A Quilty Kind of Girl

March 16, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday – What is YOUR thread weight?

After spending some time stitching on another machine, I quickly realized that something was different. I took a close look at the thread, which seemed really large. I inspected the thread cone and found the thread was a 35 weight. I normally use a 50 wt thread for piecing, so I was interested to see how the different thread weights would affect my piecing.

I chose one brand, Aurifil, in four different thread weights. I stitched out an identical sample in all four. I used the same fabrics for every sample, and used 50 wt thread in the bobbin. The following pictures document the results of my experiment in thread.( Click on the images to see a larger picture.)

Four samples of Aurifil Thread.

Here are four samples of Aurifil thread. Starting on the left is 50 wt, 40 wt, 28 wt, finishing with 12 wt on the right.

Four cones of Aurifil thread in various weights.

These are four cones of Aurifil thread, same color, different weight.

Sample of 50 wt thread.

The seam allowance of the 50 wt thread measures exactly a quarter inch.

The 50 wt thread sample after pressing.

Perfect! the 50wt thread has delivered exactly the result I want, a size of 3.5 inches.

Sample of 40 wt thread.

The seam allowance of the 40 wt thread measures exactly a quarter inch.

The 40 wt thread sample after pressing.

Hmmmmm. Looks like the 40 wt sample has come up a hair short of 3.5 inches.

Sample of 28 wt thread.

The seam allowance of the 28 wt thread measures exactly a quarter inch.

The 28 wt thread sample after pressing.

The thicker 28 wt thread has finished quite a bit short.


The 12 wt thread sample after pressing.

The thickest thread, 12 wt, has come up the shortest. Almost 1/8 of an inch! It would only take 8 patches for the quilt to finish a FULL inch short.

Sample of 12 wt thread.

The seam allowance of the 12 wt thread measures exactly a quarter inch.

Isn’t it interesting to see how the thread affects the piecing? When I first began sewing and quilting, I would buy my thread from the bargain bin. The cheaper, the better! Looking back now, I laugh at myself, who was willing to spend $16 for a meter of fabric, but only 99 cents for a spool of cheapo thread. I did not learn anything about the weight of thread until I worked in a quilt shop. As I replenished the shelves with tiny little spools, I had plenty of opportunity to examine each and every weight of thread.

Here are some tips for using threads according to their weights:
50 wt – ideal for piecing. Also good to use in the bobbin when quilting with a heavier top thread.
40 wt – beautiful for quilting or top stitching.
28 wt – for quilting when you really want the stitching to show. Also ideal for hand quilting.
12 wt – perfect for hand quilting, applique and top stitching on garments.

Anytime you use a thread heavier than 40 wt on your domestic machine, it is wise to switch to a size 16 top stitching needle. The larger eye on the needle will allow the bulk of the thread to travel without fraying.

Do you have any experiences to share about thread weight? Comment below to share your experience!

Quilty Hugs,

March 10, 2010

Storing Works In Progress

Filed under: QuiltersDaily Blog Along,Quilting — quiltcetera @ 9:51 pm
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Today’s question on Quilter’s Daily was How do you store your Works In Progress?
Here’s a few pics of mine….

Storage bins for WIP

I choose to use shoe box containers with lids for my WIP. I have a bad habit of cramming other 'stuff' into bins, so a lid is good for keeping out the riff raff!

The bird cage where I keep soon to be used precuts.

In an attempt to protect my precuts from unneccessary abuse, I keep them in a pretty little bird cage where they get to be the showcase.... until I chop them all up!

These are my bins for storing fabric.

These wire bins are for my yardage, all arranged by collection and project.

This is a side view of the wire bins.

This bin is full of 'next on my list' projects. Notice the French General Rouenneries right at the front?

QuiltersDaily Blog-Along

QuiltersDaily Blog-Along

How do you like to store your WIP? Come visit Quilters Daily to share your ideas, and see what other quilters are doing!

Quilty Hugs,

March 8, 2010

Shopping for quilt fabric

I’ve noticed that any time I get near a quilt shop, there is this burning, aching sensation to spend as much money as I possibly can on quilt fabric. I like to stroll around and look at everything once before I make any decision or commitment. Check out what’s new, browse over the sales, look at all the artsy stuff (until I remind myself “Girl, come on. You don’t have a clue.”) and leaf through the books and magazines.  There is always something that draws me back. For the most part, it is usually an entire line of quilting fabric.

I absolutely love quilt fabric collections. L-O-V-E. I will look at them, pet them, count how many bolts are in them. Then I will wander around for a minute or two while I quickly calculate just how much a meter of each is going to cost. Sometimes I get so startled by the total, I just walk out the door. I find it’s easier to be reasonable from a distance. This also gives me the opportunity to save up if I really, really have to have it. Plus it gives me the chance to sleep on it, which is usually when I dream up the idea of how to use said fabric.

I rarely splurge on random pieces fabric since I quit working at the Quilt Shop. I like collections because they work together. They support one another, they were designed to be used together. It’s like a predetermined success story with the happiest of endings. I will however,  go a huntin’ if I have a UFO in need of something special. Or, fingers crossed, if I didn’t buy enough yardage in the first place!

QuiltersDaily Blog-Along

QuiltersDaily Blog-Along

This makes me curious how other quilters like to shop. Are you a quilt kit buyer? Or do you like to build your stash? Do you walk into the shop, pattern in hand, ready to  select fabrics for your next project? I think one of my favorites, is a woman I worked with at the shop. She personified the phrase “Will work for fabric” and would generally take home hundreds of yards each week. I would love to visit her home, she says she literally has her own fabric store! Make sure you visit Quilters Daily to read other bloggers stories about fabric shopping.

Speaking of shopping, I was browsing online shops the other day. I’ve got this on my wish list, and I’m just waiting for the yardage to arrive. Just a few clicks, and it’s mine, mine, mine! Have you had a chance to peek at my Amy Butler charm kits on etsy? 40 five inch sqaures with batting, all ready to become a reversible charm pack purse.

Just a reminder that tomorrow is Tutorial Tuesday so be sure to subscribe (at the top of the page, on the right hand side). You don’t want to miss it do you?

Quilty Hugs,


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