Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Word About Thread

I am Cathy Keevill, and I am a thread-aholic. I love thread. At last count I had over 1000 spools in my studio. Every color under the sun, and many, many kinds.
The most important thing to know about thread is how thread weight works. The large the number, the finer the thread. A 12-weight thread is thick and heavy. A 100-weight thread is very, very fine.

Now, I admit to being partial, but I love Wonderfil threads. They are by far my favorite. With only one exception, I piece exclusively with Konfetti. It is a double-gassed 50-weight cotton thread. Double gassed means it has been passed through a flame (very quickly) twice to burn off those pesky little hairs and fluffs that end up trapped in your bobbin case. I have never found a knot or a slub and I have used literally hundreds of miles of the stuff. I use it for piecing and I love it on the long arm. I leaves almost no lint behind and it runs clean and smooth.

Jan Krentz: Quick Star Quilts

The only time I use anything other than Konfetti for piecing is when working on projects that have many seams coming together at once. For this I use Wonderfil’s Decobob. It is an 80 weight-polyester. My quick star project is an example. I made my own version of the cover quilt on Jan Krentz’s Quick Star Quilts. This quilt has 16 seams coming together in the center. That means 32 threads! Gather up 32 threads of your usual type and see what kind of bulk that is. It is huge. So, I choose to use Decobob or Invisifil, which are much finer and reduced the bulk considerably. I cannot believe the difference it made. The center of this quilt lays virtually flat. Impressive!

Before I talk about the quilting of a project, let me say that I don’t make heirloom quilts. I don’t expect my quilts to last for all eternity. I want them to be loved, and used up so I can replace them. So, I don’t worry much about that old adage that "anything but cotton will cut through your fabrics and destroy your quilt." I have quilts here that were quilted ten years ago with no signs of wear and that’s good enough for me.

So for quilting, I will use anything that will run well on my long arm machine. I love Konfetti, Tutti, Fruity, Decobob and Invisifil. Invisifil is a 100 weight polyester. In my studio, it has replaced monofilament threads completely. It is wonderful for stitch in the ditch as is disappears completely into the seams and is hard to detect even when you miss by a bit. It is great for add shadows when quilting. I love to use a color that matches my background fabrics as it adds depth without making it look too busy. I choose patterns that enhance the blocks and the Invisifil add shadows without adding busy-ness. Invisifil runs much easier than monfilaments and does not deteriorate in sunlight as many of them do. It also withstands the heat of the dryer better.

I also find that the cost of Wonderfil threads suits my budget quite nicely. But don't take my word for it, try them for yourself!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite piecing thread and why?


  1. I wish we had half the choice of threads here in the UK!!
    I tend to use Gutermann for piecing - and I'm quilting with a Madeira thread just because it's the perfect colour!1

  2. Keep your eyes open Gill. The Wonderfil threads are worth the effort! Especially the Decobob and Invisifil if you do a lot of stitch in the ditch. I do sell them on my website, but I expect that international shipping might be scary.

    Thanks for stopping by again. I'm enjoying getting to know you.

    Thanks Cathy

  3. I like Gutterman thread because it easy to find and a reasonable price, and I've never had any problems quilting with it. ( far, I'm still pretty new.) :)

  4. I always find myself going to Mettler. It doesn't fuzz up my machine and it is stronger than some.

  5. I have bought thread from connecting threads and like it. I also have used guterman and liked that for piecing.

  6. I have just begun using the Wonderfil line and I could not agree more.........they are fabulous! The Invisifil is incredible for hand applique...your stitches disappear.


Sadly, ad bots have snagged onto my blog. This means you have fight your way through the silly and frustrating word verification process. Please persevere. I do value your feedback.