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I just bought my first quilting machine - a 1996 Ultimate I. My local APQS dealer suggested I buy the starter pack that she usually buys. She buys 23 colors and since I don't have business yet I was wondering what basic colors y'all would suggest I get - outside of the black, white and cream colors. Would those 3 be enough to start with or should I expand into one or two shades of other colors as well?

Thanks for your input,

Jenn Wilson

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After the classic black/white/cream I'd add taupe, sage green, gold, and navy blue.

Then later add a bright red and burgundy, light blue, forest green, and a couple of shades of gray.

If you get a thin thread like BottomLine or So Fine, you'll be amazed at how well these colors blend on many fabrics.

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I would follow Linda's advice.  When I first started I only bought colors as I needed them.  Every quilt meant another thread order.  So, I started buying "pretty colors" just because.  Many of those are still in the package, 3 years later. The basics she suggests will cover most quilts.  As you get more experience, you may decide to use different threads, depending on your style.  Welcome to the APQS family. 

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Yes, Linda gave you excellent advice.  I keep only those really good "goes with lots of things" on hand. I buy special colors only when I have a customer quilt that requires a unique thread.  Thread is expensive and having it just sit in a drawer is money wasted.  You will be surprised how any of those colors will blend with lots of quilts.  I very seldom have to by a special color.  Have fun!

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What I have found out is this: MEDIUM TONES work best.The reason for this is that a very pale color will often read as white on your quilt top. And a dark color will read very dark, or look harsh. The same color in a medium tone will look good on the light fabrics and it will still show up on the dark fabrics.

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My only other suggestion is don't buy a lot of one type of thread,  ie:  I bought great spools of cotton.  and now have mostly switched to Glide. and the cotton, just sits.  Trends etc change.  My only excuse is that living in Canada, we need to make a big order "to make it worth while"  LOL

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Instead of buying a lot of the large cones and not being sure if I would like them, I would buy the smaller 1,000 yard cones.   Plenty to do a quilt or to play with and test on my machine and if it turns out to be a color I really like and would use a lot, I would buy the larger cones.   As Linda said, those basics are the "go to" threads, but sometimes you need or want a special color.   I have a variety of the smaller cones and they can also be used on my sewing machine for bindings, etc.  It is very tempting to buy "all those pretty colors", but be careful to not overload and then have your threads get old.   Superior Thread has great color charts of their threads, so it makes it easier to choose.  Have fun !

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If I could only have ONE thread color, it would be "baby poop green". I always challenged my students to find a quilt it would NOT work on. On average, about 8 out 10 looked great with this color. It's stunning on purple, red, brown, blue, yellow, even pink. Black thread is one that I use very rarely, and then I prefer a charcoal so I can see where I'm going and the thread slows a bit on the black fabric.

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  • 11 months later...

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