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Thread: Why not use the same thread in the bobbin?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    I don't understand something. When FMQ, the main problem is tension, right? So why wouldn't I use the same exact thread (heavier weight/vareigated, etc.) in the bobbin to help make tension more "the same." Also I want the back to look just as pronounced as the front -- why not? I like the quilting to pop (though I'm a newbie to FMQ) so I'm planning to use 28 weight variegated cotton. Is that too thick for the bobbin or something?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I use the same thread, because honestly I don't have the money to purchase more than one thread. I do know that it is nice to use a lighter weight in the bobbin because the bobbin will hold more thread and then last longer.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    It's your quilt. You can do what you want. If that thickness works for you AND you can afford it - hey, go for it. I generally use the same (or similar) thread type in both top and bobbin, but not necessarily the same color.

    When I do something special on top, I do a test piece and see which tension setting is best.

  4. #4
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Using the same thread in the bobbin is fine!
    I use thinner in the bobbin mainly because it goes further so there are less bobbin changes - important with quilting on a frame, as bobbin changes can be a pain in the you know what. I also like the thinner thread because it tends to 'disappear' into the fabric after washing. That way if I have a wobble or two, or three.... it doesn't really show.

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    i always use machine quilt thread on top and bobbin then someone told me it works better to use a lighter weight for the bobbin. so i tried that, just to see the difference, and there certainly was. i believe it depends on what your machine can handle. mine can handle heavy bobbin thread so i will continue to use that. practice with each and see what works for you.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Whether you use the same or a different thread is entirely up to you. If you have tension problems that are alleviated by using the same, then it makes sense to do that. If you don't have tension problems, you may make a design decision to use different colors or weights. There are reasons for going both directions.

    Hand quilters ALWAYS use the same thread top and bottom. LOL

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I don't have tension issues. That being said, I always use the same weight top and bottom. If I pick a 40 wt. thread to quilt with, I use the same in the bobbin. I only use cotton thread. I think the recommendations you've been listening to are for a thinner poly thread in the bobbin. Which I wouldn't do because I don't quilt with polyester typically.

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    [quote=dunster
    Hand quilters ALWAYS use the same thread top and bottom. LOL[/quote]

    you made a funny...ehhehehe :lol:

  9. #9
    rb.
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    I use the same cotton thread top, bottom, AND piecing. Same colour, too.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I just used coats and clark in my bobbin and Essential thread on top for FMQ. worked fine.

  11. #11
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    I also use the same thread for top, bottom and piecing. Works very well for me

  12. #12
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    For those that say you use the same thread top and bottom, is it heavy thread - like the 28 wt I'm planning on using? I know it's weird to want such prominent quilting, but I don't see the point otherwise. I use contrasting thread too. Mistakes, whatever.

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    Always test you FMQ on same fabric as quilt and with thread you want to use. Some machines like certain thread better than others so same on top and bottom should work better. I often use poly thread for FMQ due to the variety of colors. A contrasting thread for quilting should show up even it it not a heavy weight. Tension issues usually can be adjusted. I tried SID with clear on top and black on bottom and could not get tension right so black bobbin was not showing on top. I changed bobbin thread. Also "eyelash stitching" on bottom is not ususally caused by tension but by speed of FMQ. Small "eyelashs" should go away with washing or use but larger ones need to be removed and restitched.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CompulsiveQuilter
    For those that say you use the same thread top and bottom, is it heavy thread - like the 28 wt I'm planning on using? I know it's weird to want such prominent quilting, but I don't see the point otherwise. I use contrasting thread too. Mistakes, whatever.
    No quilt police here! Amount of quilting is personal prefference. Often quilting is used to accent peicing and give texture. But if you want more prominent quilting then go for it Girlfriend.

  15. #15
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I only use cotton thread. Right now I'm quilting a quilt with 28 in the top and 50 on the bottom. Mainly because I don't have enough of the 28 for both top and bottom. You can actually use a whole lot heavier thread in the bobbin than you can on top. You can use threads in the bobbin that won't even go thru the top! It's called bobbin work.

    People that say "my machine only likes this or that" are really saying they don't know how to adjust both top and bottom tensions to get a balanced stitch. It's only a machine, it can't tell one thing from another.

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    The truth is that you can use whatever you want, wherever you want. Your quilt, your way.

    Many longarmers in business will use something such as BottomLine, SoFine, or another thinner thread or prewound bobbins to save money/time (time is money). Most longarmers like to use a blending color to the top thread, so that pokies, tensions issues, etc. don't show. One other thing, if using something expensive like KingTut on the top, it costs twice as much as necessary in thread costs than if you use something more economical such as BottomLine on the bottom - so that's another reason longarmers frequently use a different thread on the bottom.

    Me, I like my bottom thread to match my backing - I think it looks so much better than multiple colors on the backing. So, I use whatever I want on top and match my bottom thread to the quilt backing. (I don't have tension issues.) It's all a personal preference, so you can do whatever you like. That's what I do!

    Just FYI...and my knowledge/opinions :)
    Debbie in Austin

  17. #17
    Super Member Teresa 54's Avatar
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    I always use the lighter in the bottom, holds more in the bobbin, no other reason

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    Super Member OKLAHOMA PEACH's Avatar
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    Took me a moment to get it. :lol: :lol:

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    Super Member OKLAHOMA PEACH's Avatar
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  20. #20
    rb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompulsiveQuilter
    For those that say you use the same thread top and bottom, is it heavy thread - like the 28 wt I'm planning on using? I know it's weird to want such prominent quilting, but I don't see the point otherwise. I use contrasting thread too. Mistakes, whatever.
    My top, bottom and piecing is currently being done with a 40wt, I think.

    As for using whatever, that won't work for me. I was convinced my machine was a lemon when using Coats poly wrapped cotton. LQS told me to switch to a good cotton thread for all uses, and now my machine is perfect.

  21. #21
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I use the same in the top and bottom a lot :D:D:D

  22. #22
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I always use the same thread in the bobbin as the top, but to be honest it never occurred to me to use a lighter thread in the bobbin. I will have to try that. :) But I've never used 28 weight before...only 40 or 50 weight cotton. How thick would that be even? It makes me think of thread you'd use for bobbin work or something. I'd love for you to experiment and post some pictures of your results. :)

  23. #23
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    lots use the same top and bottom thread, the only reason not to is if it does not match with the backing...or you want the stitches to disappear on the back. or if using a decorative thread (like metalic's, varigated or invisible) you would not want to use them top and bottom.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wendys Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsister63
    Always test you FMQ on same fabric as quilt and with thread you want to use. Some machines like certain thread better than others so same on top and bottom should work better. I often use poly thread for FMQ due to the variety of colors. A contrasting thread for quilting should show up even it it not a heavy weight. Tension issues usually can be adjusted. I tried SID with clear on top and black on bottom and could not get tension right so black bobbin was not showing on top. I changed bobbin thread. Also "eyelash stitching" on bottom is not ususally caused by tension but by speed of FMQ. Small "eyelashs" should go away with washing or use but larger ones need to be removed and restitched.

    I am curious, what is Eyelash Stitches? :?:

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