Re: Thread question

Sarah A. Smith <sarahannsmith@...>

Ceil, as you might guess by my DVD and book titles, I’m all about thread. I think the quality of the Isacord, Madeira and Superior Threads are comparable. I don’t know anywhere to get Robison Anton so haven’t used it. I would stick to a good poly, not rayon. The rayons are not always lightfast (fading! ICK) and don’t take as much wear and tear as the polyester.

I use mostly Superior Threads. Check the price per inch or yard when you are comparing prices. The spools of poly, which have 500 yards, are only $6, so not sure but that seems reasonable price to me. The cones have 3000 YARDS (nearly two MILES of thread) and last for freakin ever—buy the spools unless you do longarm work for hire. I do buy some cones of the Bottom Line, their bobbin thread in my most used colors (medium-dark green, rust, cream, navy, several others) and spools of Bottom Line for the rest. Mettler has a Poly Sheen that seems similar…their spools are 220 yards at 2.65, so about the same in cost per 100 yards (Superior may be a bit less, not gonna do the math LOL!). I googled and found Robison Anton poly embroidery thread at 4.75 for 1100 yards, so that is definitely less, but I’ve never tried it.

As for setting up a stash of color…you’re on the right track. If you go with Superior, buying the color card which has actual thread on it is TOTALLY worth it. The new line of 40-wt poly, Magnifico, has some 200 colors and the thread chart is $14. Just add a dot next to the ones you have and you can then fill in as you wish.

In terms of what colors to buy, look at your current project and recent work. What colors have you used? For me, I find a range of nature colors works best. I (GULP) bought each and every color of Hollis’ Living Colors line which has skin tones from deep dark brown to Irish pale, tans, pinks, corals. I have not once regretted having that range, and find I use the brows a lot in landscapes, too. I also bought her Nature Colors line, which gave a good broad range for “nature” quilts (landscapes, gardens etc). Then a spool or two of your favorite color just because!

I decided, when I started in building my thread stash, to give up buying fabric for a year or two. I had plenty of fabric. Once the expense of setting up a large range of colors is over, you only need to fill in a couple of spools at a time, and if you love thread and using the colors of thread in your work as much as I do, you will never regret having that range right there.

Going back to brands, I use mostly Superior, but sometimes I have a spool of Madeira that is just slightly different and just right. With the expanded Magnifico color range, which they began maybe 15 months ago?, tho I might be able to stick with just Superior.

HTH! Have fun shopping,

Cheers, Sarah

Check out my DVD: Art Quilt Design: From Photo to Threadwork
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