Thank you for your thread responses. I’ll post another question probably Tuesday. Like so many, Aurifil 50 wt. cotton is my preference. When living in Missouri, with the MQS show in Kansas City, Superior Threads was always there and I would stock up on MasterPiece while there because he sold it at wholesale prices to longarmers and there was no shipping . . I was there to see the colors and pick it up.
While I’m not one to say “my way is best”, I would never ever use or recommend poly thread for piecing . . not on top and not in the bobbin. If you’ve been using it with good results, and you’re comfortable doing it, I’m certainly not saying you should stop. I’m just saying . . I wouldn’t do it. When I was quilting for others, before I was ever finished loading a top, I knew right off the bat if the top maker had used poly threads. Anywhere you cut across a long line of stitching . . says you cut two 2-1/2″ strips, sew them together and then cut across them to make four patches . . those seams are not going to hold nearly as long as they would with cotton thread.
For years and years, we heard that poly threads would break cotton fibers and we were discouraged from using poly thread. Then some of the thread companies came out with various weights of poly thread and pushed them and all of a sudden, poly thread was the perfect thread. I don’t buy it. I use zero poly thread when piecing and very little of it when quilting.
All my piecing is done on Singer 301 machines from the 50’s. They will sew wish anything I put in them — cotton, poly, fishing line . . you name it and they do just fine with it. I guess I’m a bit persnickety in my old age but a sewing machine that doesn’t like certain threads is not a sewing machine I’m keeping. That’s why an almost never used 2 year old sewing machine got donated to the Joplin tornado relief.
If I were doing machine embroidery, yes . . I would love the poly threads and all the shiny stuff but for piecing, give me a good quality, thin, strong 100% cotton thread. The thicker the thread, the more issues you’re going to have when sewing together seams where many points come together. Someone once recommended Star cotton thread and I bought some. That is some thick thread! Lay 16 strands of that down side by side. That’s how many threads you have coming together when four pieces meet four more pieces to sew together a block.
I didn’t realize how much Star cotton I have til I dug out the box. I need to find something I can use this for!
I fully understand that cost can be a factor but folks, those cones of thread last for months and months and months. If you’re happy with your thread and the results you’re getting, don’t change a thing but if you are thinking there might be something better out there, please give Aurifil 50 wt. cotton a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
This drawer contains mostly Aurifil in weird colors but it’s great for machine finishing bindings where I need the thread to match the fabric.
As with too many other things in my life, there’s an excess of thread around here so I doubt I’ll ever need to buy thread again as long as I live. In my defense, and we know I need a very good defense when it comes to “stuff”, when I quilted for others, I needed lots of thread.
The top few rows on the above photo contain Masterpiece. The rest is Signature 100% cotton which I use a lot for machine quilting.
The top 6 or 7 rows contain Superior’s Bottom Line . . which I do not like at all! The rest, except for the very bottom few rows which contain miscellaneous threads, is Superior So Fine, which I also don’t like much . . mainly because it’s poly and it looks and feels like poly.
This rack is entirely variegated, which is kinda weird because I’ve probably never even used a full cone of variegated in my entire quilting life but it sure must’ve been fun to buy it.
And this rack will have you wondering about my sanity. It’s Maxi-Lock . . which I LOVE for longarm quilting. It doesn’t look like poly, it doesn’t feel like poly. It never ever gives me any trouble and I LOVE the way it looks on the quilt.
Chances are . . I have enough thread to finish up all the fabric I have here but chances are, I’m not going to live to be 200 years old and that’s how long it will take for me to get everything used up.
I walked in to the Superior thread booth 2x this w/e at the Cincinnati International Quilt show and although I PETTED the threads…. I did not buy. I have almost as much as you do. you have me beat though!
Sharon Eshlaman says
Thanks for the chance to speak about our thread choices. Results told me I was probably right on as most did prefer aurifil. I always stock up when I go to Shipshewana Indiana shopping.
You could use the star thread for quilting, but I see you have lots of quilting thread too. LOL I’m in the process of using up threads. We shall see how I do. I don’t have as much as you, but I don’t quilt as much as you either.
I collect and send fabric and supplies to a ministry in Mexico – where they teach people (mostly women and girls) how to sew so they can support themselves and their families….though there are also local ministries/projects that can benefit from our unloved thread….Thread, zippers, outdated fabric are all great for those learning to sew….Our unloved things can have new life!
Denise ~ Justquiltin says
You mean it’s okay to take my Maxi lock out of hiding? LOL I use it for machine quilting on my sewing machine too. I started using it back when I had a serger and had lots of the cones on hand and the only color I had to match what I was quilting on was Maxi lock. I also use the Star Cotton for machine quilting if it’s just nothing fancy quilting.
Betty Evans says
I used up most of my Star making Heartstring Blocks…flip and stitch on muslin so there was no worry about bulk in the seams.
Brandy M. says
I bought a TON of 50wt Aurifil, but my Janome 6500 was having fits with it (except when I used it in the bobbin). Heck, it was having fits with almost ANY thread (IE: it needs a tune-up, I’m sure!). I went to a retreat about 5 weeks ago, and on the 2nd day, I had a hissy fit and went out and bought a new sewing machine!!! Hmmmm, go figure – the new machine loves my Aurifil! It was strange, though, because the old Janome loved the Star thread. Seriously?!!!? It’s still $10 per roll, so not necessarily “cheap,” but it does lint all over everything. I sure love all of the colors we can get with the 50wt Aurifil, and am glad I can finally start using it again!
Dana Pellerin says
Please keep up with your stories. I love to read about your life. You are so witty and interesting. I made my husband read it today about the tomatoes and the garden stories.He wants to read more LOL I told him to just check in,there is always something good there. You now have 2 new fans..
Marilyn Smith says
Judy, what didn’t you like about Masterpiece. I use both of them, Masterpiece and Aurifil. Still have questions about Bottom Line and So Fine on the longarm…really liking this Glide thread. It is rather shiny but my Millie loved it. First prewound bobbins I ever tried and no problems.. Also looking at a heavier thread to try.
You made me laugh again. If you decide you want to get rid of the Star, I’d use it on the American Hero Quilts I constantly make. I’m like you. I don’t want a machine that’s picky about thread, but I also don’t like polyester for quilting or for piecing. When I had a business, I figured cotton fabric, cotton batting, then cotton thread. I’ve never been sorry about that decision. I did use Superior metallics because I think they are the best metallic out there and sometimes something just needs a metallic. Usually a Christmas quilt. =) And, finally, I’m jealous of your scads of Aurifil! =)
WHOA, Judy, that’s a LOT of thread!!! But then, I don’t longarm. When I switched to Aurifil, I started using the ‘crappy’ thread whenever I’m working on donation quilts. That way it gets used up and I’ll never know how the quilts wore after time passes. Win-win!
You crack me up! “But it sure must’ve been fun too buy it.”
Sara in AL says
So when we first got the longarm, I was told that you couldn’t use the Maxi-Lock thread on it. Something about the staple not being long enough and the thread would shred. So I invested in some King Tut (love the colors) and some Masterpiece. I had so many tension problems, I thought that I would never get the machine to sew right. I was ready to sell the machine, took all the fun out of finishing our quilts. I read Linda Stellar’s blog too, and she liked the Glide thread, so I bought some along with their bobbins. A tweak or two, and no more problems. I know that this isn’t where you wanted to discuss LA threads, but since you brought it up, tell me about using Maxi-Lock, please? Will the Quilt Police come and arrest me if I do?? LOL If they do will you bail me out?LOL I’d return the favor! Incidently, we have an APQS Liberty.
I’ve always used a lot of Permacore on the longarm but I would buy it from Kings Men along with my batting. Now that they are no longer in business I think I’ll give the MaxiLock a try. I think I can buy that at Joann’s
sheila sanderson says
Judy, Thought I had lots of thread the problem is I like colour and keep buying them but you beat me hands down with your collection…they look great
I was surprised to see you use Maxi-Loc thread on your longarm. I do to, although I only quilt for myself. I do not use it for piecing, but have had no problems on the long arm. Of course I also use it for my serger, so have a god supply. Have to say the only thread I have ever had trouble with in my regular sewing machine is Floriani, so avoid it at all costs.