Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

What is the Best Sewing Machine Thread?

What is the best machine sewing thread?

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That is the most asked question during my classes and lectures. The answer of course is more complicated than just naming one thread company because it depends on what you are doing. But, what most people just want to know is what thread I use the most in my work.

I researched every brand of thread that I could get my hands on when I was writing Threads: the Basics and Beyond. I tested small batch hand-dyed threads, big name thread, no-name thread, new companies, old companies and designer brand threads. What I found was that there really isn’t any bad thread out there (with the sole exception of the 3 spools for $1 bin but no serious thread aficionado would even consider that stuff!)

When I reveal to them that I most often use Coats and Clark and Star brand I often get an audible gasp! Really? Coats and Clark? Not some fancy imported expensive thread? Yes, my go to thread brand is Coats and Clark. No, they don’t pay me to say that. I like all of their threads and use the Cotton Covered and Dual Duty fine and medium weight as my go to threads for piecing and general stitching. Plus, Coats has a huge array of colors and weights to choose from. I love the new Dual Duty heavy threads for hand stitching.

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When I am thread painting I pull out my large spools of Star variegated threads. Many of the variegated Star thread are designed by Terry White, thread painter extraordinaire. The color blends are fantastic for thread painting with smooth transitions of color that give a rich and luscious piece. The large spools ensure that I won’t run out half way through my project.

I found that most ‘thread’ problems were really spool problems, needle problems or tension problems. This is especially true with metallic threads. Fortunately, there are easy fixes for these problems.

I love that Coats and Clark and Star threads are not expensive because that means I can have a larger stash of yummy colors! It also means I have more money to spend on some of my favorite expensive hand-dyed threads for hand stitching and embellishing.

Thread Basic and Beyond

Final note: Threads: The Basics and Beyond will be back in stock later this summer. YIPPEE! I will let you know here and on Facebook!

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Sew Expo Peeks

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I spent yesterday at the Denver Sew Expo. It is a fairly small show but has a nice mix of vendors and more focus on garments than quilting. I am not sure why the show charges $10 to get in the door. That seems a bit steep but they didn't consult me! I got some great trims at bargain prices and checked out Laura Murray's new book Star Builder on using paint sticks and her star builder stamps. The book is really nicely laid out with good instructions...a must have for paint stick aficionados. I got my own personal sneak peak at some images of her new stamp line. They are more organic in design so naturally I think they will be a hit. They are still in production so we have to wait a bit longer on those.

I got a very brief vist in with Mark Lipinski, he was keeping his students hopping and they were doing some great work. I spent most of my time distracting my talanted friend and fellow thread junkie Terry Whitefrom her booth duties. Terry has a new line of threads coming out in the spring with Coats and Clark. I can't wait to see them at Spring Market. They are going to be luscious. Terry has been a busy girl and has a new line of fabrics coming soon. It is called Run Rabbit Run from ClothWorks. I got a sneak peek and it is so fun and showcases Terry's unique style and sense of humor! I hope I can get some early for that grand baby quilt I need to make (hint, hint Terry). See that quilt behind Terry's happy face in the photo above? That is a sneak peek at a piece from the Embellishing book she is working on.

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My sneak peek for you today is this fun tassel. Fringe and Tassels were a late addition to the Threads book and so much fun to make. Tassels can be made big or small and boy do they they offer lots of opportunity for embellishing with beads, trims and found object tops! Tassels are a great take along project too since you don't need a lot of equipment.
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