Do you have a favorite piecing thread? What about for machine quilting? There are so many amazing threads on the market it can be hard to choose! It is important to remember that what you need from a thread when piecing a block is quite different from what you need when machine quilting the quilt.
In this article I’ll walk you through what I require from my favorite piecing thread. (Which is quite different from what I need from my machine quilting thread). If you want to jump to the conclusion and find out what my favorite piecing threads are… head to the bottom!
First, I always piece my blocks with a good quality cotton thread. This is because I’m going to hit that seam with a very hot iron and I need the thread to be cotton to put up with the heat!
My “Must Haves” for a good cotton piecing thread are:
When I piece a quilt on my sewing machine, I want to take good care of it which means I need to keep it clean. Ask yourself when is the last time you cleaned your bobbin area or put in a fresh needle. If you don’t know… do it now! It makes a tremendous difference in the life of your sewing machine. Take good care of it and it will take good care of you!
An accurately pieced quilt top will make the machine quilting process so much easier! When I’m piecing a block, I want to be sure I’m using my very best 1/4″ seam but did you know the size of the seam is influenced by the thickness of the thread used to sew that seam? Crazy, right? Think about how you press your seams to the side. You have the thickness of the fabrics but you also have the thickness of the top and bobbin thread.
Using a skinny thread will help reduce bulk. I prefer to use a 50 weight or 60 weight cotton thread. Do test your seam allowances when you change your piecing thread to be sure what you believe is that mysterious scant quarter inch seam, is actually correct! By the way, if that mysterious scant 1/4″ alludes you, try our seam gauge and seam guides they will help you correctly position your needle for the perfect seams!
The Right Color
For my favorite piecing thread, I prefer piecing with a linen or very light grey color. Sometimes during the machine quilting process, high loft batting can pull at the seams of a unit and expose a hint of the piecing thread. This is especially true in quilts that have had their seams pressed open. I want a color that disappears on both light and dark colors. This is another reason to go for a skinny cotton thread, too!
Cotton thread can be pricey and I go through a LOT of it! So, while I might get a small cone to try out a thread or for a special color application, what I want when I piece is a big ol’ cone of it so I can zoom through my blocks without having to stop down so much. Many domestic sewing machines don’t have a way to run anything except spools of thread. But you can use a thread stand or even a super simple thread stem tool to make running large cones of thread a snap!
Get to the point, Angela, what is your favorite piecing thread?
Okay! Let’s do this… but wait! There are two I swoon over. Don’t make me pick! What are those two?
Cairo-Quilt which is made by the same folks who make my beloved Glide thread I love to use for machine quilting. And right behind it?
Soft Touch by YLI which is a 60wt 100% cotton. My Pfaff Creative Icon loves it too!
The runner up would be… Konfetti made by Wonderfil! It is a 50wt and so lovely to use.
If you are like me you’ll want a BIG cone that lasts and lasts and lasts and is a GREAT value, too! If you are trying to find your fav, grab a small cone of each kind and try it. I’d love to know what you think!