Show me the Thread!

Posted by on August 16, 2010

Longarm “newbys”, always ask what threads they can use on the longarm. I only give them 4 little hints to go by since there are so many thread brands and within each brand there are so many kinds. So here it is in a nutshell.

1.  Take the thread and break it. If it is strong it will run with ease and if it is weak you will have to fuss with it to get it to run on the longarm. Simple and true.

 2. Quilts look richer if you get a match on the thread color. If you contrast the thread you will be drawing attention to the sewing and your steadiness in quilting must be extremely accurate or it will be detected.

3. If you are using a variegated thread remember that if one of the colors in the thread match what you are sewing over, it could appear that the matching section of sewing was missing as you lose sight of contrasting thread as it blends in. Something you may want to avoid if you are stitching a design into a plain block and are counting on that design to become a design factor in the finished appearance of the whole quilt.

4. Metallic or monofilament threads are stretchy and require looser tensions and battings that are not so dense. Most of the time your machine will be in adjustment for the everyday common threads that you use in quilting. Running metallic or monofilament threads will require you to adjust and run a sample stitching to see if you are getting a nice stitch quality. I never stitch my quilts together with metallic or monofilament. I use regular thread for that. Then I go back and add the metallic or monofilament where I want it. When I save switching for the end then I only have to adjust once to get started and once to go back to my regular threads, not each and every time I roll the quilt.

Filed under: Blog,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips

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  1. Deborah Fox-McHugh says:

    I didn’t realize you could run perle cotton-that would be fun to try. what needle did you use?

    • Sorry Deb, didn’t see your post…been busy.
      I used a GB-#21 titanium. Looks exactly like the size 18…just a bit larger, and has a larger eye.

      You have to really loosen the upper tension..good three full turns or more. It ran really well…and the “embroidery” looks like the old Spanish embroidery with heavy thread. I really like the look.

  2. Great hints on thread, Sabrina!
    I run many kinds of thread on my TL18LS (2009)…I have a silver/gray color 40wt Polyester from on her right now…and dark navy serger thread in the bobbin…this thread is looking like a thin metallic when quilted. I’ve run everything on the machine, including size 10 pearle cotton…very pretty effect from that.

    I’ve used weaker threads (60wt bobbin threads)…but only on wall hangings that won’t get a lot of wear.

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