Thread choices for invisible machine applique - Sharon Keightley Quilts

Thread choices for invisible machine applique

July 12, 2021 2 Comments

Thread choices for invisible machine applique | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Well I know I have talked about this topic before, you can read about my previous post here where I talk about using100% polyester threads. These threads work very well, and have been a favourite of mine for quite some time, along with monopoly clear and smoke thread.

BUT ........ today I am going to talk about cotton thread. 80 weight 100% cotton thread by Aurifil to be specific. I am so thrilled I decided to try this thread, (guilty admission is that I did try it a while back but sometimes it just doesn't click the first time.)

So when I tried Aurifil 80 weight 100% cotton, here's what happened.

1. No shine or glint from the light.

2. My sewing machine loves them, and sews like a dream.

3. They melt into the cotton fabric.

4. The threads disappear into the muted fabrics and are invisible.

5. I do not need to lower the tension on my sewing machine.

6. It gives the look of hand applique, which is what I want.

Invisible machine applique seems to be mostly associated with either smoke or clear monopoly or nylon threads. When starting my journey with invisible machine applique these are the threads I used. They were a great alternative to some of the heavier threads that were available at the time. Now of course there are so many wonderful threads available, many of them suitable. The only thing that may be of concern is that you need a variety of colours, with monopoly smoke and clear threads there are only two colour choices, therefore limiting how many colours you need. In the photo below you can see my selection of colours that I used on this applique border. A thread colour for each of the applique pieces, depending on the colour of the piece. I usually find that if there is any doubt a shade lighter colour will blend better.

Thread choices for invisible machine applique | Sharon Keightley Quilts

If you consider hand applique, hand appliquers would also need a selection of colours to choose from. I don't know of any hand appliquers that use monopoly invisible thread. Please tell if you do ? I love choosing all the colours and changing the thread colour in the machine, I know I know a little strange.... I work on all the pieces of the same thread colour, then change colour and continue to work on all pieces using that particular colour and so on.

I am NOT associated with Aurifil at all, but I just love that I have found the perfect thread so much that I wanted to share it with you.

Here are some pictures of my applique border using the Aurifil 100% cotton 80 weight threads.

Thread choices for invisible machine applique | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Thread choices for invisible machine applique | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Thread choices for invisible machine applique | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Thread choices for invisible machine applique | Sharon Keightley Quilts

BTW just in case you wondered. I am using Aurifil 50 weight cotton in the bobbin. and 60/8 Schmetz sharp needle.

For invisible machine applique I use a very small zig zag stitch, I feel this stitch gives the best look, I think it is closer to a hand applique look. But once again this is only my opinion and you can choose whichever stitch you like. Every sewing machine will differ in settings, so you will need to try a sample to get the right looking stitch and tension.

The trick is to make sure that you get one stitch into the background fabric but close to the  edge of the applique piece and one stitch just into the applique pieces by a few threads.

For more details about my process for invisible applique by machine, take a look at my E-book here and my Autumn Bouquet book here.

Learning new things is part of the process for me, I love to test and try everything. I love that part of making quilts, there is always something new to learn.

Happy Stitching

Sharon

Please share this post with your quilting friends, the more the merrier as they say.

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Sharon Keightley Quitls  Autumn Bouquet Book | Sharon Keightley Quilts

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2 Responses

Leisa
Leisa

February 16, 2022

You may want to give Wonderfil 80wt cottonized polyester a try. I use it for all of my piecing now. For pairing with 100wt for top thread with Invisifil (for quilting/applique) it is used in the bobbin. For regular piecing, I use it top/bottom with excellent results with Microtex needle. It does require different tensions settings on bobbin/and top. I use on my Bernina and a Vintage 1946 machine…both machines love it.

Using this weight thread on blocks with manifold seams helps them lay flatter with no compromise in thread performance. I think that polyester threads get a bad rap.

Ginabeth
Ginabeth

August 20, 2021

Good info on the 80 wt thread. I use it for hand appliqué but have not used it on the machine. Thanks for mentioning the bobbin thread wt, very helpful. Have enjoyed seeing your quilt projects need to MAKE one🙃

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