Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Variegated Thread Tip


When I first began machine quilting I loved variegated thread.  However, I stopped using it because I like to have matching thread in the needle and bobbin.  Or at least the same value.  Many variegated threads have a whole range of values from light to dark.  In the thread above (40 weight So Fine #703) you can see that the lime green is a lot lighter than the blues and purples.


I decided to try the variegated thread again, because this batik Turning 20 quilt really wanted some variegated thread.  (I pieced this for my mom to quilt on her machine a couple years ago.)

When quilting it on my mom's long arm, I had an "Aha" moment.  


While the bobbin thread and spool of thread are wound in different orders, you can still pull the bobbin thread up so the light areas match.  


I did that every time I started the quilting and pulled the bobbin thread up.  


That made it so that there weren't any dark spots from the bobbin showing in the light sections.  I was surprised with how well it worked.  I will definitely be using variegated threads a little more often now.  

Do you like using variegated thread for machine quilting?

XX,
Jasmine

P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out to see what other quilters are up to.  

P.P.S.  I am still working on the tutorial for the quilt ladder.  I am hoping to have it finished next week.  

17 comments:

  1. Brilliant! I love variegated threads too, but had the same problem with the darker colours showing through. I never would have thought of this, but it's such a simple solution! Thanks for sharing. I'll be sure to give it a try.

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  2. I only have 2 variegated threads - one with shades of med to light green and one with shades of dark to light purple. I never noticed it coming up with the purple and it wouldn't matter on the green. I'll have to go check now, I think I still have that purple quilt! Excellent tip.

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  3. I LOVE using variegated thread...especially with batiks! Yours looks great. Glad to see ya being adventureous on your mom's longarm!

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  4. I like using variegated thread on bright colors. It's more subtle than a contrasting solid color, but has a bit more interest than a complete color match. Thanks for the tip about the bobbin thread.

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  5. I have only used variegated thread one time and because it was so light I didn't have a problem with the bobbin thread. Thanks for the tip, I never would have thought of this!

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  6. I have honestly never worried about it, because after a first wash it doesn't tend to bug me. However, I might consider using a neutral (grey is what comes to mind first) thread color in the bobbin as another option. Great tip!

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  7. Looks like you continue to get pretty friendly with that longarm, Jasmine! I hope Princess Tiara doesn't get too lonely! :) Your quilt is beautiful and looks perfect with the variegated thread. I enjoy variegated thread but only on the right quilts where there is not any overstitching. Your color choice is perfect!

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  8. What an amazing tip....who would have thought? And it's so simple and quite logical! I love the look of variegated thread, especially on batiks, but have avoided them for the same reason.....I do use them when I hand-quilt though. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tip. Thread companies should thank you---watch sales of variegated thread go through the roof this week...lol!

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  9. I do love variegated threads but they have to repeat at the intervals I want. Luckily there are many makers of var. thread to choose from so I can get the right color change. LeeAnna

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  10. I usually use a neutral in the bobbin with variegated threads, but love this idea! I'll have to try it out.

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  11. I've used a light pink in the bobbin and most of the time can't see it on the top and i can happily ignnore the colour coming from the bottom. I like using it for motifs in the quilt surrounded by other more blendable lines.

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  12. Love the way variegated thread looks, but never tried anything but a neutral in the bobbin. Do you think this tip will work with any type of machine Jasmine? It is pretty cool!
    Ooh a tute on the ladder would be Fan Tas Tic!

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  13. What a terrific, make that GENIUS idea! I always use a neutral that blends with the back and I do use variegated threads. I will definitely be trying this out on the longarm.

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  14. It isn't clear wht happens to the bobbin thread when you pull the bobbin thread up. Is it unique to a long arm machine?

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    1. This would also work on a domestic machine. By pulling the bobbin thread up and matching the light sections in the tails, you are more likely to have the light sections of the bobbin thread match the light sections of the needle thread on the top and bottom of the quilt. This helps hide the knots formed by the stitches, especially if your tension is not totally perfect. Hope that helps!

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  15. Sorry probably being a bit dense but how do you pull the bobbin thread up to the top.

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    1. That is a great question. It is a lot like pulling your bobbin thread up through your machine before you start piecing, your quilt sandwich is just under the needle. Here is a great post with a video and instructions done by Christina Cameli. http://www.afewscraps.com/2010/09/free-motion-quilting-basics.html

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