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TOPIC: Cotton or Polyester Thread for Piecing?

Thread 15 Dec 2009 05:52 #41158

Vonna, I use Aurifil also, I also use it for FMQ.

Zimmy in Indiana
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03 Nov 2009 20:18 #40301

  • Mailmanldy
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I used to buy thread to match the fabric when I first started quilting. But I always had thread left over, and never used it, because I usually didn't make another quilt in that color again.

Now I use light grey, dark grey and black... and I will probably phase out the black when I run out of black thread. I use the black on fabric that has a black background, but have used the dark grey and still couldn't see my stitches, when I was too lazy to change the thread. I use the Superior Masterpiece thread for all my piecing.

Diane in Colorado Springs
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03 Nov 2009 19:38 #40299

  • Lorna1021
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I understand the light grey and dark grey. Which do you use when you are piecing a white fabric with a dark fabric?
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03 Nov 2009 01:15 #40272

I recently started using Superior's Masterpiece thread for piecing and it is my favorite EVER. No lint and fuzz in the machine, and it's so fine that I can load a lot of thread on a bobbin--less time bobbin-winding.
Last Edit: by KathiD.
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05 Oct 2009 11:46 #39021

I use polyester thread all the time when I am embellishing and quilting, but I stick with long, staple Egyptian cotton when I piece because it leaves a lot less junk in my machine. Rembember that once you sew your seam, press the seam you just sewed. It seems to set the thread just right. Then you can open it up and press to the "dark side". I only use 2 colors when I piece---light grey and dark grey. The only exception is if I am sewing on all white fabrics. It is amazing how just those two colors go with anything! If I am piecing light materials I use the light grey and with dark materials I use the dark grey. You never, ever see the difference in the colors you are piecing once it is pressed. The best part is that I don't have to keep changing the thread every time I use a new fabric color. Try it. You will be amazed. (By the way, I am called The Thread Lady because of my expertise in that area.) I have at least 10 boxes of thread, but only one of those boxes is cotton. Remember to keep your cotton thread out of the light or it will get old and brittle. Never store your thread on those thread racks. Put them in closed cases and keep them away from the light.
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22 Jun 2009 14:03 #36156

  • EditorAnne
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Katzzz wrote:
I was once told that the polyester tears quilts over a period of time when washed, and if you sew to tiny of stitches by machine the same will happen over a period of time.
I've also heard this was a myth on polyester thread because back in the day cotton thread was the only resource to be used.

Katzzz, it's not a myth. It happened to me.

The first quilt I made (in the early 1990s) was a lap quilt that I put through the washer and dryer a lot. (I was a newbie--what did I know about washing quilts?) After about ten years the polyester thread sawed through many of the seams, and the patches fell off.

Now I use Aurifil 50-weight thread for piecing. It's nice and strong, and leaves very little lint in my sewing machine.

If I have to replace something in a few years, I'd sooner it was the thread than the fabric! It's never happened to me, though, since I switched from poly to cotton.

Anne in Vancouver, Canada

in Vancouver, Canada
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21 Jun 2009 21:56 #36148

one thing to note is that different irons have dramatically different top temps. I recently melted all the threads in the piece I was working on when I bought a new iron.
When I looked at the specs of the iron the new one has almost double the wattage of the old one.

Last Edit: by ruth76.
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DMC Embroidery 10 Jun 2009 11:59 #35920

  • Vonna
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JudyMC, thanks for the DMC embroidery tip. I wouldn't have thought to use and embroidery for piecing. I have lint problems and will give that a try.

I use Aurifil 50 wt and like it, sews great, but seems a little fine for piecing, but have had not problem thus far.

Vonna in Texas
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23 Aug 2008 20:18 #24758

Have any of you ever melted quality polyester?

I melted some Bottom Line on the last quilt I made... luckily it was early-on, easy enough to go back & re-piece, but then I stuck blue painter's tape on the heat setting for my iron so I wouldn't make that mistake again! I do tend to use the iron on it's hottest setting, so I have to be very conscious about this. Am using bottom line on much of my BOM too, (dear God please don't let me goof this one up!)

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23 Aug 2008 19:00 #24755

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Yes, I have. My son ironed a linen shirt and had turned up the temperature on the iron. I had not noticed and had a beautifully pressed block that fell apart when I picked it up.

The only thing that stops me using a thread is when it produces a lot of lint in my machine, and/or when it won't break at all, no matter how hard you pull.

If I haven't used a type of thread before, I try it out on a small project.

From the edge of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood
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22 Aug 2008 21:05 #24714

  • Sewdreamy
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I've never had polyester melt and I use a pretty hot iron. It is possible, however, to overpress fabrics too. I think the key is to use a good quality thread 50 to 60 weight, regardless of what it is. Have any of you ever melted quality polyester?

"Neglect not the gift that is within you..." -1 Timothy 4:14
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22 Aug 2008 00:53 #24673

I was in a precision piecing class today with Sally Collins--wonderful class!!! She uses DMC machine embroidery 50 wt. 2-ply thread for machine piecing. She said it doesn't have as much lint that gets trapped in the bobbin and throat plate. I've been using the Polyester and cotton Mettler threads and they are just awful for lint!!! I never had that much lint when I was using plain old Coat's & Clark's thread.
Last Edit: by Judymc.
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16 Aug 2008 15:26 #24262

I attended one of Bob's (superior threads) classes at a Mancuso show in Manchester, NH a couple of years ago. What a hoot he is. I learned so much from him. If any of you get a chance to see him in action, go for it, you'll be happy you did.
Last Edit: by tantequilts.
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16 Aug 2008 08:07 #24232

On the last TQS show, Bob (The Thread Guy) mentioned that there is a chart on the Superior Threads web site that can guide you to the right thread to use. (I have only started learning about threads in the past year and am absolutely in LOVE with them now!) He mentioned (just as someone previously said in this chain) that your iron on the hottest setting with melt poly thread.... and my memory is too short for me to remember to change the iron setting - so cotton is the safe bet for me! I have been using Aurifil 50 wt cotton (they have a nice selection of tans and ivorys) that I use for piecing. One other thing to mention - I remember on a past show that Bob does thread classes at some of the bigger quiltling shows/seminar for education. I am hoping to have the opportunity to attend one of those, as I am hopeful that I can learn more about threads and things to consider. Mary Kay
Last Edit: by mknavy90.
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