Thread Glorious Thread

May 30, 2010 7 Comments

Hello I would like to talk about my knowledge of thread, I would love it if you would add your knowledge also. When I first started quilt making I mainly worked by hand, so I learnt about hand quilting threads, piecing threads and embroidery threads. I then moved on to a new sewing machine which I loved and started to learn more about using my machine for most of my quilt making work. I now use a wide variety of threads, and I have gathered a large collection. Somehow I never seem to have the right colour or type and I am always learning more. My favourite threads to date, ( I say to date as this may change at any time ) are: For piecing I prefer to use a 50/2 100% cotton, both in the top and the bobbin.  I find a finner thread sinks into the seam and reduces the bulk. This maybe harder to unpick if you should need to but overall it is worth the extra effort. With this I use a finner needle 70 sharp microtex, this needs to be replaced regularly to maintain a quality stitch with no hiccups. For decorative work, this all depends on the style of my work. When I want shine you can't go past a good quality polyester, Rayon or metallic thread. The weight of the thread depends on the degree that you want your decorative work to stand out. ( The higher the number the finner the thread. ) If I am working on a more subtle design ( unusually with a more traditional design ) I choose  a cotton thread, as the cotton threads meld into the fabric. Again the weight I use depends on how much I want the design to show. Silk thread is another option, usually very fine this gives a more denser appearance, disappearing into the quilt to give a more subtle look with a little bit of sheen. Now that I have bored you with all that information which comes from my experience of trying all these options I would like to talk about invisible machine applique. I have been doing alot of research through testing out different techniques to get the look of hand applique by machine. There is alot of information out there and everyone has a slightly different way of going about this. I have found that several different techniques used in one piece can give you a dimensional look. I am still at a loss about which is the best thread to use, I have found that invisible thread ( mono-filament ) is the most invisible, but !!!! being a traditionalist at heart I struggle with this concept as I would rather be using a natural fibre in my quilt. ie. cotton or silk. I have found that a fine silk thread is very good but you do need a very wide range of colours and the match has to be perfect, there is also a slight sheen that on traditional quilts is not always the look you want. Also I have tried a 50/2 weight 100% cotton and this is not great as it is not fine enough, also a large range of colours is needed, I also tried washing the applique fabrics and not the background so that when the piece is finished and given its final wash the stitches miraculously pull under the applique pieces. ( Not always true in my tests ). So please if anyone out there has any other ideas on this delema of mine I would love you to share them with me. Here are some of my results. I have used mono-filament in this sample.                                                           I have used cotton in this sample. I look forward to your suggestions and comments. Happy quilting Sharon


7 Responses

Veronicah
Veronicah

August 03, 2016

Sharon,

I got taught two things about machine applique to make it appear like hand applique and have found it to work.
1. Bobbin thread to be the same colour as the background fabric.
2. Using mono filament thread on top. Use the stitch that goes ___^___ (three straight stitches and one zigzag in, then three straight stitches again) and take it down to the very smallest size that you can. The straight stitches disappear under the edge of the piece being applicaed on top and the zigzag is so small its invisible, but enough to hold the piece in place.

Its very hard to see the stitching in both of the examples in the blog, so if that’s and indicator then I’d say – job well done. Veronicah

nOwme
nOwme

August 03, 2016

very nice blog. i wanted to learn the talent of handicraft like sewing, stitching and waving but unfortunately my patient cant go more longer doing these things, i just better seeing that than doing.

naomae
naomae

August 03, 2016

nice. i also try waving and sewing. but you have the most beautiful creations i ever seen. your mixed the thread so well and very detailed work. very good.

sharon
sharon

August 03, 2016

Hi Veronica
Thank you for the comment. Great information.

Glennda Mirabete
Glennda Mirabete

August 03, 2016

Heck, if and only I listened to my teacher in my grade school about stitching then I’ll be good at it by now. Stitching is taught in 5th and 6th grade here in the Philippines.

dhemhe
dhemhe

August 03, 2016

nice blog! i love to see our work its very natural and unique.

BG mail
BG mail

August 03, 2016

Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What an ideal website.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Sharon Keightley Quilts - Quilty Ramblings

Zig-Zag borders
Zig-Zag borders

November 14, 2018 5 Comments

It's been such a long time since I posted, I am going to start today off with a post about the Zig-Zag border I am making for my Roses quilt.

There are many ways to make a Zig-Zag border, I have chosen to use half square triangles. 

Here's how it works.

I cut 2 1/2 inch strips from a dark print and a light print then matched the light and dark print fabrics with right sides facing. I used a half square triangle ruler to cut out the pieces. Taking them to the sewing machine and sewing them together with a 1/4 inch seam. I like this method, it's fast and requires very little trimming. 

Continue Reading

Working on the Roses Quilt again!
Working on the Roses Quilt again!

August 31, 2018

 The Roses quilt is coming along nicely, I have been squeezing in time over the weekend to stitch the applique Roses onto the third border and I can see the quilt starting to take shape. Today I hope to have the third border stitched in place and start prepping the fourth border of Roses. This will complete the center of the quilt. From there I have a vague idea of what will come next, I am hoping it will come clearer to me as I progress. 

Continue Reading

Creating interesting backgrounds for applique
Creating interesting backgrounds for applique

August 07, 2018 1 Comment

This morning I am sewing the border fabrics together for the top and bottom borders of the Roses quilt. I have selected and range of tone on tone prints some light and some with a little bit of colour to give a bit of interest. I love to mix up the fabrics, using a large selection. Something I find helpful when piecing the strips is to pin at least the end of the seam so the fabrics don't shift while you are sewing and end up with one end longer than the other.

Continue Reading