Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wanna Know Wednesday - Thread Selection

This week has still been a bit messed up due to my husband's knee surgery.  He attempted to go back to work yesterday and after sitting at his desk for 4-5 hours without elevating the leg at all, his lower leg (knee and below) was swollen to twice its size again.  He's back home today keeping it elevated and icing it to keep the swelling (and pain) down.

So... on to this week's "wanna know" topic.

Thread Selection

A lot of new quilters (including myself) usually think nothing about picking out the thread you want to use to sew or quilt your finished quilt.  I know I started out choosing the cheapest cotton thread I could find.  Sorry to anyone who likes it, but I started out with Coats & Clark 100% cotton thread and its probably the worst thread I've ever used now that I know a bit more about thread.

I was under the impression that I had to use 100% cotton thread because I was using cotton fabrics.  The theory was that if you had a stronger thread (like polyester) and cotton fabric, the fabric would wear out and break before the thread did...and that the thread could make the wear happen faster!

How untrue that is!

After a few mishaps with my sewing machines, I really learned the importance of using the proper thread.  I made the mistake of using a rayon thread (which was very pretty and matched the fabric color perfectly) in a sewing machine that can do 1600 stitches per minute.  Because it was sewing so quickly, it managed to melt the thread!  The thread quickly because a jumbled mass in the bobbin and it made such a problem that it actually threw the timing off on my machine.  The timing was so bad that the bobbin was actually 180-degrees from where it should have been when the needle was in the down position.  It definitely wasn't pretty and broken 2 needles before I figured out what was wrong!

I've used several different brands of thread at this point, including Superior Threads (different types), Connecting Threads, Sulky, Mettler, and Isacord.  I think my favorite is the Superior Threads brand.  Not only do they have a HUGE selection of different types and weights of threads, but they have a great reference guide to help pick out the right thread for the right project.

Check out their References section here.  Not only do they have an easy-to-use guide for picking out the threads, but they have guides on how tension works and what types of threads and needle sizes to use for both standard sewing machines and long-arm machines.

Their thread color cards are also really handy, too.  For a very small price, you can get their color cards and then when you're trying to find JUST the right color of thread, you can match up the color card to your fabric.  The color card has their actual thread wound on it so you can really see what the thread would look like versus trying to match some color square on a computer screen.

Check out their site and I'd be interested to see what types of thread other people like.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

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