Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Decorative Threads!

 This is my box of decorative threads.  Look inviting?

I have a decorative thread obsession.  If I see a rack of glittery thread, I have to have at least one.  And variegated thread always catches my eye!

What do I use it for? 

  • I always quilt with variegated thread, the range of colors adds just enough contrast to make it interesting and matches enough to hide my mistakes!
crazy quilt
  • Glittery, regular weight thread (50 or 60 weight, which is similar to the 50 weight cotton thread I normally use) is perfect for decorative stitching.  That is, all those pretty stitches on my sewing machine that I usually don’t use.  I may accent a crazy quilt block with it or simply stitch rows on 
Braiding Foot 

  • Heavier weight or nubby thread is perfect for couching.  I’ll take one to 5 strands and use a stitched-out zig-zag or other wide stitch to hold it down.  There’s a special foot for your sewing machine that will hold the strands in place (on Bernina it's the #22 Cording Foot).  I also like to use the Braiding Foot #21 (multiple strands) and the Bulky Overlock Foot #12 for really thick threads or yarns.

  • Shiny, foil-like threads are prefect for just a straight stitch edging or buttonhole stitch trim on Christmas stocking cuffs, holiday napkins, or even sewn on felt for ornaments!

Whichever decorative thread you decide to use, there are a few tips to make it easier.  Some threads, especially the metallic ones, are not as strong and tend to break or shred.  Try using a Metafil embroidery needle (it’s sharp and has a special coating in the eye to help prevent shredding).  Stitch slowly and make sure the stitch you use is fairly simple, without too much “back and forth”.

If all else fails with a thread I love, I “give up”.  No!  Never say die.  I simply find a different way to use it – couch it down with a cotton or rayon thread or make a pretty tassel for trim!

And after all, all those threads do look pretty in my box!

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