Guilty of Thread Neglect: A Quilters Purgatory

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October 20, 2013 by sewgonestitching

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a very special workshop taught by Anita Zobens. “Open Thread Bar” was a super fun and fabulous way learn about threads. I wasn’t the only student in the room who quickly realized that I was guilty of neglecting my thread. I had no idea how important the thread I use in my projects was until I had the opportunity to learn about and test drive 15 different ones.

Anita explained the science behind how threads are actually designed and manufactured. I never realized what actually goes in to making a new thread and how important customer recommendations and feedback are to the manufacturers. Anita’s workshop also featured tips for setting and adjusting the top and bobbin thread tensions, how to select the proper needle for your project and basic machine cleaning recommendations.


A few tips to share (the stuff I always get backwards):

  • When setting top thread tension, the higher the number – the tighter the tension is. The lower the number – the looser the tension is. (0 = no tension. 9 = highest tension)
  • The thickness of a thread is labeled in (weight – wt). The higher the number – the thinner the thread is. The lower the number – the thicker a thread is. (ie. 30wt thread is thicker than 60wt thread)
  • Needle sizes are also labeled in numbers. The higher the number – the thicker the needle. (A 90/14 needle is thicker than a 70/10 needle)


Thanks to this amazing workshop I am now making much better thread choices and taking the time to consider and test out threads BEFORE using them in a project. Up until now I was pretty much trapped in a thread purgatory – using the same few thread types over and over again for all my projects. So many of us are guilty of the same offences.

I hope this post can encourage you to step out of your “thread bubble” and experiment a little with some of the thread options available. Learning to appreciate and respect how threads are made and what they are designed to do can only take our sewing and quilting projects to the next level and make our experiences that much more successful.

Here is a few pictures of my workshop samples:

Thread Workshop 1 Thread Workshop 2 Thread Workshop 4

To learn more about Anita Zobens and her classes, visit her website

To learn more about the Janome Shop at Home Juno Sewing Machines visit our website

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