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Friday, January 27, 2012

Using Unusual Threads

By: Suze

What kind of thread do you use for hand quilting?
If you quilt like I do, you are not limited to just cotton quilting thread!
I have a couple that were quilted with Monopoly...

Susan Magnolia: This is a painted piece I started at Road To CA in a class from Patt Blair. The batting is wool and is not trapuntoed - it just is that puffy from the densely stippling the background, the center flower and leaves stand out.

Midnight in the Pumpkin Patch: This piece was outline quilted with Monopoly.

And a couple that were quilted with is one:

Penrose Posey: This piece was quilted with gold metallic.Sorry it doesn't show too well in the picture - the quilting is shiny in person.

Penrose Posey: The full wallhanging.

A couple of tips for handling unusual threads.

- Don't make a knot and try to pop it thru the top..instead, enter the quilt top about 4 inches away from where you want to start quilting and leave that long tail in the batting..make a small loop knot on the surface - hold on to the tail by pinching it with your non-needle hand thumb and forefinger as you pull the loop snug..if you start near a seam or out from under an applique, this tiny knot will not be visible..likewise, when you end the thread, take a small loop knot (either in a seam or under a piece of applique) and bury about 4 inches of the thread before clipping.

- Use fairly short pieces of thread (remember to add the 4 inches for the starting tail though)

- Going thru bulky seams may break your thread..try to avoid!

- I would not use these unusual threads on any piece that would get washed a lot or would be used on a bed.

What unusual threads have you used?


  1. Hi, I have used various cotton embroidery threads, stranded and perle, for quilting and embellishing the quilt with various embroidery stitches. They all worked well. And of course, cotton threads, providing they are colour fast, can be washed.

  2. I too have used the metallic on a small wall hanging - I did not enjoy working with it :) I had a problem with breakage and fraying - but for a small piece I might try it again as it gave an unusual look to the hand quilting I thought.

  3. Since my goal is to only make quilts that can be washed and dried by machine, I have not been willing try hand quilting with anything that wasn't some variation of cotton (embroidery, perle). Thanks for your post does make me think about possibilities

  4. My quilts tend to be very traditional so my thread choise is as well. I only use cotton. I am one who want to able to easily wash my quilts so cotton is perfect.. I use plain old coats cotton hand quilting thread, unless I want a color other than white or natural. It easier to find colors in other brands...for those I like gutermann

  5. Just deleted my own comment! Argh! Yes, great tips. Looking to remember how to sew with Sulky Sliver and came upon this post. Will try your method to knot & bury the tail. Agree on your tips. Also have found that Clover self-threading needles will handle the Sliver thread. Thanks!


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