APQS

What threads should I use?

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While we at the factory prefer polyester thread for its strength, durability, and relatively lint-free properties, we know that quilters often have other ideas!

That's what is great about your APQS machine. It will stitch just about any thread that will fit through the eye of the needle, as long as you are willing to adjust the tension settings. If that intimidates you, read through the answer to question No. 1 for hints on successful tension adjusting.

The key to successful quilting lies in choosing a good quality thread--whether that's polyester, cotton, metallic or another type. Each has positives and negatives.

For example, polyester thread runs smoothly through your machine and creates almost no bobbin lint; however, many quilters insist on only cotton thread in their quilts. That means more diligent cleaning of the bobbin area on your part, and the bobbin case. Lint build-up can fill the bobbin raceway and cause tension trouble, not to mention the possibility of sewing ugly lint to the back of the quilt if you?re not careful. Since cotton thread is generally weaker than polyester, it also means adjusting the top and bobbin tension for better stitch quality.

Specialty threads such as metallics and invisible thread can also be used in your machine, but require some speed and tension adjustments to run successfully. With metallics, you'll need to slow down a bit so that the needle doesn't get so hot from the friction and cause the thread to break.

You'll also need to loosen your top tension, and choose a smooth bobbin thread that is smooth and light weight. For invisible thread, loosen the top tension as well, sometimes as much as two complete revolutions.

Ultimately you (and your customer, if you're quilting for others) have the final say about the type of thread you?ll use. If polyester is your thing, look for smooth consistent fibers that don?t have an enormous amount of stretch.

If cotton is preferable, then look for mercerized, long-staple cotton, which produces less lint than other types. Check out our chat group on the web site for hints on using other types of threads and tricks to taming them!

Dawn Cavanaugh

National Director of Education

APQS

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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Dawn,

Now that I'm comfortable with the Bottom Line thread and how to set my Freedom, I'm willing to start branching out to other threads.

In class, you suggested a couple of extra bobbin cases for use with other threads. That made a lot of sense to me and I have a couple of extras.

With Trapunto, I'll need to use the water soluble, Vanish, thread.

Some customers are also anxious for me to start using King Tut.

Please tell me whether Vanish or King Tut need a bobbin case, and probably upper tension, set looser or tighter?

Am I on the right track or do I need someone to walk me through this in a class setting?


Noele

2006 Freedom

 

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Hi Noele,

You can certainly use one bobbin case for many different thread types; it just means making more frequent adjustments as you change threads. Over time, bobbin cases do wear out, especially if they've been used extensively with thicker threads, which can affect the performance of the tension finger on the outside of the case.

If you are using King Tut in the bobbin, you will have to loosen the bobbin case tension, along with the top tension. Since King Tut is cotton, it adds more drag as the thread tries to exit the bobbin case. If you combine that with a cotton batting, the machine has to work harder to pull the cotton thread into the quilt's layers.

As for the Vanish, since you want the thread to disappear when you are finished anyway, the tension is really irrelavent. I typically loosen the tension quite a bit, since the Vanish thread is more fragile and will break more frequently with a lot of tension on it. This is one time you can have lousy-looking tension and not really worry about it! :). Get it just tight enough to sew, but don't worry about loopies since the thread will disappear when you wet it.

Remember that you won't be able to lick the Vanish thread end to get it through the eye of the needle...:).


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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Dawn,

You're "Da Bomb!" I'm going to play with the threads and bobbin tensions and mark them with finger nail polish (and write down the color code somewhere. hehe)

You and Karen McTavish just love to tease us about not licking the Vanish.

I love using water soluble thread in clothing for basting in a zipper or sleeve seam. Now I get to use it creatively.


Noele

2006 Freedom

 

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