The Free Motion Quilting Project: What Thread for Free Motion Quilting?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What Thread for Free Motion Quilting?

This week I decided to open the weekly newsletter with an interesting question:

What thread do you use for free motion quilting?

free motion quilting | Leah DayIt's always fun to see just how many different answers I can get from one simple question! Here's a few of the responses I received:
To respond to your query, I love Glide thread by Fil-Tec, which I buy locally or from Bobbin Central. It is a trilobial polyester thread with a soft sheen, and it solved my breakage problems.

This thread was recommended by Karen McTavish, who gave a workshop locally. At Karen's suggestion, I requested free samples. I also tried their prewound bobbins, which feature a finer thread, but found I got the best results when using identical thread for top and bobbin. It is economical, especially in the large cones, and the colors are gorgeous. (I do my FMQ on a Janome 6600P) - Janet
I definitely agree with Janet - using the same thread in the top and bobbin really makes for easier, hassle free quilting!
Hi Leah, I agree with you, use what works. I use a couple of different threads. My favorites are Connecting Threads' own line (a lot of thread at a great price!) of cotton threads, I have used Superior Threads So Fine Rayon thread with great results (and no lint build up), and in the past I used a lot of Coats and Clarks Star threads or YLI variegated threads and was very happy with them all.

I have learned a few other things as well, which I'm sure you already know; quilting on fabrics with a heavily printed design, a high thread count or with a glazed finish, can cause a lot of thread issues as well improper needle size for thread thickness.

I have learned to work around these issues, but I admit, sometimes when I get a customer quilt with one of these factors involved and haven't quilted on something like this in a while, I may forget! It's really a good idea to write down what works best for you and I always practice on a sample of the same, or similar, materials so I know how it will work and if I need to make tension adjustments. Keep a small notebook near your machine with this information so you can always access it if you run into problems!

I hear you Trudy! YLI Varigated Variations are absolutely beautiful and keeping a thread diary is a great idea. Even if it's just a piece of paper you jot down notes, keeping a record is priceless!

Reading over the more than 50 emails I got about thread, several types jumped out being used by many quilters: Aurifil, Superior Threads, YLI, Mettler, and of course, Isacord.

It just goes to show that there really are as many times of thread as there are quilters!

Thank you to everyone that filled my inbox this week. If you find yourself wandering around this summer with nothing to do (yeah right!) try experimenting with a new type of thread on your machine.

If you're not getting the stitches you'd like to see, or if you're struggling with thread breaking or nesting on the back of your quilts, try something new! Forget what the Quilt Police will say about it and just find a thread that works for you and your machine!

Let's go quilt,


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