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Thread: What thread do you use for piecing denim quilts?

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    What thread do you use for piecing denim quilts?

    I am building a queen +/- size quilt from 6" denim squares. I started it last March, and now am working on it full time.

    When I started last March I wanted the strongest thread I could get to hold this denim monster together.

    After asking some questions back then and emailing Coats & Clarks I chose the C&C Dual Duty HEAVY thread.
    This stuff is way heavier than normal thread and some of my machines will not work with it. However it is quite strong, I can wrap it around my hands and pull as hard as I can, but not break it. And it's not overly linty either.

    Well, no biggie, I'm doing most of the piecing with the vintage / old / ancient / antique SS machines anyway. Saving the more modern ZZ + patterns machines for decorating. I just finished 50 some pieces done with the Kenmore 117-812, that machine sews beautifully by the way, and the White Dressmaster which also sews beautifully. I could if I didn't have other machines just use those and never have a complaint.

    This is the crux of this post. The C&C DD Heavy thread seems to work very nicely in my vintage machines, but past about the 60s when the ZZ machines became the norm they just don't like it.

    So what I was curious about is what thread do you use in the "semi modern vintage" machines to do heavy denim things?

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    The same thread I use for any other stitching. C&C regular cotton covered poly or Guterman worked fine when I was doing denim apparel. I can't imagine a quilt seam having more stress than a jeans seam. My youngest machine (the one used for jeans and jackets) is 1973 Elna so I can't answer for others.

  3. #3
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    My dream quilt is made of denim. Heavy, washable, and as dog proof as you can get! Post a picture please!

    My whole motivation to get into the tough old vintage machines is this denim quilt idea I've had in my brain for decades!

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Patty,

    I've got parts of it hung on the basement clothes line. Will try to take some pics in a bit. I ran out of black squares though and have to scare up some more.

    Joe

  5. #5
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    ​I use my Singer treadle for sewing denim.

  6. #6
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Joe, it's too bad you aren't closer. I have at least one pair of black jeans that need to be cut up, but with postage what it is, you'll do better at a resale store.

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    I've never made a denim quilt, but....I've repaired and hemmed many a pair. So: I use C&C, but sometimes go with a heavier jeans-type thread also from C&C. Never had any problems with any of them, but I DO use my Bernina or my Husq-Viking to do them. I vaguely remember using my first featherweight to repair jeans way back when and it seems to me that it did fine. I have several vintage machines I COULD use, but I just "ain't sew inclined" anymore to repair and/or hem denim. Hope this helps a little! (By the way, the only one I will do denim for is either myself or, on occasion, my yard guy who is just too good to me for me to say no....)
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Joe, it's too bad you aren't closer. I have at least one pair of black jeans that need to be cut up, but with postage what it is, you'll do better at a resale store.
    I've got tons of jeans, and other types of denim to cut up. My wife has been hoarding it for the projects she did several years ago.

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    momto5,

    About three years ago my wife made a denim circle quilt with only her Bernina Record 930.

    That poor machine never balked at what she made it do.

    Mine is gonna be bigger. Eeeeekkkkk!!!!!!!!


    Joe

  10. #10
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    Joe,

    I am so glad you showed us the pic of your wife's quilt. That looks like a Cathedral Window pattern and I love it on denim.
    Kitsy

  11. #11
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    orange rope........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I am building a queen +/- size quilt from 6" denim squares. I started it last March, and now am working on it full time.

    When I started last March I wanted the strongest thread I could get to hold this denim monster together.

    After asking some questions back then and emailing Coats & Clarks I chose the C&C Dual Duty HEAVY thread.
    This stuff is way heavier than normal thread and some of my machines will not work with it. However it is quite strong, I can wrap it around my hands and pull as hard as I can, but not break it. And it's not overly linty either.

    Well, no biggie, I'm doing most of the piecing with the vintage / old / ancient / antique SS machines anyway. Saving the more modern ZZ + patterns machines for decorating. I just finished 50 some pieces done with the Kenmore 117-812, that machine sews beautifully by the way, and the White Dressmaster which also sews beautifully. I could if I didn't have other machines just use those and never have a complaint.

    This is the crux of this post. The C&C DD Heavy thread seems to work very nicely in my vintage machines, but past about the 60s when the ZZ machines became the norm they just don't like it.

    So what I was curious about is what thread do you use in the "semi modern vintage" machines to do heavy denim things?

    Joe

    I personally use the denim thread for sewing with denim or jeans that I've picked up at Wal Mart- our only source here in my town to get any sewing items. At one time they carried the blue denim color and also the dusty gold color like you see on a lot of jeans. I think you could also use the button thread, it is heaviner and stronger than regular thread. I also use my jeans needle (Just for sewing on denim) and sew the denim on my Bernina 930. I made DD a denim jelly roll design quilt for Christmas and my son a denim pineapple design quilt several years ago. I did NOT add batting to either, because of the thickness and weight of the denim. I also did not quilt either, but tied both with emb. thread. Post when you finish, would love to see it, good luck.

  13. #13
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    I'll probably get a blast for this -- but I use Guterman polyester -- I use this for almost everything anymore. I have about 20 machines (16 working) and this has become my standard.

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    katykwilt,

    Do you have any idea what size that thread is? Some of the Gutermann thread we have is #50 which seems to work very well in most of my vintage machines.

    Joe

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dottie Bug's Avatar
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    I have found that the reg. coats & clark thread does not hold up very good , I did mine on a kenmore serger back in the late 90's, did not last, the thread just didnt hold { resewn the blocks } .Then son was using it and was stolen from his truck. I used all differnt colors of threads My singer 101 sews with the heavier thread ,guess its time to do another one? DottieBug Ohhhh I use the jeans thread the off colored orange one

  16. #16
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    I have made several denim quilts, including a "cathedral window" with red bandana in the middle, and I just used C&C 's All Purpose Dual Duty thread.
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  17. #17
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    I have made two denium quilts for my grandson and son-in-law....I used my Singer 201....

  18. #18
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    I haven't made a denim quilt, but I am wondering about topstitch thread. It's a thicker thread than 50 weight and I think Gutterman makes a lot of it. You would need a bigger needle, of course.

  19. #19
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I made a denim quilt and just used regular blue thread. Don't remember what brand was a large cone tho.

  20. #20
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    The C&C Dual Duty XD HEAVY thread I'm using now requires either a size 16 or 18 needle. If you use smaller the thread binds in the eye.

    Joe

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