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Specialty threads – oh the fun!

 

All this week I’ve been talking about pairing SCHMETZ needles with Sulky and Gütermann threads according to the sewing task. I had a wonderful time working with Sulky and Gütermann rayon threads yesterday, and as the last post for the week, today I’ll show you how to use some amazing specialty threads.

Let’s get started.

Specialty threads such as silks and metallics can be used to give small quilted items like wallhangings, table runners, art quilts, and even full-size quilts, a little extra glitz, and glamour.

 

Sulky and Gütermann specialty threads add glamour to our quilting
Sulky and Gütermann specialty threads add glamour to our quilting

 

The correct SCHMETZ needle makes stitching with these Sulky and Gütermann specialty threads as easy as can be!

Metallic threads

Sulky and Gütermannmetallic threads consist of a polyester core wrapped with metal.

This thread is normally used for machine embroidery so it’s strong and pliable making it surprisingly easy to use for both straight line and free motion machine quilting.

 

Sulky and Gütermann Metallic threads
Sulky and Gütermann Metallic threads

 

My favorite needles to use with these threads are:

SCHMETZ Metallic Needle size 80/12

The elongated eye on a SCHMETZ Metallic Needle helps to prevent the delicate metallic fibers from shredding and breaking.

SCHMETZ Chrome Quilting 75/11

Made especially for machine quilting this needle pierces the fabric quickly and cleanly making it a great choice for most medium weight threads.

The chrome coating prevents heat build-up and prevents damage to the metal fibers.

SCHMETZ Embroidery Needle 75/11

This special scarf, widened groove and large eye protect the thread from damaging abrasion.

SCHMETZ Jeans Denim 80/12

The heavier blade for fabrics that resist needle penetration such as batiks, flannels or metallic.

Note:

When stitching with these and all Sulky and Gütermann metallic threads:

Use invisible thread, 40wt polyester or 40wt rayon in a matching color in the bobbin.

Stitch a little slower than you normally would to give the threads time to feed evenly.

Use a slightly longer stitch length to allow the metal in the thread to pick up the light and look its very best.

If possible feed the thread of an upright spool pin to prevent over twisting the thread.

 

Metallic thread is strong and pliable
Metallic thread is strong and pliable

 

Ribbon Threads

Ribbon threads are comprised of a single flat untwisted filament that is coated with metal.

Though delicate looking these threads are surprisingly strong and easy to stitch.

Usually likes to feed off an upright spool pin to prevent twisting and maintain the ribbon effect.

Use a slightly longer stitch length and slightly slower speed than normal.

 

Sulky Sliver and Holoshimmer ribbon metallic threads
Sulky Sliver and Holoshimmer ribbon metallic threads

 

Sulky Sliver is a thin, flat ribbon-like polyester film that is ‘metalized’ with aluminum to make it brilliantly reflective.

 

Sulky Sliver ribbon thread sparkles in the light
Sulky Sliver ribbon thread sparkles in the light

 

Sulky Holoshimmer is the same as Sliver only it is ‘metalized’ with an aluminum holographic layer to give it a shimmery, brilliant reflectiveness.

My favorite needles for these ribbon threads are:

SCHMETZ Metallic Needle size 80/12

The elongated eye on a SCHMETZ Metallic needle helps to prevent shredding and breaking.

SCHMETZ Chrome Quilting 75/11

Made especially for machine quilting this needle pierces the fabric quickly and cleanly making it a great choice for most threads

The chrome coating prevents heat build-up and prevents damage to the metal fibers.

 

Sulky Holoshimmer stitched with a SCHMETZ Metallic Needle
Sulky Holoshimmer stitched with a SCHMETZ Metallic Needle

 

Gütermann Metallic Sparkle

This highly textured thread can be sewn on a machine for very striking, high relief stitching.

 

Gütermann Metallic Sparkle thread
Gütermann Metallic Sparkle thread

 

My favorite needle for this thread is:

SCHMETZ Topstitch 80/12

A large eye and very deep groove help protect the metallic fibers from damage.

 

Gütermann Metallic Sparkle for high relief quilting
Gütermann Metallic Sparkle for high relief quilting

 

Silk thread – a quilters ultimate luxury

The final thread I’ll touch upon this week is Gütermannspun silk!

Originally produced for garment construction, Gütermann spun silk has a beautiful luster that looks wonderful when used for machine quilting.

This thread is extremely smooth to stitch.

Though similar in thickness to 50wt cotton Gütermann spun silk is much softer and more pliable.

This pliability and our SCHMETZ needles make it possible to stitch small, dense, high relief designs with beautiful short even stitches.

 

Gütermann 100% spun silk thread - color Lilac
Gütermann 100% spun silk thread – color Lilac

 

My favorite needles for quilting with this thread are:

SCHMETZ Chrome Quilting 75/11

The eye and groove are large enough to protect the soft silk fibers.

The chrome coating prevents heat build-up and helps protect the silk fibers from damage.

SCHMETZ Chrome Quilting 90/14

As above but with greater needle penetration for heavier or denser fabrics.

Slightly larger eye and deeper groove will protect the thread if you’re experiencing thread damage.

 

Gütermann spun silk thread for luxurious quilting
Gütermann spun silk thread for luxurious quilting

 

On a final note…

Remember, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. There are times when you will want to combine many different threads in one project!

 

Have fun using all of your Sulky and Gütermann threads together.
Have fun using all of your Sulky and Gütermann threads together.

 

I hope you have enjoyed our week together as we examined the perfect needle pairings for our wonderful SCHMETZ needles and a wide variety of beautiful Sulky and Gütermannthreads.

It’s a thrilling time to be a quilter as we have such a variety of top quality needles and threads available for us to use.

Please use my suggestions to start your very own journey of discovery.

 

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Rayon thread – beautiful silk-like lustre

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.

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