DYK – Coats & Clark Thread

DYK – Did You Know?

Coats & Clark Thread

It’s time to stitch together that all-important project. But wait! What type of thread will you use? What will give you the best look? Since many crafting/quilting/sewing stores have good-sized Coats & Clark thread displays – we will look at their new styles to see what will work best for each type of project.

Those of you who shop in Hancock Fabrics stores may have noticed a new display of Coats & Clark threads. What has changed from the old style? What new features can you look forward to?

  • A new thread – Dual Duty XP replaces the Dual Duty style
  • Dual Duty XP (X-tra Performance) has a polyester wrapped, core-spun construction. This creates a thread with an enhanced seam appearance.
  • Spools now have a smooth trap at each end to secure your thread – no need to hunt for the notch in the end to hold your thread, just wrap around the trap and you’re good to go.
  • Spools are now color-coded to match the thread type – this will make it easy to identify the type of thread you have picked up. The display tray has also been color coded to match the thread types.
  • New manufacturing process unique in the industry creates a thread that is both smooth and strong, reducing thread problems when sewing.
  • A color-conversion chart can be downloaded at this link (scroll to the bottom of the page that opens): Chart

Features that haven’t changed in this thread

  • Consistent tension used in the process of wrapping onto the spool – which means it unwraps consistently also.
  • A wide variety of colors, particularly for the Dual Duty XP threads.
  • 100% Cotton threads available in some styles.
  • A wide variety of thread types, allowing you to match the thread to the project instead of just the color.

Now, on to the types of thread, and what you can use them for…

Dual Duty XP All Purpose Thread – Art S900, S910, S930

  • Spools color-coded in white
  • Available in three sizes: 125 yds (114 m), 250 yds (229 m) & 500 yds (547 m)
  • 100% Polyester wrapped polyester
  • A medium weight thread, designed for most hand and machine sewing applications.
  • Colorfast, weather resistant
  • New colors include more fashion brights, ‘color tints’ which give you very pale tints of color (great for prom sewing), and the whimsical multicolor (great for any application where the thread becomes a focus in the project).

Coats Cotton All-Purpose Thread – Art S970

  • Spools color-coded in yellow
  • 225 yds (205 m)
  • 100% Mercerized Cotton
  • For all purpose sewing on natural fibers
  • Egyptian Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton

Dual Duty XP Fine – Art S940

  • Spools color-coded in purple/lilac
  • 225 yds (205 m)
  • 100% Polyester wrapped polyester
  • Fine, but strong to reduce breakage
  • Designed to reduce seam puckering in lightweight fabrics.
  • Ideal for machine embroidery, heirloom sewing, prom/bridal sewing, and microstipple quilting.

Dual Duty XP Heavy – Art 950

  • Spools color-coded in tan
  • 125 yds (114 m)
  • 100% Polyester wrapped polyester
  • Heavier, stronger thread
  • Great for bold topstitching, buttonholes, and cording
  • Recommend size 16 or 18 machine needle

Dual Duty Plus Button & Carpet Thread – Art S920

  • Spools color-coded in green/turquoise
  • 50 yds (45 m)
  • 74% Polyester, 26% Glace Finish Cotton
  • The strongest and heaviest of the hand sewing threads.
  • The perfect thread for sewing on buttons, tacking carpet, or for most craft hand sewing applications.

Coats Extra Strong Upholstery – Art S964

  • Spools color-coded in rust/brown
  • 150 yds (137 m)
  • 100% Nylon
  • Weather Resistant
  • For machine and hand sewing on upholstery, outdoor and heavy fabrics.

Coats Transparent – Art S995

  • Spools color-coded in red/rose
  • 400 yds (365 m)
  • 100% Polyester
  • Designed for true invisible stitching.
  • Can be used for many applications, including machine quilting, home décor and crafting.
  • Thread size – .004

Coats Metallic Embroidery – Art S990

  • Spools color-coded in gray
  • 125 yds (114 m)
  • 60% Nylon, 40% Polyester
  • Suitable for machine quilting, decorative stitching, and appliqué.
  • Idea for machine embroidery.
  • Can also be used for hand applications such as hand embroidery or cross stitch.

Coats Denim – Art S976

  • Spools color-coded in gold/yellow (see also Coats Jeans Topstitching)
  • 125 yds (114 m)
  • Denim color is heathered to blend into jeans
  • Strong thread
  • Designed for use in mending jeans

Coats Jeans Topstitching – Art S974

  • Spools color-coded in gold/yellow (see also Coats Denim)
  • 60 yds (54 m)
  • Gold Top-stitching color for the traditional and authentic bold top-stitching used on denim.

Dual Duty Plus Hand Quilting – Art S960

  • Spools color-coded in lime/green
  • 325 yds (297 m)
  • 66% Polyester, 32% Glacé Finish Cotton
  • Designed specifically for hand quilting applications.

Coats Cotton Hand Quilting – Art S980

  • Spools color-coded in pink
  • 350 yds (320 m)
  • 100% Glacé Finish Cotton
  • Designed for traditional hand quilters who prefer to work with cotton threads.
  • Great for use in repairing heirloom quilts.

Coats Cotton Machine Quilting – Art S975

  • Spools color-coded in light brown
  • 350 yds (320 m)
  • 100% Mercerized Cotton
  • Designed for machine piecing and quilting
  • Egyptian Extra Long Staple (ELS) Giza cotton for excellent sewing on natural fibers.

Coats Polyester Machine Embroidery – Art D75

  • 1110 yds (1000 m)
  • 100% Trilobal Polyester
  • 40 wt – compatible with digitized embroidery machines
  • Ideal for baby clothing, towels, outdoor and other frequently laundered embroidered items.
  • Color fast – even when washed in chlorine bleach
  • Excellent strength, high luster

Coats Metallic Machine Embroidery – Art D79

  • 600 yds (548 m)
  • 60% Nylon, 40% Coated Polyester
  • 40 wt – compatible with digitized embroidery machines
  • Has a coating of pure silver to provide a high shine
  • Can be machine washed and dried

Coats Polyester Bobbin Thread – Art D78

  • 1800 yds (1645 m)
  • 100% Polyester
  • Doesn’t add bulk to the project, providing a smooth backing for your design
  • Lint-free
  • Works well with polyester, rayon and metallic embroidery threads
  • Low stretch

What does a Glace finish mean? – this is a polished finish given to cotton threads to prevent tangling and thread abrasion (such as tearing of fiber as it goes through the needle)

What does Mercerized mean? – this is a chemical bath through which the thread passes several times under tension. It provides extra luster and strength to a cotton thread.

What is the best color thread for my project? – select a thread that is a shade darker than your fabric – it will appear lighter when sewn in. When sewing on a fabric with a pattern, the thread should match the dominant color if you want it to blend in.

What is the best type of thread for my project? – Consider how you will be stitching the fabric together – is this a hand sewing project, or are you working with a machine? Do you need it to be stronger for more vigorously used fabrics, or something fine for a lightweight fabric that might pucker? Are you quilting?

Some Tips for Machine Sewing

  • Keep your machine in good condition – a clean, oiled machine is always best
  • Wind the bobbin slowly and evenly
  • Change your needle often, every 2-3 projects. Or, if sewing a large project, every 6-8 hours of sewing time.
  • Sew at a steady pace – this will help your stitches remain even.

Some tips for Hand Sewing

  • Cut the thread, do not break it.
  • Keep the thread to a manageable length (20” is recommended) to reduce knots and tangling which will weaken the thread.
  • Sew loosely; do not draw thread too tightly.
  • If you find the thread twisting, take a break and let your needle hang free to untwist the thread.
  • To prevent twisting and tangling, pull the thread from the side – not the top – of the spool.

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

More Hexagons!

Yesterday, I promised that I would show you how to finish a quilt made with the hexagon blocks.

If anyone was brave enough to purchase equipment and start making their own hexagon block quilt after reading yesterday’s post – that brave soul now has a quilt that looks something like this:

And by the way, if anyone WAS that brave – I’m shocked – but congratulations!Laughing 8

Now, how to get from that admittedly interesting, but difficult to work with, pointed border to something a bit more traditional? Get out your rotary cutter! Using a straight edge ruler, trim the points from each side of the quilt (top and bottom won’t have points)

After you have straighted the sides, all you have to do is add a regular border to finish the quilt top!

This quilt is quite obviously not made of several different fabrics the way the “I Spy” quilt from yesterday was. Instead, the fabric in the hexagons is a young ballerina, with a coordinating pink fabric used for the points and as the border. Here’s a closer look. As you can see from the image below on the right, the ‘star’ effect of the triangles is more obvious in this quilt because the colors are all very complimentary instead of having as much contrast as you will naturally get in the much busier “I Spy” style.

But, we aren’t done with this fabric yet! Take a look at this project, which uses all three sizes of hexagon rulers:

The jacket pattern is Butterick #5039.

This jacket took on a new look when the seamstress decided to embellish by using the Marti Michell hexagon rulers. Because there are three sizes of hexagons in the package – all were used. The bottom of the jacket has the largest hexagon or a border. The border going up and down on the front of the jacket uses the medium hexagon. And of course at the bottom of the sleeves is the smallest hexagon.

As you can see, there are lots of things that can be done with the hexagon block. The jacket shows that it makes a great border, think of what a border like this would look like going around a quilt with a large focal block in the center….

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

I Spy Quilt

I was asked recently to share some hints on a quilt commonly known as the “I Spy” quilt. These quilts are often made using squares or other shapes, but I like using a hexagon, and I was thrilled to find that the new Marti Michell rulers included a set of rulers perfect for this quilt – called “Hexagons and 60º Triangle”.

As I have said before – the right tool really does make all the difference. The 60º triangle ruler is designed to go with the hexagons perfectly (so I suggest making certain you store them together once they are out of the package). Depending on the size of hexagon ruler you choose, you will line your triangle up on the edge or the first or second lines on the inside of the triangle. But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

1. Select the fabric(s) you will use – if this is going to be a true “I Spy” quilt, you will want several very different images for the quilt. Then you will ask the child to find or match the horse blocks, or the two cars, or whatever.
2. Using your hexagon ruler, you will ‘fussy cut’ the image you want out of each of the fabrics. The term “fussy cut” is when you take a ruler and instead of just cutting straight across the fabric like in strip quilting, you move the ruler around on your fabric until you have centered a design on your fabric in the center of your ruler. As an example in this picture we have decided to center the horses in the center. (Seam allowance is included in the ruler proportions, see the dotted line on the ruler.)

For this quilt, I used the largest of the hexagons. It gives me more flexibility for centering the images I want on each block, and will be more fun for the child to use when the quilt is completed.
3. The next step is to use the triangle ruler to cut two blue corners to sew on your hexagon. Since this is the large hexagon you would use the 3” or largest triangle. For each hexagon you will need two triangles. The first triangle is sewn to the upper left hand corner, then you sew the next triangle to the opposite corner.



4. After you have sewn the two triangles onto all of your blocks, you will begin to assemble the blocks together.


5. As you are sewing the blocks together, you will create strips, and those strips will be sewn together. (More on how to finish this quilt type in tomorrow’s post).

As the strips are sewn together, you will see that a star effect is being created throughout the quilt top. Can you see the six-pointed star centered in this picture?

And below are pictures of the finished quilt – click on them for a closer view.


Be sure to check back tomorrow – I’ll show you how to finish quilts of this type!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing