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Thread color changes when quilting

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Judy T-Bellingham Posted: Fri, Apr 18 2014 8:36 AM

I'm just finishing the quilting on a quilt that has very definite dark and light areas on the top. (deep blue, gray, light green) The back is dark blue/gray. I debated what I should do about thread color. I finally settled on a dark gray in both the top and bobbin threads for the entire quilt.

I've had poor results when I try to use one color thread on the top and a different color in the bobbin.

I'm curious what the rest of you do.

Do you always use the same color in the top and bobbin? 

Do you change thread color when you have a quilt top that has color changes, especially very dark and very light areas? 

 


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Hi Judy - I never use a different color in my bobbin. I just don't want to risk it. I will usually use variegated thread if I can't decide what color to use. This is just my opinion, but I think one color brings the whole quilt together even if there are very contrasting colors in it. Again, just my opinion.

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Since I am basically a newbie to machine quilting I thought you only used a different color thread in your bobbin when you are doing bobbin work.  Yesterday I saw a demonstration of that technique on Quilting Arts with Pokey Bolton and it was with the Crazy Bunny Lady.  I love her Folk Art Blocks./Quilts. I'm with Melissa on the variegated thread.  Adds so much dimension and contrast.

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Since I am basically a newbie to machine quilting I thought you only used a different color thread in your bobbin when you are doing bobbin work.  Yesterday I saw a demonstration of that technique on Quilting Arts with Pokey Bolton and it was with the Crazy Bunny Lady.  I love her Folk Art Blocks./Quilts. I'm with Melissa on the variegated thread.  Adds so much dimension and contrast.

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Darlene replied on Fri, Apr 18 2014 12:49 PM

Judy, I too am relatively new to machine quilting.

I tend to try to find a variegated thread which pulls most of my colors or something totally contrasting.

I do use the same thread in the bobbin as on the top.

I am sure that whatever you do will be beautiful because everything I have seen that you have done has been spectacular. 

Good luck,  can't wait to see the pictures.

Darlene

from Western New York

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Mimi replied on Fri, Apr 18 2014 3:27 PM

Judy,  Just my two cents.  I often change color on the top but not in the bobbin. My bobbin color is consistent and I quilt on my Jamone 7700.  If I think the fabric is too busy and the quilting thread will distract from the block design, I use a clear monofilament.  I'm probably breaking every quilting rule there is but I do what makes me happy.

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Mimi:
f I think the fabric is too busy and the quilting thread will distract from the block design, I use a clear monofilament.

 

Mimi, I've tried the clear thread but it's tangles. I probably need to adjust my bobbin tension but I don't like to touch it. I haven't tried using different colors on the top. I also use the same color in the bobbin throughout and it's the same as I use on the top.


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Judy I too was always scared to change my tension but now that I see that a little touch can make a big difference I'm not as scared.

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Kris replied on Fri, Apr 18 2014 7:00 PM

I've never changed the bobbin thread when I change the top colour and I often use a different colour in the bobbin. If I can't find a multi colour thread that I like I change colours or use the mono filament like Mimi. I do what feels right to me.

If you must change your bobbin tension it's best to get a separate bobbin case (drop in or otherwise). The one that came with your machine is calibrated to accommodate all the different stitches. 

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Pamela replied on Fri, Apr 18 2014 8:30 PM

Judy,

I think the choice of thread depends on the quilt and the quilt design. I often use the same thread in both the top & bobbin for allover quilt designs like stippling and stitch in the ditch. However, when I am quilting various designs in high contrast fabrics, changing thread to match the fabric can make a difference in the overall effect of the quilt. I am currently working on a wall hanging where I used a variegated blue thread in the darker areas and white in the white areas. I matched the top & bobbin threads to avoid where the threads come together and could show through on the bottom like little dots.

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Mimi replied on Sat, Apr 19 2014 6:54 AM

Judy T-Bellingham:
I've tried the clear thread but it's tangles. I probably need to adjust my bobbin tension

I think I quilt so slowly that I've never had it tangle. I don't change the tension either...just put in the quilting bobbin holder and automatic on the tension control.   I only use it in the top though...my dealer said never to put it in the bobbin unless I wanted to have the machine in for many repairs.  lol  I also use a very thin mono filament.  I like the results I get but don't quilt enough to really tell if it's going to give me problems.  

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Mimi,

I would like to know where you purchased your Janome 7700?  Are you happy with it?  Does it work only with foot control?

Marianne

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Mimi replied on Sat, Apr 19 2014 6:12 PM

Marianne,

I purchased my Janome from Amy Smith at Brubaker's Sewing in New Holland, PA.  Unfortunately due most likely to the economy, she only deals with Pfaff's at this time.  She still will service my machine if need be but I've found another more local dealer to give my baby her yearly check up.  I went to Quilt Odyssey in Hershey when I was looking for a new machine.  That way I could try out many different types and manufacturers in one place rather than having to travel all over.  I was set to buy two machines, one for piecing and one for quilting, but the Janome line fit all my requirements with one machine.

I love my 7700 but not as much as I loved my 6600.  The 6600 had a metal body and felt really solid when I sewed with it.  The harp was 9" and was a real work horse.  The newer model has a wider harp by two inches and that helps when you're pulling and puffing and stuffing your quilt layers as you quilt them. The body is plastic but had to be so that it wouldn't weigh a ton.  It works with a foot control and has a knee lift as well. It also will sew by using the automatic button controls on the front of the machine. These are start and stop buttons.

Hope this helps, Marianne.  You have to be happy with your purchase and I would suggest that you go to a show if you can and see all there is out there.  Then find a local dealer who is close by and will give lessons and support you when you have questions or problems.  Good luck in your search.  

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Kris replied on Sat, Apr 19 2014 8:17 PM

Judy T-Bellingham:
Mimi, I've tried the clear thread but it's tangles.

Try a thread net Judy. That might help with mono filaments and thin threads.

 

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Mimi,

I thank you very much for taking the time to tell me about the Janome 7700.  For me it's a plus that it works without foot control.

I'm sewing right now on a  Janome Memory Craft 5500.   I could use more harp, the 5500 has also 9", but no  start and stop button.  I have restless leg syndrome and sometimes it's hard to use the foot.  I bought my Janome from Sewing machine plus and I'm almost happy with it.   It has a hard time to sew over several layers.  I did a periwinkle quilt and there are 8 corners to meet and sew together.  I had to set down my needle directly in the middle and sew from there  side to side. 

I had a older Singer, Athena 2000, it was the first electronic machine they made and it had a basting stitch and a 100 amp motor.  It sewed over thick layers without any problems.  The gears broke and it needed an electronic replacement part, that's no longer made.  My Janome has over 200 stitches and not one regular old fashioned basting stitch.  I'm wondering who programs the computer in the new sewing machines?  It can't be a tailor???

Marianne

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