Thread Comparisons

The last few days I have been playing with the threads that I bought at Quilt Festival, trying out different sizes for the top thread and bobbin, with different sizes of needles and types of batting.

thread sampler

I used four different threads with cotton fabric and Warm and Natural batting.

I actually like the look of the size 28 thread best (right now, anyway).  It looks substantial and I think it would provide a strong, balancing accent to the piecing in a quilt.  But I can see that sometimes the delicate look of the size 50 thread would be a more appropriate touch.

28 and 40 threads

Top sample – size 28 thread for the top and the bobbin. Bottom sample – size 40 for top and bobbin.

50 and recycled thread

Top sample – size 50 thread for top and bobbin. Bottom sample – recycled polyester for top and bobbin.

I also got to thinking that it would be fun to use several different sizes in one design.

multiple sizes used together

I need lots more practice, but you get the idea – heavy thread to outline and lighter thread for details.

The Gutermann recycled polyester thread worked wonderfully – it seemed to slide through the eye of the needle very smoothly.  I am not sure what size it is – I thought the lady at Quilt Festival told me it was size 50, but it looks more like a 40 to me.  I got on their website but could not find the information anywhere.

The difference in the threads shows up better in this picture, where I was using a thick polyester batting.

thread size sampler

These are the cotton threads on polyester batting.

Since I was paying attention to the effects of the threads, I didn’t try to quilt all the areas evenly, and there is a lot of puckering.  But I think that could be used to advantage too – I have been wanting to do a quilt based on the tide pools I saw in San Diego this year.  I can imagine painting the unquilted, puckery fabric to look like rocks in the background, and then the quilted areas would look more like smooth shells on top of the rocks.

I find it hard to give up fabric, batting, and time just for a sampler, but every time I do, I learn a lot, and even get some new ideas.