With the 2017 Row by Row Experience rows about to be available for purchase or collection, I thought this year I would try some fancy topstitching on my rows. My knowledge of thread types and their uses is very basic. Although at times I would like to try something new, I find myself falling back on what I know. So, I think it’s time for a little thread-u-cation.
I enjoy applique’ and piecing. My pieced rows are sewn together and the appliques are always topstitched with ‘thread’ in a zig zag or a satin stitch. There is nothing wrong with this and, of course, both piecing and appliques have to be attached in the usual way. However, I want to thread paint, add embellishments, and maybe just give my rows a little ‘kick’, a little ‘flare’, maybe just some ‘sparkle’!
Threads come in different weights and different materials. Here’s what I’ve learned from my research:
*The higher the weight number of thread, the thinner it is. For instance, a 40 wt is heavier than a 50 wt.
*40 wt thread is the most popular. 30 wt thread is more visible and a 50 wt thread will blend into your fabric.
*Thread painting or embellishing with a 40 wt thread is the most popular. It has a medium thickness, blends well, and stands out.
*Fiber types are cotton, metallics, and polyester. There are other types of threads – silk, wool, etc., – but cotton, metallics, and polyester are mostly used in thread painting and embellishing.
*Cotton has very little give and is better for delicate fabrics; polyester is an all-purpose thread. It has some give to it and slips through your fabric easily. Metallics are good for machine embroidery and give your stitches flair.
*Fabric choice will influence the thread weight you use.
Questions I need to answer as I face my completed row and decide where I want to enhance it are:
*Do I want my thread blend or stand out?
*Should I use a matte finish or would I like my stitches to shine?
I know my fabric is cotton so from what I’ve learned cotton thread, polyester, and metallics will work.
I usually use an all purpose needle but I’m going to check out a topstitch needle. In my immediate future is making several small quilt sandwiches and play, test, try again, practice, practice, and practice some more.
I hope you have fun with your 2017 On The Go rows. And whether you try some embellishing, I know your finished rows will be great!