Tuesday, 12 March 2013

FMQ Threads

We talked about needles for machine quilting last week!

Today we are going to talk about threads.

Thread is a really important part of the machine quilting process. The machine is going to put the thread through 3 layers of fabric and moving the quilt around to free motion quilt is going to put the thread under strain.

Getting the right thread is really important. It needs to be strong, but not to thick so as to drag through the machine. The usual suspects such as Gutermann are going to snag and snap really quickly so they are not suitable for machine quilting.

Lots of my early attempts into FMQ resulted in tears because I didn't change my thread!

I have found that 2 options that I love to use. First there is the 100% cotton thread, Aurifil.

Aurifil is a wonderful 100% cotton thread that can be used for sewing, applique, hand sewing and machine quilting. It comes in 3 weights. I like using the 50 wt as it moves through the layers really smoothly and I love the effect quilting with this thread has on my quilts.

The big bonus is that the thread some in a gazillion colours! I mean loads and loads! I would love a huge Aurifil truck to turn up at my house and deliver all of the colours...

The only slight down side is the lint that builds up in the sewing machine bobbin section because it is 100% cotton. You just need to remember to collect the lint out of the machine periodically.

The best place I have found to buy the threads is Quilt Direct. They have a huge range of shades and shade cards too. Combine that with fast delivery and you onto a winner. M is for Make and The Village Haberdashery also stock a few colours too.

The other thread I love using is So Fine by Superior Threads. This is a polyester thread, but is a strong polyester thread.

It has a lovely feel and quilts differently from the Aurifil above. The thread sinks into the quilt less so has a different effect on the quilt.

This thread only leaves a little lint the machine and moves through the layers in a fabulous way. I have really enjoyed using the threads on a few quilts in the last 6 months.

The best place to buy it is at Barnyarns, who have a lovely range of shades and are fast with delivery.

With both threads make sure you practice on a scrap quilt first. Check your tension on the machine before you start quilting your beautiful quilt!

See you next week for a chat about machine feet!


  1. I'm just starting to experiment with FMQ so this is great advice. Thanks.

  2. Really interesting post, I've just FMQ'd a quilt using gutermann and not had any problems with snagging or snapping. But it was a vintage sheet quilt so maybe the polycotton content makes a difference.