Sunday, 17 August 2014

Needing advice about thread, HELP!

It seems ages since I wrote my last post so apologies to everyone. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

Mike and I took two of my grandchildren, Sam and Lexie to stay in a family holiday home in Walberswick on the Suffolk coast. We were blessed with fabulous weather and spent most of the time just pootling about, looking for crabs in the river, visiting the pier and lighthouse in Southwold and walking on the beach.

Once home I spent a couple of days washing clothes and getting straight but last week decided to get my machine out again and do some more work on my Summer Breeze quilt.

I had run out of the thread I started piecing with so had to rummage around and found a variety of neutral threads in various makes. Gutermann, Mettler, Aurifil and Cotty. The Gutermann and Mettler were fairly dark and slightly greenish and I worried that this might show through the Kona Snow background fabric. The Aurifil was an off white in 40 weight. I threaded up my machine using a new 90/14 needle and with a bobbin that was already wound but looked as if it was the same thread.

I struggled with the thread snapping or slipping out of the needle every time I machine cut the thread for at least 30 minutes. I rethreaded the machine a dozen times before I gave up in disgust.
What am I doing wrong? Is it the wrong size needle or does my machine just not like the make of thread? It was finer than my usual Gutermann.

In the end I decided to cut my losses and used the Cotty which I bought from Cottonpatch in Birmingham. Guess what? no problems at all with snapping or unthreading.

I finished cutting and trimming all the pieces for the Summer Breeze blocks, no small feat for a Queen size quilt, and have finally managed to piece one of the sixteen giant blocks.

This block looks deceptively simple but I struggled matching a few of the points. In the grand scheme of things I think it will do and hopefully the rest will come together a bit quicker.

Other news…….

I went with Gina (blog- The Occasional Quilter) to an small exhibition of quilts by Katharine Guerrier at the Rhondda Valley Heritage Park. The exhibition is free to enter and runs until September 19th. Katharine's style is to put a contemporary twist on traditional blocks and is full of colour.

Gina blogged about the exhibition fully and with lots of photos here It was a really interesting morning discussing techniques, likes and dislikes with another more experienced quilter.

Lastly I attended a talk and lunch with the Gloucestershire Womens Institute near Stroud. One of my oldest friends, Margaret, had invited me as she knew I would enjoy the lecture about the textile collection held by the W.I. at Denman College. There were beautiful examples of smocking, Dorset buttons, embroidery and so much more. A few photos follow….

I hope this post has not been to photo heavy but I had to include the closeups of the embroidery.

If anyone can help me with thread choices for piecing please help!

Have a good week.



  1. The trip looks glorious and those dresses are so beautiful! Not sure what machine you have but perhaps try a smaller needle? Mine doesn't have an automatic cutter but I've used 40wt with several brands of 90/14 needles and not had a problem. I do recommend the denim needles for quilting though, I think it was Sheila that suggested that to me!

  2. I know you said you tried re-threading your machine, but did you take the spool of thread off? I've had that problem before and it was caused by the spool unwinding the wrong way - I hadn't taken it off when re-threading, I had just pulled the thread out of the machine. It could also be a problem with the bobbin (I have had a bobbin in the past that just wouldn't work, no matter what thread I wound onto it), try winding a new one from the spool so you know they match and sewing again. You may also need a new needle. But it could just be that your machine doesn't like that brand of thread. Sorry if that's a bit confusing, I hope it helps.

  3. It could be the Aurifil. I have a Husqvarna Viking and it hates Aurifil, it snaps every 5 minutes. I stopped using it.

  4. As you know my machine doesn't like Aurifil either. I normally stand my thread up but for some reason Aurifil likes to lie down on my machine. Try using it on the other spool. I still get problems but not as many xx

  5. I love those colourful quilts at the exhibition you went to. No idea about the thread I'm afraid except I have seen a few people writing previously that their machines don't like Aurifil. If so it will save you money!


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