Saturday, September 22, 2012

How I choose my thread for allover quilting....

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Just a heads up, the thread is a little hard to pick out in the pictures since the quilt is a little busy. Hopefully I can explain why I chose the thread I did for my latest quilting project that was a free motion allover pattern. You should see three pieces of thread spread out in the picture above. The top on is a light tan, the middle is pink, and the bottom thread is red.
  
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Here are the same three pieces of thread shown closer on the white sash and red border fabric.  When you have such contrasting fabric in a quilt, sometimes picking out the thread is the hardest part.  So, I think of the colors that I like and pull out anywhere from 6-8 cones of thread that match the different colors in the quilt fabric.  Then, I lay them out like this across the quilt top making sure to hit as many colors of the quilt top as possible.  I didn't like these three because they didn't mesh well with everything - especially the red, since I had so much white fabric in this quilt, the red thread would have taken over the quilt in a bad way.
 
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The next three thread choices were bright white, light blue, and cream.

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If you look at the bright white (thread on the left) it is just too bright, the blue does not work with the rest of the fabrics and on the white it would have been too much. The cream is nice, but just not quite right.

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So, since the other thread didn't work, and I was shocked that I didn't like the white, I tried out an ivory colored thread. It is still a little unnerving using the ivory with the red border fabric, but it will be better than red on white fabric.
 
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So, the winner is a Glide thread named Pearl and it is amazing that this is the one that worked the best with all the choices of thread out there.

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This is a nice thread, it is shining and runs through my machine great. When it comes to picking out a thread for your allover quilting, just lay out several threads and the one that disappears the best in all the fabrics in your quilt top is the best thread to use. At least, that's my opinion! Best of luck choosing your thread!

21 comments:

Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Thanks Judi. I struggle with choosing threads so I'm happy to see how others do it. Keeping this in mind will definitely help.
Mary

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for the great tip! I was trying to pick out a thread for a small art quilt a few months ago and it was a real pain. (ended up with the clear stuff, as I wanted the design to be the stand-out)

Staci said...

Thank you for this post. I appreciate how you walked us through the process with detailed photographs.

Laura T said...

I love Glide threads! Very interesting and informative post on threads and process. Thanks for taking the time to post about it:)
LauraT

JaneB said...

Judi I love that swirly feathery all over pattern. Is it yours? I'd love to see more of it to get a better idea of how you do it. I love the creamy pearly choice for the allover thread color. It looks great.

Dawn White said...

what a wonderful tutorial! I was so busy admiring your beautiful quilting that I didn't see the threads till I went back and read all of your comments and looked at the photos more closely.

Leeanne said...

Great advice. do you ever use variegated threads for your all over designs?

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Wonderful information, thank you... beautiful quilting!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I have a question, Judi: do you use this same (Glide) thread in your bobbin?

Suzan said...

Thanks, Judi! Great idea for choosing just the right thread. It is always a challenge for me. I don't know anything about Glide thread. I use Superior threads for everything. I guess I need to do a little research!

regan said...

I needed top hear this right now! I'm about to quilt a top that has lots of greys, pinks, charcoal, and whites......a very tough mix when picking a thread. I think I'm going with the light grey thread, but will do this test again with the others, just to make sure! Thanks a bunch!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

thanks so much for walking us through your thought process! This is always a challenge for me, so nice to know.

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks for sharing this process -- I have struggled with choosing thread for quilting too, but usually I don't realize I made a bad choice until I have quilted too much to rip out!

Question, though -- I was surprised to see that you quilt with polyester. So many books and teachers have pounded "cotton, cotton, COTTON" into my head. I know Diane Gaudynski likes to quilt with silk thread as well, but you're the first one I've seen using poly, and obviously you know what you're doing... ;-) Do you use poly thread all the time for quilting? Doesn't it cut into the cotton fabrics over time and diminish the life of the quilt? Does the poly work better for longarms, or would you recommend it for domestic machine quilters as well? Your quilting is so beautiful!

JustPam said...

Thanks for this post. I just finished a three color quilt-red, black and white. I had a tough time choosing a thread. I ended up with a variegated gray. It was the most muted choice that I found.

Miss Jean said...

Thanks for the thread lesson. Sometimes that's the most difficult piece of the entire quilt puzzle.

Diane said...

That is a huge help! Thank you. Do you match your bobbin thread to your top thread? Even when changing thread colors on the top?

cottonreel said...

Beautiful quilting. Long arm or domestic machine?

Tiffany McPherson said...

PERFECT! THANKS for taking on my question and explaining it so well. It's so tough to know what color to use!! As I'm learning on the go it's so nice to have some help from you. I love your quilting! And I'm glad that you're not dead, since I love reading your blog each day too :) Have an awesome sunday and thanks again for answering my question about the thread choice!

Linda said...

HI JUDI! Such a neat quilt+I love the free motion! I'd love to do that 'swirly circle pattern' too? Did you have a pattern? Just made it up? Also I have the same thread questions that Rebecca Grace addressed?
THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR BLOG+SHOP+YOUR CONTINUALLY SHARING WITH US QUILTERS! ♥Linda

msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

Nicole said...

I have allready gone through 4 cones of the Pearl Glide thread. I LOVE the stuff, it does seem to go with almost anything. I agree though, picking out threads can be difficult sometimes!!

Jana said...

Judi thanks for walking us through how you choose thread color. I just love Glide thread and use it frequently. Can you tell what what your favorite colors are?
Jana O