it okay to use polyester thread in a quilt?
We have all heard the stories about
polyester cutting the fabric. The stories we hear are mostly legends
handed down from earlier generations. Back in Grandma's time, most of
the available thread was cotton and the quilting was usually done along
the pieced seams, or "stitch in the ditch." Times have changed and
machine quilting has opened up a new world. No longer is quilting done
only along the seams. Machine stitching can enhance the beauty of the
quilt by adding intricate and complementary designs throughout the
entire quilt. Machine quilting does not add stress to the quilt. The
stress points remain in the piecing. Some say that polyester thread is
too strong and will tear the fabric. If the fabric ever tears as a
result of heavy use, most likely it will tear at the seams. The seams
are the true stress points of a quilt, not the machine quilted areas.
The solution is to piece with cotton
thread, thereby matching the nature of the fabric fibers with the thread
fibers. This equalizes the stress points of the quilt. Then, use other
threads such as metallics, polyester, and 20 or 30 wt. cotton to
decorate and enhance the quilt by creative quilting. If a polyester
thread is used in decorative quilting, it will not tear the fabric under
normal or even heavy use because there is minimal stress away from the
seams. Here's the rule: Piece with cotton and quilt with anything.
(Thanks to Bob at Superior Threads for this input).
We have discussed this with an AQS
Certified Quilt Appraiser she agrees with Bob's analysis. SO...
feel free to use polyester threads to quilt your quilts.
Broken Thread/Broken Needles:
There are lots of reasons
for broken thread and needles.
There are a few things that are different when
machine quilting on a frame. Get a big needle to start with--100/16.
Check your thread path. The thread has to
come straight up off the cone. This is difficult with the Grace
frame and the Juki sewing machine. The Grace group on Yahoo is a
good resource for dealing with this issue. Or, many of our Grace
Speed Lock owners have just removed the platform that the foot control set
on. Either method solves the problem for the Grace frame. The
B-line doesn't have this same problem.
Check the height of your quilt off the bed of
your sewing machine. You should be able to put 1 finger under it.
If it is too high you can break needles. Too low and you won't be
able to move your machine freely.
The other issue is thread tension. You
have to loosen it up. On the Juki and the Brother I run at about a 2
for a cotton quilting thread.
Now - Quilt those Quilts!
Marking Quilts Using Pattern
I usually use pattern packs by copying
onto Stitchin' Sheets. But I have discovered another way to mark
patterns on a quilt.
1. Resize your pattern to fit your
quilt. A Quilter's Assistant (Proportional Scale) takes the math out
of the process.
3. Perforate the paper by machine
sewing with an unthreaded needle. Use a big needle (100/16).
Change your needle after sewing through the permanent marker.
4. Place your pattern (drawing
side up) where you want it. Then use a chalk pounce to mark through your stitching line. If your
chalk doesn't want to stay on the quilt, you can lightly mist quilt
with water to
help the chalk stick to the quilt!