to my readers

This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thread Wars

I was finally able to get away from using my old C & C thread. Someone gifted me some Aurifil thread for Christmas. I will tell you that I know not everyone enjoys this thread...but it was a HUGE improvement over C & C. (and a word about C &C--I have used it for years. I wish it were better quality. I really do. After all, they allowed the crew of Couragious to use their factory. I do think that I will continue to use them at least for my cheap basting thread for Ahhhh's. But about lint...that cannot happen anymore. I won't do that to my machine.)
This stuff--out the door.

For applique, all I have in the way of thread is what is left over from when I had an embroidery machine. And I'll tell you there is alot of that thread! But it really is only suitable for machine applique...not for hand. In fact, I've been tossing the idea in my head about selling it on ebay. Not sure yet. I know I won't get what it's worth, but I sure could use the jump start on getting other thread that is more user friendly for me.
This really is the best machine embroidery thread. Love the stuff.  Hate to let it go but it is rarely used now.

So here's where I am at...a thread war going on in my brain.

I like YLI silk for hand applique. I've only used one spool but I do really like it. Those stitches are hidden as people say.  It does fray easily though, and it is slippery stuff. It likes to jump right out of your needle. It does NOT work for whip stitching on EPP. EPP is here to stay for me I think. I just love it. So I cannot decide if it is worth the cost to start investing in some colors for applique.

Aurifil thread--50 weight. After trying this thread in the machine as said above, I do like it much better than C & C. Way way way better. I've also used it for whip stitching and for applique by hand.. It's ok in that category. It does like to get knotted up while working with it by hand--something the YLI didn't do. BUT, as an overall thread, it might be the way to go for me. I can use it for hand whipstitching, machine piecing, hand and machine applique. It would suit all purposes. I could start collecting colors at Red Rock Threads. That is the cheapest place I've found them at. A color or two a month is better than none at all, right? I know there are mini spools offered elsewhere but comparing the price it is certainly more cost effective to go with regular size at Red Rock.
An all around thread that will work for most of my projects.

Then there is Superior. I really really wanted to go with Superior when I started  replacing  C&C. They seem like a really good company. I think Masterpiece would be great for machine and hand piecing, and machine and hand applique. I've never tried it though. The downfall--it costs quite a bit more than Aurifil. It is less expensive at Red Rock than it is at even the Superior website, but like I said, I've yet to try it.

So there you have it. While I would rather buy YLI for hand applique and Masterpiece for my all around machine/hand piecing, machine applique thread--I will probably go with Aurifil 50 due to cost--I'll purchase a spool or two when I can and build up my supply.
(BUT I really want Superior--maybe I SHOULD just go with it--there goes the brain war again!)

Rapid fire comment section--what thread do you use for each of these uses?
1) Machine Piecing
2) Hand piecing or whip stitching for EPP
3) Hand applique
4) Machine applique

We'll address quilting threads another day :)


Wanda Correll said...

I too have used C&C for years but was introduced to YLI Cotton thread this year. I love it! I use the grey (althought it is more of a taupe than grey). I use it for hand applique, EEP & machine work. It lasts quite awhile. Might want to try it.


Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

It was interesting to read your insights on thread. I have used and keep going back to Connecting Threads Essential Cotton Thread for all of my sewing needs. Great price and I do like the quality. Maybe I should give Aurfil another try.

Linda said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post because I often wonder what others are using and why. I haven't found a thread that I love yet, although I do like the Connecting threads. I didn't try the ever popular Aurifil just yet. Just bought my first little spool a week ago. Anywho, here are my answers to rapid fire:
1. Connecting threads (they had a big sale online one day and I bought a bunch of spools)
2. Gutterman, easy to find and it is strong.
3. YLI silk, I love the silky texture and it does hide very well on needle turn appliqué (tip, tie a knot at the needle to secure it from falling out of the eye)
4. Connecting threads or whatever happens to be in the machine lol (although I've only done 1 or 2 projects with machine appliqué. I'm still learning :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I did not like the Aurifil thread at all - nor did all 3 of my machines! I love YLI for hand quilting as well as machine quilting, especially their verigated, just super look. I use Connecting Threads Essential Cotton Thread for all my piecing - 6 cones used last year speaks for it! And their Pro line is wonderful as a top thread when machine quilting. I like Sulky Silk for hand applique (although I don't do a lot of that) as well as I use it for beading. Their verigated sheen is great for hand and machine quilting and thread painting.

Rachel said...

I honestly think the type of thread depends on the person and what they are looking for AND what machine they are sewing on. Both of my machines dislike Aurifil. Neither one is fond of C&C (at all). One likes Gutterman, the other not so much. The best solution (for me and my machines) I have found is the Essentials threads from Connecting threads. Both machines like it and I have yet to have problems with it in any application I have tried. Bonus is it is pretty inexpensive.

krisgray said...

I have tons of threads! My LQS had YLI piecing thread (60/2) and I liked it that so when she had some colors on sale at 50% off I bought more. Also like the Masterpiece just as well - not really any difference to me. I've used a bit of Aurifil and I like it, too but I've only used it in my machines, not for hand work. The YLI and Masterpiece I've used on my EPP and machine piecing - really like them for EPP - noticeably thinner than 50/3.

I use Essential Threads b/c they're cheaper than the others - more colors for less $$. I use it for some EPP and piecing (cream and gray) and for quilting. However, I get lots of lint.

Stopped using Gutermann for hand work - knots, knots, knots!!!

Patty@Granma's said...

Rapid Fire

1) Superior w/Bottom line in the bobbin
2) Do WHAT?
3) Hohoho
4) Superior if I want neutral, Presencia for color match or decorative edge
Bottom Line by Superior in the bobbin, every bobbin, every machine, all the time (Yeah, I like it a Lot!)
(Superior was supposed to be in your box?!???)

Belinda said...

Ok...hanging my head here...I don't pay attention to thread much. I buy the machine quilting type at Walmart and every once in a while the hand quilting type depending on what I'm doing. in my world, I have to purchase what is most easily available to me, at the lowest cost. I have no experience with any other thread, except some really really cheap stuff my mother had. Yikes.

sweetybird09 said...

Interesting, I do not sew but if I ever do, I know who to talk to about thread....Tonya is the thread queen!!!!!

Also you can ask me about yarn and I will help you!

Fiona said...

I use one called Rasant.... for all... I find it nice and smooth and strong... recently with my machine applique when I use button hole I am now using an embroidery thread as it has a bit of gloss....

rubyslipperz said...

---Regular sewing - I've used Guterman in my Bernina sewing machines for 25 years or more. I always buy it at JA...for at least 40% off. I'm "afraid" to try anything else because this thread is so economical.
---machine embroidery (again in the Berninas), I use Isacord.
---Longarm (Innova) Superior's King Tut. I use some of the other
non-cotton ones sometimes. But, King Tut is my favorite.
---In all my machines, I always use the same on top as in the bobbin, except for machine embroidery.

With any of the above threads...I've never had any trouble with tension, stitch or breakage.

...k, that's just my $0.02 worth
(or maybe it'st worth less!)


Wilma NC said...

I have a bunch of Aurifil, and I do like it, so does both my a chines. But then again, they seem to like any thread. I'm lucky I guess. So I started buying Signature thread, you can buy a cone for what a spool of aurifil costs. But I really think it;s personal preference and experiences.

Snoodles said...

For machine piecing I have been using Gutterman for ages...but now I am sold on Superior. I love their Masterpiece, and the Bottom Line, too. Go to my blog and click on the Superior button, and check out the "try me" specials. Prices are good there! Also, sign up for their newsletter and the daily deal - I've seen some nice bargains there, too. :)

elliek said...

Hi Tonya, I use Gutterman thread for piecing and machine applique. Any old thread for basting hexies and then whatever is at hand to whip stitch. I recently learnt needleturn applique and used YLI silk for the first time. I LOVE it as it does hide away and feels like you are sewing with nothing! Must admit it likes to escape from the needle though!

QuiltSue said...

I use Masterpiece for piecing with Bottom Line prewounds in the bobbin. Since I don't/can't do the others I am not one to judge. Sorry, that was not very helpful was it?

What I would say is, go for the best you can afford, but not if it's so expensive that it prevents you from using it!

Mamabill said...

Machine piecing--Aurifil or King Tut (Superior)
Hand piecing and/or applique--Mettler fine embroidery
Machine applique--Madeira or Sulky
I have a spool of Isocord I am going to try for free motion quilting.

Anything to reduce lint, right?

Michelle May said...

I've used Gutterman and Mettler for years. None of my machines liked the C&C. They chewed it up and spit it all out! hee,hee,hee.

Jindi's Cottage said...

Hi Tonya
(a) Signature. Gave up on Gutterman cotton years ago as coarse and uneven and my Pfaff hates it. The old Janome doesn't care she'll sew with fencing wire if you ask her but the Pfaff much more picky.n Mind you my Janome 1600P doesn't seem to like it so now I'm about to embark on the which thread does that machine like to work with adventure.
(b) Auriful - I luuurrve it.
(c) Auriful
(d) I haven't done much but I have a set of polyester colours that were given at a retreat and I have no clue as to what they are but Pfaff doesn't spit them out so they work. If I was buying 100% cotton especially...Auriful.
King Tut by Superior Threads is also a lovely thread - next try in the higher speed machine. YLI silk thread and I do not get along - at all! - but YLI hand quilting cotton (on the wooden spools) is the most awesomely gorgeous hand quilting cotton, love it. I've tried Mettler and it has been put in the Gutterman corner, but I use those up for basting and the such. In fact I'm using a Mettler for back basting applique at the moment because it is thicker and so works better for that preparation.

But you know what, it really is horses for courses...there is so much personal preference involved not to mention how some machines just won't play nice with a particular thread no matter what. I have friends who swear by Rasant (cotton over polyester core)and I have been using that at work and it seems fine but I don't have any at home plus I've still got the 100% cotton thing in my head for patchwork and quilting.

Have fun trying out all your options.

Michelle said...

Have you tried Connecting Threads Essential? I use it for piecing and quilting and everything else.