Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Shiny Happy Threads

I used to not care about threads. I figured black, white, and a tan were all I needed. I bought Gutermann 100% Polyester from Jo-Ann. When I went to Quilt Festival back in April, I was baffled at the people crowding the Aurifil booth, drooling over their threads.

That was then.

... And this is now. I've built up quite a collection of threads between 3 brands (Aurifil, Isacord, and Superior Threads). I use them for different purposes, though, and like them in different ways.

Isacord #40 Weight Embroidery Thread

I flocked to Isacord at the suggestion of Leah Day after I found my Gutermann thread shredding and breaking like crazy during free-motion quilting. I liked how strong Isacord is, it hardly ever breaks. However, I discovered quickly that Isacord has its drawbacks. It is extremely shiny ... which is a good thing when I want to showcase the quilting, but usually I prefer the quilting to add texture, and not steal the show. Also, it's *extremely* slippery, so I basically have to tie off my thread tails and bury them instead of the easier ways to start and stop, and I hate burying tails. It's very hard to wind onto a bobbin properly, due to its slipperiness. On My Handi Quilter winder, I finally figured out that I needed to wind the thread around the tension disk *3* times in order for it to not fly out of the tension disk during winding.

Superior Threads #50 Weight So Fine

I tried So Fine after Angela Walters recommended it. It's a very nice thread, thin, strong, and not shiny or slippery, so it's easy to work with. It's the thread I use the most currently for machine quilting. While it looks great on my quilts, my favorite thing about So Fine is that I can buy prewound bobbins. I'm just so lazy about winding bobbins, and I go through bobbins so quickly, that being able to buy that is very convenient. Of course prewound bobbins only come in a very limited selection of colors. When I wind my own bobbin for my Handi Quilter, I need to wind the thread around the tension disk *2* times for it to wind well. I only have So Fine in a few neutral colors, though, as for color, I was lured by ... Aurifil.

Aurifil #50 Weight Mako Cotton

The folks at Aurifil know how to do marketing, I'll give them that. It seems to be a universal favorite for most quilters, although not without good reasons. Personally, I like Aurifil a lot, and I've certainly invested the most amount of money in them. The colors are just so gorgeous, and I love that I can buy all these thread collections. I also like that the normal sized spools are almost 1500 yards. Aurifil is really easy to wind on my Handi Quilter winder, I only need to wrap it around the tension disk once. Most importantly, for some reason, I just like the look of Aurifil on my quilts the most, more than So Fine or Isacord. My only beef with Aurifil is that it lints more and is just a tad more prone to breakage than my polyester threads. (Of course, it's cotton.)

Next year when I go to Quilt Festival, I'll be joining those people drooling over Aurifil at their booth.

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