How to Choose Thread for Free Motion Quilting

 

Sewing thread RainbowAre you confused about how to choose thread for free motion quilting?

There are hundreds of threads on the market, and thousands of choices to make…

Today, in  the Build a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting Series we will discuss a few ways to narrow the choices.

Sulky trhead

There are three characteristics of thread to consider:

  • Fiber
  • Weight
  • Color

For every quilt or project, choose the fiber, weight and color of thread by asking yourself four questions:Sewing thread RainbowQUESTION ONE

Do I want the free motion quilting to show or do I prefer a more subtle texture effect?

If you want the FMQ to show-CHOOSE:

  • Fiber:  Cotton, Rayon, Polyester
  • Weight:  Heavier weight threads:  40wt and heavier (smaller number)
  • Color:  High contrast- a color that is much lighter or darker than the quilt fabric

If you prefer a more subtle, textured effect CHOOSE:

  • Fiber-Silk, Monofilament Invisible thread, cotton, rayon or polyester
  • Weight-Finer weight 60 or finer (higher number)
  • Color-Match the color of thread to the quilt fabric

Sewing thread Rainbow

QUESTION TWO

Do I want sheen for this quilt?

If you like sheen choose Rayon, Silk, some Polyester threads.

If you do not like sheen choose cotton, monofilament (invisible)

Sewing thread Rainbow

QUESTION THREE

Do I want to use a variegated or non-variegated thread?

If you choose a variegated thread be aware that some threads have even, one inch color changes,  while other variegated threads are more random combinations of color.

Also, check  a long piece of the thread against your quilt to make sure all colors of the thread are having the effect for which you are looking–blended or contrast.

QUESTION FOUR

Finally,(perhaps this should be the first consideration…) Ask yourself:

Does my machine “like” this thread?  Do I have the time and patience to work with this thread?

Sewing thread Rainbow

IN SUMMARY

When choosing threads ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I want the free motion quilting to show or do I prefer a subtle, textured effect?
  2. Do I like sheen?
  3. Do I want to use variegated or non-variegated thread?
  4. Does my machine like this thread or do I have the time and patience to work with this thread?

Then choose the fiber, weight and color based on the answers to these questions.

COMPARISONS

Below:  Two threads-Same fiber (cotton), Same weight (28wt), different color

Color:  The blue shows up more against the white fabric.

Sewing thread Rainbow

 

Below:

Two threads:  Same color, different weight and different fiber

Invisifil is 100 wt polyester

Aurifil: 12 wt cotton

The Invisifil is barely perceptible…

Sewing thread Rainbow

Below:

Two threads, same color.  similar weight–The Sulky on the left has sheen, the cotton Aurifil does not.

Sewing thread Rainbow

THE TUESDAY TUTORIALS:  AN EXAMPLE

  • I want the free motion quilting seen
  • I LOVE sheen
  • I don’t like variegated threads-they visually break up the design
  • I know my machine likes the Sulky Rayon and Aurifil cotton

So I choose Sulky Rayon 40wt thread--It is shiny, slightly heavier and my machine loves it…

I choose Aurifil cotton 50 wt in the bobbin because my sewing machine does not like slippery Rayon in the bobbin.  Also I like a finer thread in the bobbin–more sewing before the bobbin runs out.

CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF–EVERY QUILT IS DIFFERENT

For every quilt that you free motion stitch, go through this decision matrix.  

It is likely that every quilt will be different.  A single quilt may have areas that you want the quilting to be highlighted and other areas where you want the quilting to be more subtle.

Again, this is just a rule-of-thumb.  A place to start.

YOUR TRIED AND TRUE THREADS

Once you find a few threads that you like, stick with those threads as your “Go-To” threads.   Try new threads as the spirit moves you…

Hope this helps YOU think through the choices.

Happy Stitches,

Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to reblog, pin, tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

Open Line Friday Questions and Answers…

 

Free motion quilted Bumble Bees

Happy Friday, Everyone!  It’s Open Line Friday…everyone asks…everyone answers…so buzz right in…we want to hear from YOU!

First, I had a question about connecting several Bumblebees from Tuesday’s free motion quilting tutorial…. Instead of starting from the head, start between the wings.

Everything is the same, just the order is changed.

Stitching order:

  1. Left set of wings
  2. Head and antenna
  3. Right set of wings
  4. Body
  5. Triangle Tail
  6. Twisted flight path.

NOTE-The Twister Tweed thread from Robison-Anton is perfect for these little bees!

Free motion quilted Bumble Bees

 

OPEN LINE FRIDAY

To get the bees humming…I have a question for YOU-

I often get notes saying “I love this motif—I think I’m going to try free motion quilting one of these days…”

MY QUESTION:

What is stopping YOU from trying free motion quilting TODAY?

Is it fear?     Is the process overwhelming?     Are you unsure of your sewing machine?

Can you break it down for us…so we can get YOU to join all of us in the FUN?

Free motion quilted Bumble Bees

 

As you all know, my favorite part of quilting is Free Motion Quilting…I really want ALL OF YOU to enjoy it, too.  That is my goal….

How can I get YOU there???

From my hive to yours,

The Queen Bee,

LCK

PS…all tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Please share, pin and re-blog with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial: The Feathered Leaf

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialGood morning, Quilters!

I hope you had time to create a little rose garden using Nora’s Rose free motion quilt tutorial last week…

Today, I have a gorgeous free motion quilt leaf pattern for you:  The Feathered Leaf.  

This pattern is a Beginner free motion quilt pattern…It can be used on a border or as a background motif...

THE FEATHERED LEAF FREE MOTION QUILT TUTORIAL

Begin by drawing two parallel lines or “rails”.  Rails are drawn lines that provide guidelines for our free motion stitching.  In the sample below, the lines are two inches apart.

In the middle of the lines, add “tick” marks every four inches.  This will be the length of the leaf.

(NOTE:  In the sample below, I stitched horizontally from left to right, but you could stitch from right to left or vertically--whichever works best for you and the quilt on which you are working.)

Begin stitching on the first tick mark.  Stitch a curvy line and end at the second tick mark and STOP.

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialNext, stitch close to the wavy line a short distance to create a point, then stitch scallops back to the beginning of the wavy line.  Stitch the last scallop to a point at the beginning of the wavy line.

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialNow stitch the scallops on top of the wavy line…

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialAgain, stitch a point at the right end of the wavy line…That completes the first Feathered Leaf.

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Now stitch the next wavy line to begin another Feathered Leaf.

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialOnce the entire row of Feathered Leaves is complete, echo stitch and add a little spiral occasionally.

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialStagger the Feathered Leaves in a row to fill a large space.

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialOr stitch angled Feathered leaves

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialIn a border…

The Feathered Leaf Free Motion Quilt TutorialThis is an elegant free motion quilt pattern that would look great on ANY quilt!

TOMORROW:  A small quilt featuring The Feathered Leaf in the border…

See you then,

Leafy Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, Pin, Tweet, Share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!