Sunday, March 29, 2009

Threads, threads and more threads

I attended the Open Thread Bar workshop yesterday at which participants were able to use a wide variety of the Superior Threads line.

For a small fee, we were each provided with a kit that contained a size 90 top stitch needle, a pre-wound bobbin with 60wt Bottom Line, a thread net, a small pre-printed piece of Ricky Tims Stable Stuff, some handy info on needle types, uses for various thread types, a thread reference guide for home machines, as well as all of these colour charts.

We began by making sure our machines were clean and ready to stitch with the top stitch needle and pre-wound bobbin in place. Problem, my machine (Husqvarna # 1 plus) would not accept this pre-wound bobbin so okay I'll just wind the thread from it onto one of my own bobbins. I think I was the only one in the workshop who had this occur. Well at least I now know that I should give those pre-wounds a pass when I see them.

So if you read my last post or at least looked at the pictures :-) you'll see all those prepared quilt sandwiches, this is what we were to do with them. Each one would be a “page”on which we would chose a thread to stitch various straight and decorative stitches and then using a permanent marker, make notes of what stitch was used, the thread type and weight, the tension setting, needle as well as what was in the bobbin.

Then we would have these available later as a handy reference........................hmmmmmmmmm seemed like a good idea.......but wait do I ever use those decorative stitches?......... No

Don't you have to adjust your tension according to what you are working on.....fabric type, thickness, good or bad hair day etc? …......well Yes and chances are the fabric/batting/thickness/embellishment combo will be different each time so will I actually refer to these?......Nope! so I decided to just play with free motion stitching since that is really what I would be using these threads for.

I won't go into all the threads I used but I will say that I found the King Tut 40wt 3 ply cotton and the Lava 35wt lint free poly, both performed very nicely for machine quilting where you want your stitching to be seen. If you are doing a lot of background or “fill”stitching and really want to see the path rather than the thread then the Bottom Line 60wt poly is perfect (left) although if you look closely you'll see that the 90 top stitch needle leaves some pretty big holes.......not a fan of the top stitch needle..........I played with some glitters and metallics but they are really not my thing, for me, if I wanted to add just a little spark to my stitching I'd say that I quite liked the effect achieved with the Rainbow 40wt high sheen poly.

If I was to do this again I would have prepared differently.............those 8 ½ x 11 sample pieces are just too small for playing with free motion stitching so I would have made a few larger pieces. Also I would have liked to have something prepared for thread painting.

I did pick up a few tips that I may have to try such as using water soluble thread to anchor a quilt for stitching so that when you have finished your quilting a quick dunk in water will remove those anchor stitches or if you want to audition a particular thread or stitch without having to unpick what you don't like using the water soluble in the bobbin makes it easy to get rid of the unwanted stitching.


Quilter Kathy said...

Sounds like a great class!
I like the idea of using water soluble threads for anchor stitching.

Exuberant Color said...

That sounds like a terrific workshop. I think the size 90 needle is too large for most of our quilting fabrics. I use an 80 topstitch needle with most threads and don't seem to have any problem. I bought some of the Superior threads with their try me offer and am just getting ready to use them.

Robin said...

What a neat workshop! Thanks for sharing some of those tips on water-soluble thread. Very clever way to audition thread, or to do bobbin-work.

MOLLY said...

Very cool workshop--thanks for the details. I'm ffoolloowwiinngg you!
Gotta see what you post about next!!!

Copyright Jill Buckley