D.Y.K. – Did You Know?
When I present at a seminar or speak with a large group of people about sewing, there seem to always be questions about thread. What type of thread did I use, why did I choose this type of thread, or what type of thread is best for this project?
So, I thought that today’s post I would tell you about the thread I used on a recent project – the Super Stars quilt from the Strip Happy book by Donna Kinsey.
Below are close-up pictures of the stitching from the quilt:
This was done using my long-arm quilting machine, keep in mind that if you are using a long-arm quilting machine, you would probably want to purchase the larger spool size, as it will not need to be changed as often. There is also a smaller size available for regular sewing machines.
Take care when purchasing Gütermann threads, they also make thread for hand-sewing, which is NOT recommended for sewing machines.
The threads mentioned below are some of the threads made by Gütermann, and are the styles that I am most familiar with because they are carried in Hancock Fabrics stores.
- Gütermann Natural Cotton Thread
- A fine, yet strong, thread with a silky luster
- Designed for those who prefer sewing with natural fibers
- Can be used for hand or machine stitching
- 100% Mercerized Cotton
- Recommended needle for machine sewing: size 12 or 14.
- Available in two lengths:
- 100 meters (110 yards)
- 800 meters (875 yards) – this length is great for quilters using long-arm machines
- Available in over 100 shades
- Gütermann Hand Quilting Thread
- A fine, yet strong, thread
- Has a waxed finish giving it extra strength and to prevent tangling
- Is suitable for hand sewing ONLY
- 100% Cotton
- Length 200 meters (220 yards)
- Available in 22 popular colors
- Gütermann Varigated Threads
- 100% Cotton
- Length 800 meters (875 yards)
- Available in 10 popular colors
- Great for quilters with long-arm machines
- Can be used in any sewing application where the stitching will be a visual part of the project
Why should I use cotton thread in my quilting? – the cotton thread will move more easily with your cotton fabrics. Using a thread of the same material allows the stitches to stretch and shrink normally as the cotton fibers of the quilt do.
What is the best way to thread the needle? – With Gütermann threads it is advised that you cut the thread at an angle to thread your needles – never moisten the end of the thread.
How do I know I have the correct thread tension? – When looking at a finished line of stitching, you should not be able to see the loop between the upper and lower threads anywhere in your fabric. It should blend into the grain of the fabric naturally.
How can I prevent tangles? – If you are hand sewing, use Gütermann’s Hand Quilting thread. The waxed finish is designed to prevent tangles.
Is it important to pull the thread off of the spool in a particular direction? – because of the way the thread is spun onto the spool, Gütermann recommends if the spool is upright, the Gütermann name should be at the top. If it is laying horizontal, the Gütermann name should be to the right.
What are the washing instructions? – Can be washed in hot water (not over 200º F) and ironed with an iron on high – or as appropriate for your fabric. May be dry-cleaned using any solvent except Trichloroethylene.
What does Mercerized mean? – According to a standard dictionary: To treat (cotton thread) with sodium hydroxide so as to shrink the fiber and increase its color absorption and luster.
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing