Thread; Thick or Thin – Which Do I Use?

thread-clip-artI just did a class where I must have had 10 different questions about thread.  So, I thought I would update and re-run this blog with the hopes that it may answer any questions you may have.

When I teach a free motion quilting class  and I try to explain the difference between the thread sizes, I get lots of question. For some people, thread thickness can be very confusing. It’s hard to compute in our brains why the higher the number, the thinner the thread and the lower the number the thicker the thread. I am going to try to simplify  which is which.

Normal sewing thread is usually 50 weight thick. This is the standard in the industry.  This is the normal thread you buy at Joann’s or wherever you buy your everyday sewing or quilt piecing thread.

To sandwich my quilts together I like to use a 30 weight quilting thread  Iuse a 90-14 needle or higher.  It’s a little thicker and shows up nicely when you are machine quilting. There are many good brands of thread but my personal preference is Sulky quilting thread solid or variegated, or King Tut solid or variegated. King Tut has nice large spools. Great if you are quilting a large quilt that will use a lot of thread.

There is one more thread for quilting. It’s a 12 weight that is much thicker and nice for hand quilting. It gives a nice texture to the finished quilt. If you use in a machine I would use a top stitch needle like a 90-14 or 100-16

Embroidery thread is 40 weight. This  is the standard for anyone using embroidery thread for their machine embroidery designs. This thread is a little thicker than your normal sewing thread to give you more depth in your design. It can also be used for quilting your quilt sandwich when used on a machine. It has more sheen and can look very nice on the more modern style of quilts. For quilting you would want to use the same weight thread in needle and bobbin.

60 weight thread is what you use in the bobbin of your machine when doing machine embroidery. It comes in several colors ie; white, tan, cream, grey and black. You can buy it in pre-wound packets or your can buy  Finishing Touch bobbin thread in spools that you can wind on your own machine if that’s what you prefer. Also, some machines don’t like pre-wound bobbins. My Brother Quattro and Dream machines love both pre-wounds as well as bobbins I wind myself. There is also a 60 weight cotton thread you can buy to use in your bobbin if you want the back and front of your project to look the same such as in lettering. 60 weight cotton thread is also nice to use when sewing applique’s on the machine or by hand. If you are machine embroidering small lettering, like on a recipe dish towel. then you may want to look into using a 60 weight embroidery thread. It has a nice sheen and softer hand for small fonts. You can use the same thread top and bottom if you like. That’s what I do. It gives me a nice finish.

The last one I want to talk about is a beautiful thread you can use for heirloom sewing and for tacking down appliques. It’s 100 weight thread. It’s the finest thread on the market.  It can be purchased in cotton and silk. Very delicate and lovely when sewn.

I hope this helps any one who may have been confused about thread weight and  the use of each type of thread. Except for embroidery I always use the same weight thread in my needle and bobbin. My favorite threads for sewing and piecing are Aurifill, Mettler, Superior, Sulky and Gutterman. For embroidery threads I like Floriani, Isacord, Brother Madeira, Robinson Antone and Sulky. All are excellent brands.

If any one has any questions please email me through my contact page. I will try to answer questions as best I can and if you have any suggestions for future blogs, I would love to hear them. I would also like it if you click the follow button (google likes it if we have followers)  and check out the creative links of businesses I buy from.

Until next time….. happy sewing!

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO READ EARLIER BLOGS. THANK YOU.

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New! Needle in A Haystack (sewing basket)

Sorry I haven’t posted a new blog lately, but I’ve been sooo busy.  I also went away for the holidays to Pennsylvania during the time that they had 1 degree temps and -10 wind chill. Brrrr!!!

Back to sunny Florida.  I taught a class this week that my students asked  “why so many different needles”? So, I decided to re run my needle blog as a refresher of, why so many different needles.

I have several new blogs in the works and will get them ready for you as soon as I can. Now, read on and thank you for your support and good comments.

No, we are not going to look for needles in a haystack, but we do need to dig out all those schmetz-machine-needlesneedles in our sewing box and organize them. I teach an  Embroidery 101 workshop, which covers the use of stabilizer, threads and needles. It still surprises me when my students ask me the difference in needles. I’m going to try to simplify this mystery and give you a place to go back to when you need to choose a needle for a certain sewing, quilting or embroidery project.I have worked with most of these needle types and when you use the correct needle, your project will always look the best.

You want to choose needle size according to thickness of your thread and needle type according to your fabric application. Continue reading “New! Needle in A Haystack (sewing basket)”

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year.

My wish for all of you is a joyous, healthy, happy holiday season and a wonderful  2018.

This has been a hectic year for me, but hopefully next year will afford me more time to blog for you.

Thank you for following my blog. Please pass my link on to your sewing, quilting and embroidery friends. Sewers are the nicest people on earth. They are generous of heart and true artists.

God bless, everyone.

Molly

To Hoop or Not To Hoop, That is the Question?

Hooping can be a mystery to a lot of “newbie” embroiderers and for some old timers who maybe don’t know some of the new techniques. It all really depends on what you are getting ready to embroider. The consensus is that hooping your product is always the best way to have a design turn out with little or no puckering. Sometimes you can’t.

Decisions are made depending on whether the product will get what they call Hoop Burn. (a ring left from the hoop crushing the nap down)

If you are going to embroider a  flat or waffle kitchen towel  hooping is your best bet. You can use a tearaway stabilizer with 505 spray or Floriani Perfect Stick. For a Red-work style design using Floriani Wet n Gone Tacky wash away type works nicely. Continue reading “To Hoop or Not To Hoop, That is the Question?”

Embroidered Clothing

We talked about embroidery placement on tea/dish towels. Now let’s discuss embroidery on clothing. There’s a right and wrong way to do that.

  1. On T-Shirts the rule of thumb is to measure 3 inches down from the top of a Crewmolly-t-shirt-tm neck shirt to place the TOP of the design. If you have embroidery software, then print out your template, cut around the design and place on shirt where you want the design to be. If the top of design is 3″ down from top of crew neck then mark your center, top and side marking lines and position in your hoop.(For children’s shirts measure 2.5 inches down)
  2. For round scoop neck shirts it’s best to put shirt on and eye-ball placement that is pleasing to the eye. It depends on how low the scoop comes on the person’s chest. If design ends up too low, then consider a design on the right or left side of the scoop.
  3. For V neck shirts a design that can be put on one side of the V and down into the middle of shirt always looks pretty. You can also mirror imagine that design and place on opposite side near hip. A pretty open work or light stitching design always looks nice placed that way.
  4. One more thought. If you don’t have embroidery software you will need to know exact height and width of designs to find placement. You can cut out a piece of white paper the size of the design.

Continue reading “Embroidered Clothing”

Embroidery Placement Woes

apple-for-teacher3Have you ever seen a towel with the design so high up that you can only see half the design when hung on an oven handle? Or looked at a T shirt with the design sitting on someone’s belly button? Well, there is a formula for proper placement of designs on everything.

If you are putting a design on a kitchen tea/dish towel the rule of thumb is the bottom of the design should be 3″ from the bottom of towel if there is no built in border. If there is a border then bottom of design should be about 1″ from top of border. That means you need to know how tall your design is so you can find center placement because designs are all embroidered with blkwrk-rooster-stripe-towel-2marking from the center point. That 3 inch also gives you room to add a pretty fabric band, or ruffle or ribbon trim along the bottom. If you have software then print out a template, cut around the designs and place on towel so you can measure up 3 inches  to bottom of design. Then do placement markings with an erase away marker. Continue reading “Embroidery Placement Woes”

Scant Who? Generous What?

Ever wonder why you sew a perfect quarter inch seam and after putting all your pieces together for a particular block, your finished block still runs a little smaller than it was supposed to be when you square it off?  Well, I’m going to explain that phenomenon  to you and where I learned the answer to this question….

One of the things that always puzzled me was why would you sew a “scant” quarter inch seam. After all, a quarter inch seam is a quarter inch seam. Why would it be anything else. Right? Then a pattern or instructor throws this “scant” stuff at you. I just always accepted what to do, but wondered why? What is the difference  between a quarter inch seam and a scant quarter inch and why would you use one or the other. I’ll tell you. Sometime ago I read or heard someone who answered my question.  It’s because when you press your seam to one side the stitching takes up some of the space in the fabric. Sizing is especially crucial when sewing half square triangles and quarter square triangles. I didn’t believe it myself until I tried it. That is why a scant quarter inch seam is sewn a fraction to the right of where that seam should be. Continue reading “Scant Who? Generous What?”