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So, I've been playing around with regular thread and bobbin threads, weights, brands, etc.


Now that I have figured out some of my favourite TOP threads,    I want to ask a question about bobbin threads.


For some reason, I got the impression that bobbin threads had to be a finer thread.  I don't know where I got the idea from, because on my DSM I only used the same on bottom as I did on top.  Perhaps reading online here, blogs, etc have made me more aware of exclusive bobbin threads and the use of different weights on bottom?


Anyways,  is there a problem with keeping the same thread on top and on bottom with longarm quilting?     Like, if I used magnifico on top, and magnifico on bottom?   Or so fine 50 on top, so fine 50 on bottom? 


Is it usually tension issues that get you to switch threads?  


I find that I've got such a variety of 'bobbin threads' now -  decobob, bottom line, magnaglide, superbob, etc etc  that I'm getting overwhelmed with it all.  


I started to get really overwhelmed with the selection of top threads, so have narrowed down to  Glide/Manifico for sheen, SoFine for blending in, and Wonderil cotton( for cotton purists)


So to sum up -  Do you use separate threads for your bobbin threads, and if so, why do you use different thread for your bobbin thread?   

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Andrea, it's perfectly acceptable to use the same thread top and bottom, if that's what you choose to do.  Some machines require that, since it's harder to balance the stitches inside the quilt, so the threads have to match.


For me, the biggest reason why I don't use the same thread top and bottom is that the finer the thread, the longer you'll be able to quilt before you have to change bobbins.  Think of it this way:  if you wind your own bobbins with 40 wt. Magnifico, you might get 60-70 yards on a bobbin, since you don't wind as efficiently as a commercial machine might, plus the thread is heavier.  Now, if you wind the same bobbin with 60 wt. Bottom Line, you'll get more on, maybe 80-90 yds.  The SuperBobs from Superior usually have about 118 yds per bobbin and the MagnaGlide Classics from Fil-Tec have 130-135 yds per bobbin.  That's a whole lot more quilting you can do between bobbin changes!


Another reason why I choose the finer bobbin threads is because I really don't care to see all my stitching on the back - I'd rather have it blend in.  The finer thread does that.  I know there are those who like to create a "wholecloth" effect on the back with a heavier, maybe even contrasting thread, but I'm not there yet!


Whichever way you choose to go, it's right for you!!!

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Barb pretty much covered it. The fewer bobbin changes the better for me so I use magna pre wounds whenever I can. I tend to use as "busy" a backing as the top will allow or a batik for backing and this, with fine thread that sort of melts into the fabric, is very forgiving. But there are no rules. Just use whatever combination you like as long as you can get good tension.

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I like what everyone has said. I really don't have a lot of "different" threads.  I pretty much keep several  good blenders of so Fine  with good blender super bobs. I buy special colors as needed, depending on the customer quilts I get in.  I find that I really don't need too many of the odd colors as the blenders( ex. cream, baby poop green, dull gold, light grey and white) blend amazingly well with most quilts. I never wind my own bobbins any more.  Too much work for too little quilting time.  I have found my go to thread is So Fine, but that is just a personal preference.  I really don't like the thread build-up with other threads. JMHO though. I have magna glide bobbins, but I still prefer the bottom line super bobs.  With this combo I very seldom have any tension issues.  Only when I get lint "boogers" under the tension thingy in my bobbin case.   :D

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Hi Andrea. It's very easy to get overwhelmed by all the thread choices. I was training a new Millennium owner a couple of days ago, and she brought out the Superior catalog she'd gotten with her machine. The look on her face said it all. "Where do I start?!"


Here are my favorites, although I have to admit I haven't even tried the newer Superior threads like Omni. I know what I have works and that's good enough for me. I also have too much thread to start stocking more brands!

1. Superior So Fine - You can do just about everything with this one thread. I also use it about half the time in my bobbins.

2. Superior Bottom Line - Often used in bobbins, always for SID work, and even for fine texture work on the top of the quilt.

3. Superior Lava - LOVE the variegated colors and the sheen. A good, strong thread that runs beautifully in the machine.

4. AURIFIL Cotton - Still my favorite long staple Egyptian Cotton thread. I love how it "blooms" on the quilt top and adds a "rich" look to it. Because it's made in Europe (Italy), the twist is different. That's what causes the bloom, or opening of the twist on the quilt.

5. Rheingold Poly - Strong, beautiful, metallic looking. Available in MANY colors. Difficult to find. Do a Google search.

6. NEW favorite for small background quilting - Superior Kimono Silk - I'm amazed at how much quilting I do with one of those little cones!


7. Superior King Tut - I ONLY use this in the bobbin. GREAT for kids quilts on a solid color backing. Match the thread to the fabric colors on the top. I use So Fine thread on top. You can't get a whole lot of yardage on an "L" size bobbin, so I save this for smaller kids quilts.

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Interesting Darlene that you only use King Tut in the bobbin. It is one of my favorite top threads, but not a lot of customers like it.  My one tried and true customer just wants white cotton in top and bottom all the time, so I use so fine or Omni.  My other customer always wants Maxifil, which she provides. 

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I'm not a huge fan of variegated threads on top Teresa. I think it often detracts from the fabric, piecing and quilting. I want my quilting to be the "supporting cast member", not the "lead role". It is also the one thread that will cause tension issues, especially when the colors change from light to dark.

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Just start slow.  Don't buy a lot of thread, materials and notions just to have them on hand, "in case". 


A few threads I keep on hand are red, white and blue.. then decide if I want a solid color on the back,

or a variegated. 


I have loads of prefilled bobbins to use before I can order the magnaglide bobbins.. might consider selling them.

( that will NOT happen until I have them inventoried, and that won't be very soon.


Anyway, we have our turbowinder set up so it is very easy to use, is always out, and has a shelf to hold the 

container of empty bobbins, the extra bobbin cases, small pair of scissors, so it is quick to thread and use.


We fill several bobbins, Himself does this for me.  We leave thread snips there to verifiy the color, until the

quilt I'm using them on is finished, or I need a change of thread for a different area. 


The only thread I've had trouble with is Lava.  Got rid of what I have, and for heavy thread stick with King

Tut which my Lenni loves.


Try using diff weights of batting, just samples, to see how the various threads

look and work with them, and diff thread combo's.


Good luck and have loads of fun.



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