I survived the barn raising, however not without consequences. Can you say exhausted?!? Talk about social stress! I think Jennifer thinks I'm a social control freak! lol I do take my perfectionism seriously! lol Once I get everything organized, I'll blog about the event.
In the meantime, I thought I would take the time to clarify my position on threads. It would appear that some fellow citizens of Blog Land are inquiring about my thread preference and what I base it on. Some have expressed concern for my unfavourable results with Essential thread.
First and foremost, it is my opinion that the choice of one's thread is a personal matter. As I have mentioned in a previous blog entry, it's what YOU are comfortable with. When I talk about the result of a thread, it is based on the machine I use, my personal preference, what I like and look for.
Here is what I look for in a thread for quilting:
- Smooth finish
- 100% natural fibers
- How it performs in my machine
- Availability of colours
- Thread weight - for piecing & machine quilting my preference is for 50 weight
- Price vs quality
For the longest time I used Coats & Clark to piece. At that time, it seemed that it was the only thread available and reasonably priced. Let's face it, Joann's often has 50% off sales and what better time to stock up! The results were acceptable. Of course, you have to understand that I didn't have anything to compare it too!
Once I became more comfortable with quilting, it dawned on me that despite my efforts to maintain the "natural fibers" content in my quilts, here I was using a poly/cotton blend. That's when I made the jump to test various cotton threads. Sometimes, when you don't step outside of the box, you never learn much. Out I went! ;o)
Each machine is different and will in turn handle various threads differently. For machine quilting, my Bernina 1090 just loves Mettler silk finish. I don't have to fiddle with the tension. I load it on and it's smooth quilting! Rarely do I have to fiddle to get the tension right!
Now, I have not used this thread for piecing and therefore cannot offer an opinion. I really don't know why. I think that it's clear in my mind that it's a machine quilting thread for me. However, I do know some quilters who use it and are pleased with the results. Again, it will vary with your machine.
My Bernina 1090 does not take as kindly to Coast & Clark 100% cotton thread for machine quilting. What I mean is that I require adjustments prior to getting on with my task. I can spend over 10 minutes fiddling with the tension in order to get it just right.
I have used this thread for piecing and found that it performed similarly to the Coats & Clark poly/cotton blend. The advantage was the fact that it's 100% cotton. At the time, Connecting Thread offered this brand, which was where the bulk of my purchases were made. It is only recently has Joann's offered a selection of colours, which are also part of their thread sale.
As for Essential Thread, yes it is not my preference for piecing. I do not find it to be a smooth finished thread. It's fuzzy!
Bernina 180E does not like it at all. As a matter of fact the "check upper thread" warning on my screen comes on more than I would like it too! For me, the upper thread breaks often. I did give a spool to a couple of people in the hopes that they will offer another opinion on this thread. Once my Pine Grove quilt is finished, I will no longer be using it. I have not tested it for machine quilting.
As pictured, I have a variegated spool that I did plan to machine quilt with it, however given my frustration, I may just pass my last spool to someone who may enjoy it more than I.
I will say that the price is certainly right, which is what attracted me at first. At $1.99 a spool with a variety of colours available, I was intrigued!
Ah Master Piece! My all time favourite at the moment. I'm in love! ;o) It performs exceptionally well on both my Berninas. I like the way the stitches bury themselves in the fabric. It is smooth and despite the fact that it's 50wt, it doesn't appear to be as thick as the other threads, which suggest that it is tightly woven.
It does come in a variety of colours, but not as many as Mettler. The price is not cheap. Superior Threads, who offer this line and many more, will have specials during quilt shows. That's when I stock up!
Please take the time to test the thread, you'll be amazed at YOUR results.
Gosh, this is a long entry. I hope I have clarified some questions. Please feel free to offer an opinion.
Thanks for stopping by!