Monday, May 16, 2011

Thread Tips and Tricks

A few days ago I gave a talk to my Fiber Frenzy group about thread. I told them that I have had a love affair with thread since the 70's. I have quite a large collection composed of various brands, fibers and weights. I ended the talk after about an hour but there is always more to say. Following are some tips about using thread:

Never moisten the end of your thread before threading the needle. The fibers will expand and make it more difficult. Instead moisten the eye of the needle and it will encourage the thread to pass through.

Cut your thread at an angle instead of a straight cut. This will make threading the needle easier.

If it is difficult to see the eye of the needle when threading, place a piece of white paper behind the needle and it will be easier to see the hole.

When threading the needle with a thread that is hard to see like monofilament nylon or polyester, try darkening the tip of the thread with a black felt tip pen.

Jinny Beyer recommends not using white thread for piecing unless you are sewing a piece of white fabric to another piece of white fabric. Use thread to match the color of the darker piece of fabric. That way your stitches are less likely to show.

When choosing a thread color to match your fabric, choose one shade darker because the thread will look lighter after it is sewn.

When sewing with thread that is stacked (horizontally wound rather than cross-wound), it will probably perform better if the thread is winding off of the back of the spool on a vertical spindle.

Using a 12 inch length of thread, thread through the eye of the needle and hold thread vertical and taut. Spin the needle from the top and if it does not slip down the length of the thread, you need to use a larger needle or a needle with a larger eye such as a topstitch needle.

May all of your sewing be problem free!


Sarah Hubbard said...

Do you remember when you gave the talk to the guild about thread? I still have my notes from it that I pull out all the time. They are still so very helpful to me in my quilting.

francyne said...

It always makes me feel good when I know that someone was helped by something that I said. Thank you for the comment.