As quilters, we face decisions about the fabrics, batting and thread we use. Let’s talk about thread.
In this photo, the top is Bottom Line, towards the middle and lower area is So Fine, the very bottom is just a mixture of whatever miscellaneous cones I have.
It can make a difference in so many ways. What I’m going to share today is just my opinion. I haven’t tried every thread out there.
In this photo, th top spool holder has all Signature 100% cotton threads. The top half of the bottom spool holder is more Signature 100% cottons and then some cotton/poly cones near the bottom.
Some machines prefer one thread over another. My Berninas and my APQS Millennium will sew beautifully with any thread I stick on them If you have a machine that is picky, then the most important decision you can make is to choose a thread that makes your machine happy. Like with everything else, I’m a thread junkie!
In this photo, the top is King Tut, towards the bottom of the top spool holder is Signature variegated. The bottom holder has Masterpiece near the top, then some Highlights and Rainbows, then some more Signature variegateds.
Most of the threads shown in the photos are threads I use on the longarm, and not threads I use for piecing.
When choosing a thread, here are some options to consider:
Weight: Superior Threads has a very informative article on weight here. Instead of trying to give you my thoughts, please go read the Superior article.
Think about when you’re making a block. There may be a spot where 4 (or more) seams come together. That’s a top and bobbin thread for each seam so with 4 seams, that’s 8 thicknesses of thread and that can make a difference if using a thicker than necessary thread. The extra thickness of all the thread can be enough to cause your points to be off or your centers not to line up perfectly.
Content: There’s 100% poly, a blend of cotton/poly, poly wrapped cotton, 100% cotton and I’m sure there are more. I read often of quilters who use poly thread for piecing and if it works for them, that’s fine but I do not find it acceptable for piecing. Any time poly thread is cut, it tends to unravel back a few stitches. When I was doing machine quilting for others, it was often a struggle with tops that had been pieced using poly thread because where stitches had been cut across (any stitches that are done and then cut — long strips that are then re-cut or half square triangles that are squared, etc.), those stitches pull out when the top was loaded and a little tension put on the top. I do not recommend poly thread for piecing.
I use 100% cotton, usually Superior MasterPiece but I also like Aurifil and Mettler.
Color: For piecing, I mostly use an eggshell color unless using very dark fabrics and then I’ll use dark gray or black, depending on the fabrics. I don’t try to match every thread to the fabric I’m using.
Lint: Some threads have more or less lint than others. A lot depends on whether the thread is made from a regular, long or extra long staple cotton. Superior also has an article on thread quality that is interesting and informative. I’ve found that no threads are lint-free and any of the better threads (Superior, Mettler, Aurifil) produce about the same amount of lint when sewing.
I have not used the Essential threads from Connecting Threads so nothing I’ve said here is taking that thread into consideration. Like with most anything else, somem have reported loving it and some have reported not loving it.
What threads are your favorites for piecing and for quilting?