Monday, November 28, 2011

Giveaway FIVE FAT QUARTERS...a thread mystery

Mystery Monday
(Warning...long post. May be hazardous to your eyes!)

It was a Mystery to me...the process of
how our commercial threads come to be.  Okay...I did
have a vague idea.  I do go thru a bit of fiber processing
when I spin fibers into yarn on my spinning wheel.  
 But, it was quite an eye opener to read about how
 VERY involved the making of our sewing threads really is!

** Please, note...ALL of the pictures posted below are
from this link - Discover How Thread Is Made
You can find out even more details by going there. =)

Starting with large bales of cotton or polyester...

The cotton fibers are "sifted" thru large machines
to create sliver (lengthwise fiber, untwisted)

This is a picture of coils of sliver in BIG bins.

Sliver strands being turned into roving
...getting ready to be twisted

These machines are twisting fiber into thread.
 HUGE difference compared to spinning fibers into
 single strands on a spinning wheel.

Then, spools go thru fault detectors before...

they go to the dye plant...

Here is where dyes are mixed by
using special formulas to get exact colors
for the upcoming season as well as standard colors.

After the threads are dyed they go into
another large container to steam and dry...
taking about 8 hours.

Once threads are dyed and dry...they
go thru a finish coating...different kinds and
processes depending on what the thread will be used for.

Thread then moves from large spools to smaller ones.

Labels are put on.  Spools are packaged
and/or boxed, then... shelves.

I only posted/pictured about half of the
process that fiber goes thru to get into our hands.
And, this was, for the most part,
only the process that cotton goes thru.  If we
added in the process of many of our other materials like
wool, silk, bamboo, linen,'d probably be asleep
at the computer while reading this post. (if you aren't already!)

Wake up...wake up...we're going to play a game!
 It's the Mystery Monday GAME!
Are you awake now? okeee, led-dus beee-gin.

Wheeeel-ie EZ today...yep, yep, yep.

Just leave one comment and tell us TWO things:
What is your favorite thread to machine sew your quilts?
 Do you usually match your thread colors to the fabric
as exact as possible or do you just use neutral colors?

This week's Mystery Monday ends
Saturday December 3rd midnight MT

*must be a follower to win*


Congrats to our THREE Mystery Monday winners
from last week!  We are doing the 

Jane in can cyber visit her at

~ AND ~

Debbie in New Zealand can cyber-visit
 her at

~ AND ~

Linda in can cyber-visit her at


Sallie said...

I usually use a neutral color of Gutermann thread. Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...


sunny said...

I love using Aurifil, and stick mostly with neutral unless I'm using a real dark fabric. Congrats to last week's winners!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have several brand threads I like. Machine piecing is usuually with a light grey - works with most. Unless a lot of black - then use a black thread. Machine and hand quilting can be with matching color , neutral, contrast, or really like the look of a veriagated.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh - congratulations to last weeks three winners.

Chiska said...

Congrats to the winners--how fun to have them from so many different places.

I haven't machine quilted yet, so I don't have a favorite. The quilting I have done has been hand quilting. I've always liked to match my thread as closely as I can, but I had my last quilt quilted by someone else (for the first time) and she used a multi-colored thread and I really like how it turned out. Thanks for sharing all those great pics about how thread is made. It's so interesting!

Mommarock said...

1. I don't have a specific brand, I just go for the 100% cotton if possile.

2. I do try to match it as close as possible if at all possible, but I don't have all that many colors of thread yet, so I will fall to a neutral like gray or beige if I have to.. OR run to the store again..

LimeRiot said...

Wow!! This post was fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

I've only made a few quilts but I've used a neutral beige/off-white color for all of them.

JustPam said...

I use King Tut and showcase different threads til I find one I like. It may be neutral, matching or even contrasting, depending upon the effect I am after.

Jocelyn said...

I have been using Coats and Clark Dual Duty thread for years and I've never had any problem machine quilting with it. I do try to match my thread as closely as possible to color.

Kira said...

I don't have a favorite thread, just the one that doesn't break. I have matched colors. I guess that's what I usually do. I don't like overly busy things though. I get distracted by them. So I use color and, hopefully, stitching to draw the eye to my favorite part.

Alina said...

Yap, I am a follower. And answer to your questions:

I prefer Gutermann on all my projects.

As for color, usually I just use neutral color. If I do use a matching color, usually it would be just a shade darker than the color of the fabric.

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

Woohoo! I am so happy to be one of last weeks lucky winners!!

I use Connecting Threads Essentials almost all of the time. If I'm just piecing, I just use a neutral (white or cream) unless I'm working with black then I use black thread. But if I'm doing applique, then that is something else all together.

Thanks for all the information about thread. It's amazing all the steps it takes to finally come out as thread.

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Congratulations to last week's winners! And thank you for the fun giveaway!

I like gutterman thread for piecing/sewing, and I generally use neutrals, but if it something where the thread might show, I match.

Have a happy day!

Marcia W. said...

Neutral colors
Coats and Clark as what we have available locally
I follow your blog.

Janet said...

Aurifil is my favourite and I almost always use neutral greys.

RobynLouise said...

Another Gutermann thread user here vut I haven't tried FMQ yet and there's a couple of other brands recommended by friends for this. I try to colour match but I always have neutrals for emergencies as the nearest town is almost an hours drive away!

Kathy S. said...

I love using Coats and Clark Dual Duty thread when I FMQ. I am new2quilting and have only done a few quilts. Some I have used a bold color to echo shapes. Another I used a varigated thread to show off my FMQ skills. But my favorite lately is to choose a neutral thread and just go to town on stipling. I am a follower. Thanks for the chance to win by the simple questions and not asking us about all the stuff we learned from your post about thread being made. Whew... I was sweating that one!

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

That was an interesting post. I've never given any thought to the process for making thread. I rarely think about factories in my daily life.

I received my package of fat quarters today...THANK YOU!!!! They are absolutely beautiful and just WOW!!!

Thank you!

I always use Gutermann (although I can't spell it!). I don't like Coats and Clark Dual Duty or Aurifil (spelling?) that much, but I also like Connecting Threads threads. I like to match as close as possible. Have a great Monday!

yorkie mom said...

Love Aurifil! I try to match my thread to material or use neutral thread!

Susan said...

I like Guttermen the best but also like Coats and Clark. I match my threads, top and bottom to the fabric on the top and bottom. Thanks for the 'how its made' and for the give-away.

Lori said...

I use Guttermann thread and I match my thread colors as close as I can get them!

Dora, the Quilter said...

My favorite thread for machine piecing is Fil-Tec bobbin line--I use neutrals that blend with the fabric.

For machine quilting my very favorite thread is Fil-Tec Glide--beautiful threads, beautiful colors!

suemac said...

I like Guttermann but my Singer likes Coats and Clark. Can't get as much variety in colors in Coats and Clark though.

Bev said...

I love Aurifil and Superior threads. They're strong and leave almost no lint in my machine. Color depends on what I'm sewing.....mostly neutrals or matching thread for applique. Very interesting article. Thanks for the info.

quilary said...

I use Gutermann threads and generally match the colour to the fabric I am using.
Congrats to the previous winners - it's nice that I "know" them all (ie I follow all their blogs)!

Loralynn said...

I usually use good old Coats & Clark...same thread my Grandma used to use! I always try to match my thread as closely as possible to whatever project I'm working on.

Beth said...

I use Gutermann, in a neutral tan or gray.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Beth said...

I use Gutermann, mostly tan and gray, my go-to neutrals.

Sis-O said...

Great Post. Coats and Clark and neutral colors.

Miss Hillbilly said...

Oh, please tell me what thread you use! I have been really researching thread. I have been using C & C and I have read how bad that is for my good machine. I want to switch over to Superior for machine and YLI for hand I think.

Susan said...

Thanks for all that info - its great to hear all those little bits. (I think I am a follower so here are my answers:)
1. I like to use Gutermann but often end up using Rasant (since I can get that at the local patchwork shop and its cheaper - and I dont have to go into Spotlight which is not as nice an experience)
2. If I am piecing I usually use a neutral thread unless its all black or white etc and then I might mstch the threads to the darker fabric.

Anonymous said...


I tend to use mostly connecting threads or guuterman (sp) thread. I rarely care what color thread I am using but most often stick to neutral.

Mary said...

I like to buy the cones of Gutterman cotton thread for piecing and typically use a neutral taupe. Thanks for the great post!

quilthexle said...

I fell in love with Aurifil threads a while ago - but I will use anything else if no Aurifil is available. And normally I just use a neutral thread. For scrap piecing, I use a neutral on top and "clear-out" bobbins so I can empty all those already half-empty bobbins from other projects!

chefpa said...

Aurifil is my favorite thread, and I usually use neutrals rather than matching the colors. Thanksf for the chance to win!

Annmarie said...

I am a follower - I love Mystery Mondays. I exclusively use Gutermann thread for all my quilting, mostly because it is available at JoAnn Fabrics & often on sale. I use neutral colored thread when constructing, but match colors, top & bottom very carefully when machine quilting.

Heartsdesire said...

I use Aurifil and like to stick to neutral colours. However, if I'm machine quilting the top, I will sometimes match the thread to colours in the quilt. Generally though, I like to use neutral thread.

Gill said...

I use a neutral Gutermann thread if at all possible - I keep hearing great things about Aurifil thread but I haven't found any yet!

Peggy said...

I try to match the thread to the fabric as closely as possible.

MoeWest said...

I use neutral cotton thread for piecing in the brands that I can find locally such as Gutermann, Presencia.

~Dawn~ said...

I am a follower! I do try to match my thread color with my fabric. I use Gutermann thread. Thanks for the giveaway!

Jodi said...

gladly following! Usually use Gutermann and usually use grey, unless I am FMQ, then I match.

Michele T said...

I am a follower. I usually use neutral colours and I prefer Gutermann thread. Thanks! Are you going to give us the results of this inquiry?

Hilachas said...

I've been using Coats and Clark Dual Duty thread forever and had no problem with it. I match colors for my quilt only when white looks terrible. Thanks for the opportunity to win your giveaway.

Kathy P said...

I always use Mettler Silk-Finish Cotton thread for piecing, and I only worry about matching if I'm going to be pressing my seams open rather than to one side, since a little bit shows then. Otherwise, I just use a neutral color that blends. Happy Holidays!

Barbara said...

I used thread from Connecting Threads. Love it. Generally, I use neutral colors.

Deb said...

For piecing I like connecting Threads "Essentials" I buy the neutral packs but lately have been using more of the gray shades??? Don't know why. I use a bobbin thread because it is finer and I have less problems. For machine quilting, Aurifil or Superior, whatever is on sale.
But....if I run out at midnight....I have been known to use whatever I can find in the house! lol

regan said...

This was a really interesting post! I have never even thought of the process for thread, but I'll bet it would be worth it to go on a tour! Very cool! Thanks for sharing that!

I generally use the Essential Thread from Connection Threads website. They have such a great selection of colors, and the prices are great for the bigger rolls. I hate running out of thread in the middle of a project. And I usually use the neutrals for the piecing, and choose specific colors for the quilting. I've heard wonderful things about the Aurafil thread, but I've never tried it....yet!

astitch said...

I usually use a Gutermann as this is what I can usually get. Colour wise depends on the quilt colour but normally I would use a neutral colour.

Lisa C said...

I love Aurifil but it's not sold at the closest place to my home so I occasionally use Gutterman as a backup. I use a neutral when piecing the quilt top together. When I either hand-quilt or machine quilt, I sort of alternate. Sometimes I want the stitching to play with the fabric and other times I want it to blend in.

Patty C. said...

I don't have a favorite because I am still just learning - I usually use neutrals ;)

free indeed said...

I don't have a fave only because I'm limited to what I can get locally and would I notice a difference? I don't know that I would. I've been using the standard Coats and Clark for years.
I typically sew with a neutral color, but like to match threads for quilting, applique or topstitching, so a multitude of colors is neccessary :)
freeindeed at myfairpoint dot net

pippirose said...

I prefer Gutterman, and usually match threads.

pippirose59 at gmail dot com

Paulette said...

Interesting to get a glimpse at the thread making process. What I use to piece varies. My favorite was a spool of Mettler I've now used up, so now it's been C&C. For machine quilting, Connecting Threads Essentials line works for me, as well as Signature threads. I try to match as best I can for quilting.

Nancy Sue said...

I use Gutterman, and I try to match as much as possible. My machine handles it like butter :) Great question. Being a newbie quilter, i'm interested in reading everyone's comments on this topic!
Thank you for organizing this giveaway!

adamshar said...

It is wonderful and great posting. I like your this posting. Thank you very much for all it. It is great time for me to see your blog. I use neutral color with it's matching pair.
Fil à coudre