There are hundreds of threads on the market, and thousands of choices to make…
Today, in the Build a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting Series we will discuss a few ways to narrow the choices.
There are three characteristics of thread to consider:
Do I want the free motion quilting to show or do I prefer a more subtle texture effect?
If you want the FMQ to show-CHOOSE:
- Fiber: Cotton, Rayon, Polyester
- Weight: Heavier weight threads: 40wt and heavier (smaller number)
- Color: High contrast- a color that is much lighter or darker than the quilt fabric
If you prefer a more subtle, textured effect CHOOSE:
- Fiber-Silk, Monofilament Invisible thread, cotton, rayon or polyester
- Weight-Finer weight 60 or finer (higher number)
- Color-Match the color of thread to the quilt fabric
Do I want sheen for this quilt?
If you like sheen choose Rayon, Silk, some Polyester threads.
If you do not like sheen choose cotton, monofilament (invisible)
Do I want to use a variegated or non-variegated thread?
If you choose a variegated thread be aware that some threads have even, one inch color changes, while other variegated threads are more random combinations of color.
Also, check a long piece of the thread against your quilt to make sure all colors of the thread are having the effect for which you are looking–blended or contrast.
Finally,(perhaps this should be the first consideration…) Ask yourself:
Does my machine “like” this thread? Do I have the time and patience to work with this thread?
When choosing threads ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want the free motion quilting to show or do I prefer a subtle, textured effect?
- Do I like sheen?
- Do I want to use variegated or non-variegated thread?
- Does my machine like this thread or do I have the time and patience to work with this thread?
Then choose the fiber, weight and color based on the answers to these questions.
Below: Two threads-Same fiber (cotton), Same weight (28wt), different color
Color: The blue shows up more against the white fabric.
Two threads: Same color, different weight and different fiber
Invisifil is 100 wt polyester
Aurifil: 12 wt cotton
The Invisifil is barely perceptible…
Two threads, same color. similar weight–The Sulky on the left has sheen, the cotton Aurifil does not.
THE TUESDAY TUTORIALS: AN EXAMPLE
- I want the free motion quilting seen
- I LOVE sheen
- I don’t like variegated threads-they visually break up the design
- I know my machine likes the Sulky Rayon and Aurifil cotton
So I choose Sulky Rayon 40wt thread--It is shiny, slightly heavier and my machine loves it…
I choose Aurifil cotton 50 wt in the bobbin because my sewing machine does not like slippery Rayon in the bobbin. Also I like a finer thread in the bobbin–more sewing before the bobbin runs out.
CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF–EVERY QUILT IS DIFFERENT
For every quilt that you free motion stitch, go through this decision matrix.
It is likely that every quilt will be different. A single quilt may have areas that you want the quilting to be highlighted and other areas where you want the quilting to be more subtle.
Again, this is just a rule-of-thumb. A place to start.
YOUR TRIED AND TRUE THREADS
Once you find a few threads that you like, stick with those threads as your “Go-To” threads. Try new threads as the spirit moves you…
Hope this helps YOU think through the choices.
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to reblog, pin, tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt. For all other purposes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!