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!