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Quilting with metallic and polyester threads paired for strength and shine

 

This week we’re looking at WonderFil’s metallic thread, Spotlite. I’ve shared some tips for free motion quilting with this shiny thread on domestic and longarm machines. For the rest of the week, I’m turning the spotlight on some projects I’m working on to see how it is that Spotlite can really shine.

WonderFil Fabulux #21, Noel and Spotlite #8852, Champagne
WonderFil Fabulux #21, Noel and Spotlite #8852, Champagne

 

Last fall a customer asked me to quilt a Christmas quilt and make it sparkle. She wanted me to use a variegated metallic thread. WonderFil only has one variegated metallic thread and it’s in a soft pastel variegated colorway. This wouldn’t work, but in looking in my collection of thread, I found the perfect variegated colors in WonderFil’s Fabulux thread. Noel (#FB21) is a combination of red, yellow and green and combined with a gold metallic of Spotlite, I had the perfect shiny Christmas thread.

WonderFil Spotlite #8833 Mauve, Fabulux #17 Royal Robes, Spotlite #8840 Ice Green, Tutti #03 Citrus, Spotlite #8852 Champagne, Fabulux #21 Noel
WonderFil Spotlite #8833 Mauve, Fabulux #17 Royal Robes, Spotlite #8840 Ice Green, Tutti #03 Citrus, Spotlite #8852 Champagne, Fabulux #21 Noel

 

The above pictures show the threads I combined in the quilted samples for today’s post. As I look at them, Fabulux Royal Robes and Spotlite Ice Green make an inspiring combination for another project!

WonderFil's Spotlite #8833, Mauve and Fabulux #17, Royal Robes
WonderFil’s Spotlite #8833, Mauve and Fabulux #17, Royal Robes

 

Pay special attention the thread tension adjustments when you combine thread. A thread like Fabulux is a smooth and stretchy polyester. It will feed differently than the metallic, so you may need to play a bit more.

To stitch with these threads on my domestic machine, I had the Fabulux on the vertical spool pin on my machine and the Spotlite on the WonderFil Thread Tamer on the table behind my machine. They joined up at the first thread guide on the machine and I threaded the two together the rest of the way.

WonderFil Fabulux #17, Royal Robes and Spotlite #8833, Mauve
WonderFil Fabulux #17, Royal Robes and Spotlite #8833, Mauve

 

Using Spotlite on its own is very nice, but when it’s combined with a shiny variegated polyester thread there’s another element that makes the quilt sparkle. The above sample was quilted with a large double meander ribbon. One meander pass was stitched with Fabulux #17 and the second with Spotlite #8833. The two threads were then combined to stitch the fill pattern where the two meanders overlapped.

WonderFil's Spotlite #8840, Ice Green and Tutti #03, Citrus
WonderFil’s Spotlite #8840, Ice Green and Tutti #03, Citrus

 

Tension adjustments for a combination of Spotlite and Tutti cotton thread may be different than with a smooth polyester. The cotton thread is a bit stickier than the smooth polyester and may grab differently. I found a size 19 needle on my longarm and a size 100/16 Topstitch on my domestic machine.

WonderFil's Spotlite #8840, Ice Green and Tutti #03, Citrus
WonderFil’s Spotlite #8840, Ice Green and Tutti #03, Citrus

 

Combining Spotlite with a variegated cotton thread adds depth and dimension to the quilting.

I probably wouldn’t use a metallic thread on its own to quilt a full size quilt. I’d be afraid that a lot of use would cause the thread to break. But combining it with a stronger polyester such as Fabulux, or cotton thread like Tutti, gives me the desired strength to my quilting project while making it sparkle!

WonderFil Fabulux #17, Royal Robes and Spotlite #8833, Mauve
WonderFil Fabulux #17, Royal Robes and Spotlite #8833, Mauve

 

 

I never get tired of looking at Fabulux thread, you?
I never get tired of looking at Fabulux thread, you?

 

The quilts I talked about in this post are smaller wallhangings. These small projects allow me to play and experiment with piecing techniques, quilting designs and thread combinations before I commit to a larger project. Don’t be afraid to play and experiment!

I’ve given you some tips for using WonderFil’s Spotlite thread and ideas for some fun quilting. Next up are another 2 days of projects with lots of ideas for using this extraordinary thread.

 

See the shine in Spotlite thread?
See the shine in Spotlite thread?

 

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Spotlite: 6 tips for quilting with metallic thread on a longarm machine

Go to part: The bling is the thing when quilting with Spotlite thread!

Allison has an Education degree from University of Winnipeg and many years’ experience teaching aquatics. Allison began teaching sewing and quilting while working at a sewing machine dealer in Calgary, Alberta. She also owned her own fabric store and sewing school for 6 years where she had the wonderful opportunity to teach a wide variety of classes to many sewers, young and old. She now has a studio and classroom in her home and does customer quilts and well as longarm machine rentals. She is a National Handi Quilter Educator. Allison teaches in her studio, locally and in North America. Allison has a very, very supportive husband, 2 daughters and granddaughter close by.

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