Before we get into specifics about thread weight, I want to share a bit about my history with thread. When I first started quilting, I used a variety of (mostly inexpensive) threads that I could find at my local big-box store. I had occasional issues with tension and thread breaking but didn’t realize it was because of the thread until I discovered and starting using Aurifil. A few months later, I came across a blog post all about thread quality and looking at different threads under a microscope. This is what really convinced me that thread does indeed matter. Full disclosure: through using their product, I have become an Aurifil Artisan and Aurifilosopher and do receive products from them. I only promote products that I truly love, use and endorse.
50 weight cotton
My “go-to” general purpose thread is 50wt cotton by Aurifil. It truly is a workhorse and I use it for just about everything:
• Machine Piecing
• Machine Quilting
• Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP)
• English Paper Piecing (EPP)
• Needle-turn Applique
• Attaching Binding (machine sewn to the top then hand sewn to the back)
I’ve been asked what my favorite color is. How could you possibly choose when 270 colors are available? On top of that, I’m probably one of the few quilters that has quilted with all 270 colors in the same quilt. Read more about 270 Colors here.
Okay, okay… if I had to pick one, I’d pick Stone—2324. It’s the thread shown in the big cone and is a great neutral for piecing.
40 weight cotton
As in the case with my Hexie Blues quilt, when I want my machine quilting to stand out, I love using a thicker 40wt cotton thread. The shapes and colors of the quilt top are simple, so I really wanted the quilted straight lines to be the star of the show. I also knew that Hexie Blues was going to be photographed and printed on fabric to be sewn into leggings, so I really wanted the quilting to stand out. Because the quilting is pronounced, people really think I’m wearing a quilt when I have them on!
80 weight cotton
A few years ago Aurifil introduced its 80wt cotton thread. I love using this weight for needle-turn applique. Because the thread is so fine, your stitches just melt into the fabric, hiding any handsewing inconsistencies. At this time, there are less colors available (88 in total) for the 80 weight. If I can’t find a close color match in 80 weight, I use a 50 weight which still works well!
Want to learn even more about thread?
Be sure to check out Aurifil’s Thread Matters blog series. So much good inspiration and information!
Use your favorite thread colors and make your own mini!
Download the Sew Many Colors pattern for free! I designed the original Sew Many Colors mini quilt as a donation to the Quilt Alliance annual fundraiser in early 2016. The original design contained 12 spools. This updated version contains 10 spools, at actual size, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Aurifil USA in 2017.
Go make something great,