“A quilt may warm your body but it also comforts your soul.”

How to choose your quilting thread color

Posted Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

 When shopping for your quilting thread color, be sure to bring cuttings of the fabrics you are using in your quilt with you.  I must also say that it is important to be very careful about purchasing threads online from a distributor that does not have a color chart or a well known brand name in which you can search for the color chart online.  I made the mistake of purchasing a beading thread on ebay which arrived at my home in a color nothing like the photo they posted.

     Ok, so here is the process of how I chose my quilting thread.  I had purchased three different varigated threads while on different shopping trips and at different stages in the process of designing and making my mother’s quilt and I couldn’t decide which to use.  Varigated threads are TERRIFIC and I can’t get enough of them.  Anyway, I’m sure all of you know that after staring at the same colors and design for hours you start to lose an objective perspective.  I laid out my quilt top, and unravelled each thread and placed them on the quilt top.  I flattened the thread down with my hand and took a photo.  There is definitely something helpful about viewing your work through a photo.  It reduces the area you are viewing and it makes the colors stand out differently and can bring that objective perspective which every designer needs.  The next time you are stuck deciding on a fabric, a thread, a design choice, a binding…you name it..take a photo or two and view them on your computer.  It truly helps give a different view and may even bring about an idea you would never have thought of! Sting Ray Thread Test Quilt November 2009 Sting Ray Thread Test Quilt November 2009

After viewing the threads in the photo I decided I liked my King Tut “Peacock” thread the best.  This is the spool located on the left in the photo above.  I wanted to make sure it would look the same quilted as it did just laying on top of the fabric.  So, I took scrap pieces of fabric from the quilt and pieces them together to make a small quilt top approximately 12″ x 24″.    I layered with a small piece of Quilter’s Dream Request batting and a small piece of the turquoise flannel which I am using as the backing of the quilt.  This is a great thing to do with any new project you are working on.   It not only works as a practice piece for warming up for free motion but it also is great as a form of testing your threads and quilting patterns.  I was also looking forward to testing out how the flannel would react to quilting as I had only used cotton quilting fabric as a backing before.Audra Kearney Quilt Thread Free Motion Test November 2009

Not only do the samples and photos help you in your process but it also builds the foundation for a quilt journal which I will discuss in a post soon.  I hope this helps!Thanks for reading and Happy Quilting!-Audra at