Monday, April 15, 2013

Threading my way....

Detail applique stitching from the quilt "December" using machine embroidery thread.

Happy Monday!  The schools are closed and I'm not going to venture out for my walk.  It's April 15th and it's sleeting, snowing, icy and slushy outside.  I love it!  

Another day to be grounded in my sewing world.  I really do love it. 

My blog today is thread themed, so I'll start with some photos of my thread stash:

Threads at hand - always ready.

More thread.  

But, do I ever actually USE all these threads?  Yes, I really do.  

1.  Machine appliqué top threads:  I always use #40 rayon or polyester machine embroidery thread.   I love the way it sort of melts into the fabric, the colors blend well and the stitches are noticeable due to the sheen of the thread.  It's important to closely match thread to fabric in my appliqué, so a large selection of colors is important.  I don't have a favorite brand.  Quilt show vendors often have collections of these threads at reduced prices

2.  Machine appliqué bobbin thread:  I use #60 The Bottom Line by Superior Threads in a neutral color.  It never messes up my top thread tension as long as I thread the bobbin thread through the eye of my bobbin case.  A large spool lasts a long time and a large amount fits on each bobbin.  If you are someone who worries about how the back of your project looks, this thread just blends right in and you barely see it.

3.  Hand stitching:  For bindings, The Bottom Line is very nice as your stitches will really be invisible.  It takes quite a bit longer for me to hand stitch with this thread as it's so fine!  If I'm hand stitching something like a sleeve or label, I often use my old collection of Coats and Clarks Dual Duty.  It doesn't tangle and I still have many colors.  Remember when that's all we used for almost all sewing?  Hand quilting thread actually works well too.  For actual hand quilting, I prefer #12 Perle Cotton and use a modified big stitch. 

4.  Piecing:  I love #50 cotton thread,  any number of the better brands.  I match these threads to the fabric - though not as closely as I do with my appliqué.  Dark grey thread will blend very nicely with dark blue fabric for example.  

5.  Machine quilting:  Ah, here I vary quite a bit.  Maybe because I love experimenting, but also because I can!  #40 embroidery threads look wonderful if I really want the quilting to show.  Very fine threads like The Bottom Line or even #100 Invisafil are very forgiving and don't show mistakes and are great for outline stitching and detail quilting.  I haven't tried silk thread (also very fine) and I'm working my way up to that.  I've also used #30 So Fine by Superior Threads for very bold quilting designs.  

6.  Other:  I have some metallics and invisible threads but rarely use them.  But I still keep them.  I just don't throw out thread.  

Machine quilting with #40 machine embroidery thread.

Hand quilting with Perle Cotton.  I'm on my last block!

One last note about my thread stash and all of my sewing and quilting supplies and fabric collections:  I AM NOT A HOARDER.  I have heard this term used to describe those of us who collect and store all these beautiful and useful items.

I guess it's a term thrown around these days since that awful reality TV show has become so popular.  (how can anyone stand to watch it?) 

Anyway, if anyone ever told me that personally, I would show them my needle stash!