Let’s talk about…Thread

Let’s talk about… Thread!

Thread is our most essential tool for quilting…. without it nothing gets pieced or quilted!

So how well do you know your thread?

Let’s talk about types of thread and when to use them…

blue green colours object

Photo by Irene Lasus on Pexels.com

Thread comes in several commonly used types. Each has its own purpose for sewing. Using the right thread for the job will make your quilting go much smoother. Using the wrong thread and needle combo can result in thread breakage and tension issues, so you need to know your stuff.

Types of thread:
  • Cotton– Natural, soft, durable, low sheen(dull finish). Not at strong as polyester. It is the most common quilting thread. Cotton thread with cotton fabric is the goal to have a long lasting quilt and quilting. I’m a big fan of Aurifil, but each machine will have a brand that works best for you.
  • Polyester– Strong, durable, colorfast, various finishes(shiny). It is also used in piecing and quilting… there is controversy that polyester thread is too strong and the fabric will tear away from the stitching eventually. That is a long term result though. You will have to be the judge on what works for you. I have used both cotton and polyester for quilting and been just fine so far.
  • Rayon– Mostly used for embroidery, cheaper, less durable, not colorfast, high shiny factor.
  • Monofilament– Invisible, strong(but brittle over time), not colorfast(yellows over time), not heat resistant… it will melt!
  • Metallic– Not really thread…plastic cut into thin strips. You need a special needle and this thread breaks easily.

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Sizes of thread:

The size of your thread is measured by weight(wt.). The bigger the number the finer the thread. Thick thread gives you bulky stitches that have a more primitive look. The finer the thread the more it becomes less visible in your quilting.

  • 8wt.- A very thick thread. Perle cotton is the most common. Mostly used for embroidery and big stitch quilting.
  • 12wt.- This is also a thick thread and can be used for embroidery and big stitch quilting.
  • 30wt.-Very common size thread. Used for general piecing and quilting.
  • 40wt.-A finer thread. Also very common. Aurifil has a 40wt. that I use most of the time.
  • 50wt.-A very fine thread, great for making your stitches blend, great in your bobbin, too! This thread will be the least visible.
five assorted threads

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

How is your thread wound on the spool?

How your thread is loaded tells you how it should stand on your machine. If it is cross-wound, it should be horizontal with a spool cap to keep it in place. If it is stacked, it should sit vertically. If not in the right direction it doesn’t come off the spool properly and can get tangled or you may even notice some tension issues. If your machine will not hold the spool both directions, there are thread stands to help you out. Thread stands are also used for those large cones of thread. Below is a pic of a straight or stacked wound spool(left) and a cross-wound(right).



Monofilament and Metallic like to fall off the spool, so a net that fits over the spool keeps it in place and helps with tension. I bet you didn’t even know what that netty thing was for:)

Quality, quality, quality! Cheap thread is linty and will get inside your machine and drive you nuts with machine troubles and thread breaks.

Grey is an amazing neutral color to use, light or dark grey will blend with almost anything.

Don’t listen to rumors! Experiment, try lots and see what you and your machine love♥.

Here is a link to a great thread you should totally give a try!

Aurifil Thread


Keep it Sassy♥

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five assorted threads

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  1. I use 50 or 60 wt for piecing and 30 wt for quilting. It’s interesting that we all do different things…..

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