Ohio LongArm Quilters
Tips and Techniques
<Reprinted with permission from Bob Purcell, Superior Threads.  www.superiorthreads.com>.  

The Most Frequently Asked Questions of 2004 (Part 1)

1.  Is it OK to use polyester in my quilt?
Thread will not tear through a fabric solely due to its fiber content.  If a thread ever tears through a fabric, it is
because it won the strength contest, regardless if it is cotton or polyester.  Some cotton thread is stronger and
more wiry than polyester.

2.  What is Trilobal Polyester?
Trilobal polyester is a premium, lint-free polyester.  It is not spun poly, but a continuous fiber thread and has a
very nice sheen, similar to rayon or silk.  It is soft, lint free, and colorfast.

3.  What are the best types of threads to use for general quilting and embroidery?
Cottons and polyesters.  Rayon is not colorfast.  Nylon melts and discolors.  Silk is very expensive.  Hand dyed
threads are often not colorfast.

4.  When should I use a fine thread and when should I use a heavier thread?
Fine threads will blend.  Heavier threads will show.  If you like variegated colors, choose a medium or heavier
weight thread because a fine thread will not show.  There’s no sense in having a fine-weight variegated thread.

5.  Why are some variegated threads dyed in precision short color change increments and others are random
longer color change increments?
It depends on the technology used in the dyeing process.  Dyeing thread in precise, short color change
increments requires high tech machines which are not widely available.   The advantage of precision dyeing in
short color change increments is the end result.  For embroiderers, it won’t give the striped look.  For quilters,
it gives a beautiful and consistent color flow instead a patchy look.  

6.  What are the main causes of thread breakage?
50% is the quality of the thread.
20% is the needle – either the wrong size, the wrong type, or both.
20% is the tension setting.   A too tight tension causes breakage.
5% is the condition of the machine – lint buildup, timing, burrs.
5% is the thread delivery system.  The machine may be mis-threaded, or the thread is coming off the spool
wrong.  Thread on cones should come off over the top of the cone.  Thread on spools may need to come off
straight (not over one end) so the spool rotates as the thread unwinds.  This usually requires the spool to be
positioned on the vertical pin spool holder.  
(to be continued next month)

What’s New

1.  Sue Nickels’ line of King Tut tone-on-tone colors.  Sue Nickels is a nationally renowned educator, author,
and quilter.  She helped us develop a range of colors within our new King Tut thread line.  Here is what Sue
says about this thread: “I love machine quilting using cotton threads.  The new King Tut tone-on-tone
variegated thread line is the perfect choice to achieve a traditional look, with a touch of subtle shading to give
more interest and texture to the finished project.  I have always loved the quality of Superior Threads.  I have
incorporated them into my quilts whenever possible.  I was very excited to help design wonderful tone-on-tone
colors within the new King Tut line.  It is the very finest quality thread made from extra-long staple Egyptian
cotton.  This quality results in much less lint buildup.  Lint is usually a problem with cotton threads, but not with
this one.  King Tut’s subtle variegations are one inch apart, which creates a beautiful look, espec!
ially when used for background quilting.  The subtle shading also works well for re-stitched areas on traditional
designs such as feathers.  It is a very soft thread and lies very nicely on the fabric surface.  It threads easily
and is amazingly strong. I also love to machine applique and this thread works beautifully to stitch along the
edge of many applique projects. The subtle shadings look gorgeous in accent applique.  When teaching
machine quilting, I tell my students the most important decision they will make is what thread to use.  King Tut
Quilting Thread will give quilters who are looking for cotton thread a perfect product to achieve that traditional
look with a unique touch.”

2.  MasterPiece is a #50 extra-long staple Egyptian cotton thread for piecing and applique.  We are still in the
testing phase and this new batch is slightly finer than the first test batch.  600 yd. test spools are available on
our website under MasterPiece and also in the Specials section.

3.  New Glitter colors.  Within our Glitter line, we have had 8 hologram colors and 16 solid colors.  Our new
range of Glitter has 24 hologram colors, including two variegated colors.  A color card made with the actual
thread and showing all the new colors is now available.  Color cards are always available at our cost, which is

Reminder: Superior Machine Quilting Thread is now called So Fine and is available in two spool sizes:  550
yds. and 3,280 yds.  So Fine is a lint-free polyester thread and is wonderful for quilting, general sewing, matte-
finish embroidery, and bobbin thread.

Thank you for reading.  Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day.  
Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor

Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.

Copyright 2004 by Superior Threads.  
<Reprinted with permission from Bob Purcell, Superior Threads.  www.superiorthreads.com>.  
A tip from member Rosemary Darraugh
Attach a magnetic laser light to the side of your machine pointing down toward the quilt.  When you
float the quilt top, you can make sure the sides of the quilt stay in line by lining them up with the laser
light.   See the pictures below.   (Click on the picture to enlarge the image.)
Stitched-in corners binding tutorial