color they like but when doing a large quilt this could be very irritating.

  20. #20
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Can we buy the Superior Threads here IRL or only online?
    Where do you purchase yours?
    Some of the LQS around here carry it, of course it's expensive this way.

    You can buy direct from Superior too, shipping to Canada gets expensive fast though (one of their try me samplers is about $28 to ship - making the $55 package about $85 with exchange and shipping.)

    If you can, go in with a friend to get a few things, it will average out lower for shipping. The other thing I'm about to do is set up an account with them and start bringing it in in larger quantities. My cousin wants some, I'm going to be needing more, and I can just make the rest available to customers if they need it while they're here.

  21. #21
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    Very helpful thread on variegated thread! I just recently decided I would like to try it for FMQ and was interested in the comments about the color sequence and change. I had no idea there would be such a difference between brands and will keep that in mind when I get ready to purchase. Thanks for all of the helpful tips!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    I have decided I like variegated threads best on solid or nearly solid backgrounds. If there are too many color changes going on in the piecing, all the color changes in the thread just seem distracting.

    I recently tried quilting again with a Connecting Threads variegated I had previously been very disappointed with. This time I did an all over pebble pattern in Fall colors on a deep brown tone-on-tone and it turned out really pretty. I have also discovered some of the decorative stitches on my DSM look really nice with the CT variegated.
    www.makeminepatchwork.etsy.com
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  23. #23
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    I have a spool of YLI variagated that goes yellow to light orange. I got it as part of a class kit at the quilt store, and it is SO subtle, I kind of feel ripped off. I can see there are two-three colors on the spool, but when quilted, I CANNOT tell any difference at all. I want to at least see color change when I get variegated threads. I was majorly bummed when that was handed to me in the class.

  24. #24
    Super Member JuanitaBean's Avatar
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    I love King Tut variegated thread. I use it on most all my quilt, it changes color every 1 1/2' so it blends good when you have a quilt with a lot of colors in them. or different shades of one color, goes from light to dark like light blue to dark blue.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ShirlR's Avatar
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    Very helpful tips on variegated thread. Thanks for posting this subject!
    Shirley
    "We shall pass this way on Earth but once; if there is any kindness we can show, or good act we can do, let us do it now, for we will never pass this way again." Stephen Grellet

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