FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

Cotton thread: versatility and variety

 

Welcome back to day two of our exploration of perfect pairings for SCHMETZ needles with our Sulky and Gütermann threads. Check out yesterday’s post for the introduction to machine sewing needles and its anatomy and tips.

Today I’ll concentrate on everyone’s favorite, the beautiful and versatile cotton thread.

 

Sulky Cotton Blendables thread adds subtle charm
Sulky Cotton Blendables thread adds subtle charm

 

 50 weight cotton for perfect piecing

Cotton thread has long been valued by quilters for its strength, durability and ability to take a dye.

50 weight Gütermann cotton thread is my thread of choice for piecing quilts from cotton fabric.

Gütermann 100% natural cotton thread is made with the finest, long-staple cotton.

The stability of this thread makes achieving accurate piecing a breeze while the wide range of colors makes it easy to match your chosen fabric.

 

Gütermann 50 weight cotton
Gütermann 50 weight cotton

 

My favorite needles for piecing with my Gütermann 50 weight cotton thread are:

SCHMETZ Quilting 75/11

Tapered point penetrates fabric easily for quality stitching and easy matching of points.

SCHMETZ Quilting 90/14

As above for heavier fabrics such as flannel.

SCHMETZ Microtex Sharp 80/12

Very slim with a sharp point.
Ideal for precision piecing especially where many small seams are involved.

SCHMETZ Jeans/Denim 70/10

A reinforced blade makes the denim needles likely to bend or break when going over multiple seams.

SCHMETZ Jeans/Denim 90/14

My favorite for sewing flannel quilts or Minkie.
Eliminates skipped stitches and reduces the fabrics tendency to stretch.

 

Gütermann 50 weight cotton thread stitched with SCHMETZ Quilting 11 needle
Gütermann 50 weight cotton thread stitched with SCHMETZ Quilting 11 needle

 

I have to say I just love the new SCHMETZ Chrome Professional Grade Needles, available in a full range of needle types.

Chrome resists heat and wear.

Chrome will stay cool longer with less stitch distortion allowing the thread to pass through the needle eye with less friction and heat build up.

This will help prevent damage to your thread.

The Chrome also allows the needle to pass through your fabric with less resistance for beautiful smooth stitching.

 

SCHMETZ Professional Grade Chrome Quilting Needles
SCHMETZ Professional Grade Chrome Quilting Needles

 

Machine quilting with Gütermann or Sulky cotton thread

We can of course do beautiful machine quilting with our 50 weight Gütermann thread.

As we touched on earlier there’s always more than one SCHMETZ needle that we can choose to pair with the thread used.

Consider the type of stitching you’ll be doing.

Are you piecing, quilting with a walking foot or free motion quilting?

Are there many seams to cross or none at all?

Consider the type of fabric you’re stitching.

Is it a standard cotton or a very dense weave such as some Batiks?

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you’re happy with the results.

 

Gütermann 50 weight cotton stitched with SCHMETZ Chrome Quilting Needle size 75 11
Gütermann 50 weight cotton stitched with SCHMETZ Chrome Quilting Needle size 75 11

 

My favorite SCHMETZ needles for machine quilting with my Gütermann 50 weight cottonthread are;

SCHMETZ Quilting 75/11, 90/14

Gives a good quality stitch with a wide variety of threads
The needle I use most often when stitching medium to large designs or straight line quilting

SCHMETZ Chrome Quilting 75/11, 90/14

As above but glides through the fabric with less resistance

SCHMETZ Microtex 80/12, 90/14

Very slim shaft reduces pin pricking
Small eye for less thread bounce
Prevents skipped stitches on dense fabric such as some Batiks

 

Just a few of the wonderful SCHMETZ needles that can be used for quilting
Just a few of the wonderful SCHMETZ needles that can be used for quilting

 

Cotton thread is available in a variety of weights in addition to our 50 weight.

Both a solid color and multicolor 12 and 30 weight cotton are made by Sulky threads.

The multicolor threads called Blendables are a favorite of mine for adding subtle detail and interest to my machine quilting.

These threads have a matte finish with a blend of colors within the same range of tone and intensity.

The color changes are random with a distance of 2½” – 5” making them look as if they have been hand dyed.

 

Sulky 30 and 12 weight Cotton Blendables
Sulky 30 and 12 weight Cotton Blendables

 

Note:

Thread sizes work the opposite of needle sizes so these are thicker than your 50 weight cotton.

SULKY threads suggest that you use a 90/14 or 100/16 Topstitch needle with their 30 and 12 weight cotton threads.

I have used the new SCHMETZ Chrome 90/14 Topstitch needle with both and love how it stitches.

 

Sulky 30 weight Cotton Blendables
Sulky 30 weight Cotton Blendables

 

My stitching is smooth and even with no damage to the top thread even when stitching at high speeds.

 

Sulky 12 Weight Blendables Cotton stitched with a SCHMETZ Chrome Topstitch Needle
Sulky 12 Weight Blendables Cotton stitched with a SCHMETZ Chrome Topstitch Needle

 

We have had a wonderful time today with our SCHMETZ needles and beautiful Sulky and Gütermann cotton threads but did you know that there are also some wonderful polyester threads that we can use for quilting?

Join me tomorrow as we examine the possibilities of durable Sulky and Gütermann polyester thread and the SCHMETZ needles to stitch them with.

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.
Go to part 2: Perfect Pairings – needles and threads work together for successful quilting

Julie Plotniko is a quilting teacher, blogger and designer from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Teaching for almost 40 years, recent credits include Quilt Canada 2016 and 2017, many quilt guilds and groups throughout Canada and CreativFestival Sewing and Craft Shows in Victoria, Abbotsford and Toronto. When not on the road Julie works and teaches at Snip & Stitch Sewing Center in Nanaimo, BC. Her favorite things include free motion quilting (standard bed and mid-arm machines), precision piecing, scrap quilting, machine embroidery, blogging, designing and of course teaching. Julie believes that to see a student go from tentative beginnings to having confidence in themselves and their abilities is one of the greatest rewards that life has to offer.

1 Comment

  1. Maggie Drafts

    Thanks, Julie. I am in East Tennessee, and I have visited your beautiful island while my son was employed by Boeing in Seattle. I hope to be able to find more articles from you and would love to see some of your machine embroidery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear above.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.