Tuesday, 12 July 2011

my thread of choice

Just recently I've felt like a secret of mine has become public knowledge. I rather like the feeling that for some time I've used Aurifil thread and all of a sudden the rest of the world has realised it's really something special. It makes me feel hip, like I'm an old school, original member of the club.

together forever


My love of Aurifil started when I bought my pfaff grand quilter and she acted up with loads of the threads I had previously used. I had snapping, or weird tension and I got annoyed. She liked polyester/cotton blended thread but not cotton, and poly cotton is fine but I like cotton for piecing especially, I don't want the poly cotton thread tearing into my seams over time and damaging them.
I bought some Aurifil on a cone from the incredibly smooth as butter talking Alex Veronelli (Mr Aurifil) at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last year and I would have bought anything that man suggested because he has a beautiful accent. I'm easy, speak with an Italian accent to me and I'll buy whatever you have to offer. He said I wouldn't be disappointed with the 40 weight (I have never paid any attention to weights of thread before or since, I just did as I was told) and I didn't really care if it was going to snap all over the place when I got home and stuck it on my moody German Pfaff, because this handsome man with a beautiful voice sold it to me and that was enough. (I have to add here that at the Festival of Quilts in the UK there are not a whole lot of handsome men wearing well tailored clothes, so Alex Veronelli was like a shining beacon of beauty. He stayed etched in my brain, and has remained there ever since).

Sure enough, though, he was right. The moody Pfaff loved the 40 weight cotton, it didn't snap, it didn't give me weird tension issues and it quilted (and pieced) like a dream.
So I bought more, on smaller spools, for Nina Bernina, who is less moody than the Pfaff and really doesn't mind what you use and she loved it too.

Then I mentioned to Pat Sloan about how much I loved Aurifil (because she was doing something on twitter about it) and she offered to send me one of her designer kits, which is a really great mix of her choice of 12 favourite and most used colours in a little case.

my pretties


Now I have a dilemma, because I really want to use all of Pat's colours...but they look so lovely sat all sealed and new in their box. I have just run out of grey though, so I will have to crack that baby open pretty quick smart-ish.

my pretties

Ok, I've had a read up on the most common thread weights and stuff like that and here's the low down....

28 weight - heavier weight, perfect for decorative machine stitches and hand stitches
40 weight - regular weight, perfect for all machine quilting (domestic and long arm), piecing and a slightly heavier look for machine applique (I also love this weight for hand sewing bindings and stuff. That's my 2 cents - I don't know if that's right or not, but I do)
50 weight - lightweight, perfect for hand applique, machine applique and machine quilting. The thin thread helps stitches become almost invisible.

Aurifil is also well priced, it's not crazy expensive, and I don't like to spend money on things like thread because I would rather buy fabric, so for me to say it's well priced means it is. It's also easily found, especially online (just google it - loads of places come up in the search). And you can get thread cards (which I admit I do need, because I have messed up a couple of times and ordered thread that isn't a perfect match for what I wanted it for).

So, there you have it. It's what I use and have done for the past year, and will continue using.

24 comments:

Betty said...

You lucky thing!
What would've happened if she'd given you the suitcase with 225 spools ...
LOL
No, this is lovely and all the thread you need in an instant.
Unless you start on some purple project. Oh well, there's always more on the wishlist.
As I just said: THIS IS PERFECT

Heleen Groot said...

Thanks to the fact that I was roped into quilting by my sister, I already knew the joys of Aurifil. I did try some other threads, but always returned to them. You should really try the thicker ones. Ideal for hand quilting! They also come in wonderful colours.....

manybooks said...

Thank you for an informative post on thread! I have so much to learn as I'm semi-new to quilting and you just answered some questions for me as well as gave me a reason to try a new product :) going online shopping tonight and Aurifil is now on my list!

Nicole Follow the White Bunny said...

I was already wondering about Aurifil thread... And I really like all those different colours although I doubt I would use them all. Grey sounds perfect though and the bright sky blue one is pretty as well...I always use ordinary white Gutermann but I think I must try these too soon :)

Sue said...

There's a lot of great info in here. Thanks for sharing!

Hen said...

Thanks for this, I confess I;'e always wondered what the thread weights meant! Funnily enough, I have a Pffaf GQ and it doesn't seem to mind what thread I bung in it. I like Gutermann cotton (all my machines
love Gutermann most?) and have been using King Tut recently which I also like. Presencia, I've had trouble with the colours online looking different in real life and it seems quite fine. (Hope you don't mind me divulging my thoughts on threads.) Anyway, thanks for the heads up on Aurifil, I want to start buying thread on large cones for the Pfaff GQ so it's good to have recommendations.
Hen x

Flying Blind... said...

It was that blimming Lynne blabbing to the world huh!?

gill said...

Thanks for this Katy!
Can we have a link to the smooth talking Mr Veronelli please???

Paula said...

Wow I wish I would have known about Aurifil about a month ago - I was having issues similar to what you were experiencing with my Viking...but I finally got the tension right using Gutterman. But now I want to try this. You started with 40wt - have you used the 50 wt for piecing? Thanks for the great post!

pat sloan said...

so glad you love it!!!

I use the beautiful colors for applique and quilting! Branch out of gray and white and your life changes forever!

Jan said...

Thanks for this post - very informative!

Me? A Mom? said...

I feel compelled to confess that I sometimes use polyester Gutterman on my quilts. Is that terrible? Although I did just pick up some mercenized cotton Mettler. I might have to seek out some of this thread you speak of. I only wish it came with a handsome italian. (I'm a sucker for accents.)

diane said...

love Aurifil.

Mama Spark said...

I use Master Piece by Superior and have never looked back. It is a 50 wt thread and I LOVE it for piecing. Aurifil is a great thread too but it does cost a little bit more than the Superior and I like it just as well. I went to a Threadology class taught by Bob (the owner of Superior Threads). If you ever get the chance you should go,he is wealth of information. Not the Italian smooth talker but still very informative!

Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

We love Mr Aurifil!

Heidi said...

My first quilting teacher recommended Aurifil thread 10 years ago when I started quilting. Although I've tried other threads, this is my thread of choice, and always in my sewing box. I was fortunate to meet Alex Veronelli at the European Quilt championships in Holland( first in Second Life) and he was generous in giving me some sample and a color card. He certainly makes buying something as simple ( but vital) as thread a complete experience!

~The Bargain Babe said...

THANK YOU for all the info! I've not yet tried Aurifil but am wanting to. My machine is over 10 yrs old and gets cranky with the cheap walmart thread. I bought some guterman (spelling?) and I swear my machine runs better and the thread breaks less. I'll try aurifil next!

Anonymous said...

I've been using Aurofil for about 4 years and I love it for both piecing and machine quilting. Ina ;0

RuthDesigns said...

Really love that lime green, will have to get some soon!

Helen in the UK said...

I've used the 50 wt for piecing and quilting for a number of years. Never seen/tried the 40 wt though. Will have to keep an eye out for it (and the wonderful sounding Mr Veronelli at FoQ this year :)

Cass said...

Who knew thread had weights. All that looks lovely I might have to look into this, can you get it in Oz?

bloominworkshop said...

I love Aurifil too! Maybe now that it has become 'hip' it will be more widely available. I love, love, love the 28 weight for big stitch hand quilting and use the 50 weight for piecing all the time.

veryberryhandmade said...

So so useful- I saw the Twitter chat and was out of my depth - you've thrown me a lovely life belt - thanks!

littlebluecottage said...

I have been a Mettler fan for some time, but now am definitely going to try out Aurifil now. I went on their website and saw the man of which you speak. I would buy ice in a snowstorm from him. I love your studio Katy. It seems so happy and cozy. I would lose all kinds of time sewing away in that space!

Tina

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