What a difference the (quilting) thread makes!

When I first started out quilting I never gave much thought to the thread I was using other than the colour of course.  I was introduced to Superior Threads King Tut by a fellow quilter that had a long arm machine and I fell in love with all the colours available, never mind the quality of the thread itself!

I soon fell in love with the product only to discover how difficult it was to find here in Canada.  For that reason I started Bailey’s Quilting Headquarters and learning about what so many of us take for granted – thread.

Here’s a poll for you – stop and think about the thread you have in your sewing room and how old your oldest spool of thread is.  Don’t include any vintage thread you have kept “just because”, just the thread that you use or plan to use.

It will be interesting to see the results 🙂

So, what difference can old thread make?  If you’re using up Gramma’s old thread to piece your quilts together with you could end up with seams that are very weak and can break and pull apart long before the quilt has a chance to be loved to death first.  That would be the worst that could happen; the most frustrating thing would be constant breakage and fraying while sewing and that makes for no fun at all.

What thread should you use for piecing?  Does it really matter, no-one can see it?  Actually, it matters a great deal and in this case – size does matter.  Do you find that you have difficulties getting that perfect scant 1/4″ seam?  If you are positive that you’re machine is set correctly and you’re using the right foot then perhaps it is the thread that is causing the issue.  You have to remember that the thread itself will take up room in the seam and the thicker the thread the more room it takes up and can make your supposed scant 1/4″ seam larger than you think.  If you are using regular sewing thread than try MasterPiece thread.

MasterPiece thread by Superior Threads

It is 100% ELS cotton, very fine and has very little lint to gather in your machine.  I carry six common colours from white through beige, grey and black.

When it comes to the actual quilting of your project then once again the size of the thread should be taken into account.  If you are doing and all-over quilting pattern and would like the thread to compliment the fabric then King Tut is a good choice.  This is a 40wt 100% ELS cotton perfect for the sit-down machine quilter, hand quilter and is praised by long-arm quilters for its strength, lack of lint and amazing colour pallet.

king tut 981 cobra

King Tut by Superior Threads (#981 Cobra)

There is a lot of controversy about using polyester threads when quilting.  I will be the first to tell you that I do not recommend polyester threads for piecing the top together but for the actual quilting process I heartily recommend it!

The problem with using polyester thread for piecing is probably not what you think it is.  I’m sure you’ve heard how the polyester thread can tear the cotton fabric and while that may have been true many, many years ago I would like to think that our manufacturing of cotton into fabrics has advanced somewhat 😉  In fact – I have tested 100% cotton thread that is stronger (took much more force to break) than a quality polyester thread.  The truth is that we use a very high heat when pressing our piecing and that doesn’t work well with polyester threads.  If you were to use a polyester setting when pressing your blocks you would have no problem at all.

So Fine! thread is the perfect choice when you want a finer look to the quilting.  This  50wt polyester thread will sink down into the fabric and is ideal for tone-on-tone quilting where the quilting

So Fine! #419 Pineapple

So Fine! by Superior Threads, #419 Pineapple

makes the pattern such as with wholecloth quilts.  Again, this thread is for all quilters whether they machine or hand quilt.  Machine quilters will love the fact that there will be next to no link at all in their machines.

I have a printable PDF with more information about these threads that you can access here.

I have changed my shipping charges and now for every order over $55 Canadian shipping is FREE!

Happy quilting in 2010 🙂


One thought on “What a difference the (quilting) thread makes!

  1. marian vanderweerd says:

    Hi, remember me??? my bro and your hubby are dinky fanatics. I was surfing some of my old sites visited and found you. I noticed you are selling off your threads. I am very interested. By the way, I have almost mastered freehand machine quilting. Have a lot of quilts to quilt. Can you let me know what you have, perhaps some pics. I won’t be to interested in plain cotton for regular sewing as have a great outlet here , but love tut , the colors are gorgeous. Also some of your specialty threads for applique.maybe also sulky if you have that.
    Look forward to hearing from you. Marian

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