Judy L's UFO Challenge

Monday, January 22, 2007

The thread thread. The topic of what type of thread came up on the stashbuster yahoogroup. I had been taught to use cotton covered polyester. People reported their quilts coming apart at the seams or the thread melting when they have used this thread. They said the thread being stronger than the fabric is what causes the issue for the seam coming apart. The melting was from a too hot iron melting the polyester. YIKES!! I was in the middle of piecing the backing for my Log Cabin. I froze in fear. What do I do?? THIS is exactly why I have UFOs. I decided to complete the backing and buy a good cotton thread. The main issue seamed to be with piecing only. People still quilted with the cotton covered polyester.

I discussed this topic in quiltchat with my friends. They are the ones that shared a little info about it being ok to quilt with the poly. That gave me the confidence to continue on with the Peacock. Discussion on this topic has been ongoing and my plan has been confirmed by everyone. Some say use up the poly in your piecing, some say switch over to all cotton. I plan to piece with cotton and quilt with poly to use it up.

This experience shows that it is good to continue your education in quilting. There are new products on the market. People learn about new techniques and methods. I have not taken a class in at least 10 years. Ask lots of questions! When someone mentions a new thread or tool ask them how they like it why they like it. You get the idea. I hope to create quilts that hold together a lot longer now! I have only heard of my first quilt (made in 1989) falling apart at the seams. I attributed it to my mother being a wash-a-holic. I will have to ask around about other quilts to determine their fate. I own a few of my early quilts and have not seen an issue. May your quilts hold together forever!


Suzanne Earley said...

A really great place to go for thread education is:


I have learned a lot about thread from Bob. One of the main things that I learned is that when you make a quilt, the most stress is on your seams -- so you should match the fiber of your thread with the fiber of your fabric. Beyond that -- anything goes -- poly/blends/rayon/metallic/etc -- keeping in mind the eventual use of the quilt. If it is going to be loved and washed a lot, a delicate thread probably isn't a good choice.

Just my 2 cents!

Morah said...

Keep learning but remember that there is a fine line between policing your quilting and the quilt police. You don't want to be so caught up in rules that you forget to have fun!

The Calico Cat said...

While some of what everyone says is true, you have to think about the quilt that you are making... Are you making a quilt that you hope to enter into a BIG quilt show like Houston? Is the quilt a Major gift - 50th Anniversary? Or is it just something that you want to do? If it is a quilt that you plan to use, then just do it...

on the thread issue - if you applique, by hand - dson't use silk thread - the silk can cut cotton fabric too.. (but then again you can refer to my above dissertation...)

Shelina said...

So many people have such opinions on quilting products that I would swear that they are paid spokespeople. Fabric quality and thread quality, etc.
I can see the issue with polyester being stronger and cutting into the fabric, and about it melting, but I haven't had either problem. I use cotton covered polyester too, unless I can find the pure cotton stuff for a good price.
I have a strong suspicion that the quilts I consider heirloom quilts are going to get chucked or lost or burnt in a fire, and the quick ones I made for everyday use are the ones that are going to be treasured as heirlooms. I guess people might say I should treat every quilt as an heirloom in this case, but I prefer to treat none of them as heirlooms.