Wednesday, January 15, 2014



I finished a quilt.  This pattern is called Zig A Zag, by Quilt In A Day.  It's easy to get the "in" chevron look, without making triangles, if you know the secret in this pattern.  Looks great in many different fabrics.  I'm enjoying using batiks.  I love playing with colors and seeing how the prepackaged bundles of strips work into a quilt.  I don't always use all the ones included.  I may change out some colors that I think may not work as well.  My quilts will be different from someone who purchased the same strip pack (also known as Jelly Roll).  The fabric manufacturer makes a bundle of 40 2 1/2" strips.  Often I agree with the collection of colors.  Other times, I pull out the ones I don't like as much, and either cut some strips from my fabric, or add in ones from other packs, that I've saved for just this purpose.  I love playing with the colors and picking borders.  Seeing how it comes out in the end??  I really enjoy that, too.  I am a visual person, so it's fun to see what really happens, and if my ideas work.  Most of the strips in this quilt were from Island Batik's collection called Frostings.

I also did an informal "side by side" comparison.  I have a variety of threads.  My favorites come from Aurifil and Superior.  Before I really knew about thread quality, I purchased some others, the brands that are available at JoAnn's.  These are not necessarily "bad" threads, but once you've tried Aurifil, you won't ever want to use the others.

To be fair, this isn't exactly scientific.  There wasn't a "control" group, and I didn't exactly do the "same thing" with both threads, but here are my observations.  Needles used are Schmetz Quilting size 14.

Here's a photo of the quilting from the back.  All the thread you see here is Aurifil 50wt Mako cotton color 2315. Notice how it blends in so well with the backing fabric, a mottled peach color?  No breaks, no skipped stitches (side note, LOVE the texture with the feathers, and I'm getting good!! Feathers are not easy!).

Here's a close up of the borders, and the threads used.

Main body of quilt (zig zag part) is Aurifil 50wt color 3817, a variegated thread in many colors.  I think it accents the quilt nicely.  FACT:  No breakage of thread.  No fraying, no skipped stitches.  I did break a needle, and had to rethread because of that, but the thread cap got loose and the thread wrapped around the spool pin.  That's user error, not the thread.

Small yellow triangles and green inner border.  Thread used is Sulky 30 wt (thicker thread) long staple cotton in a variegated yellow.  FACT:  Thread broke, frayed, skipped stitches.  I had to rethread at least 8 times per side of the quilt, an average of every 10 inches.  I even replaced the needle.  Batiks are a tighter weave, and that can wear the point of the needle more quickly.  I don't like using this brand of thread.  Quilting should be fun, not stressful. Although this thread is supposed to be a better quality, it was much more difficult to use.  I've done other quilts with Aurifil 30 wt cotton, and did not have the issues with Aurifil.

Pink outer border:  Aurifil Mako 50wt 2440 used in the peachy-pink outer border.  Same needle as the last 3 sides of the yellow/green part.  NO breakage, snags, skipped stitches, or fraying.  At all.  Around the entire outer border.  Just perfectly stress-free quilting.  Border is wider, so more square inches covered.  

Note:  This is not exactly scientific.  I didn't have a 30wt Aurifil in the colors I needed to actually compare to the Sulky thread.  I didn't change to a new needle for the Aurifil.  But the points remain the same.  Aurifil really does make a better thread.  As for cost per inch, considering I lost so much in rethreading and taking out the areas with breakage and skipped stitches with the Sulky, Aurifil is also a better bargain.  More of the thread from the spool is on the quilt, not in the garbage can.  I was trying to use up some of the other threads, which is why I used the Sulky.  Although the color and texture it gives the quilt were what I wanted, I'm not sure I'll use it again.

So, why aren't you using Aurifil? .  I hope I can help you avoid some issues with thread.  This is not a sponsored post.  I'm NOT getting paid to give my opinion

Next project is a baby quilt.  Then more finishes and thread comparisons!  Thanks for reading!


thebutterflyquilter said...

Love the bright colors! Beautiful! Need to try some Aurifil thread soon.

Christine said...

Nice comparison of the threads. And the quilt came out nice top!

QuiltinWayne said...

Lovely Work. . .
You now have me motivated to use up some of the brights in my stash..

Pamela said...

Aurifil thread is the best! Not only for quilting, but for the piecing, it makes such lovely flat seams!

moosecarol said...

Beautiful work! and nice blog post. I use Aurifil all the time and, like you, have had more problems with other brands. It's also very low lint

Ivory Spring said...

What a beautiful finish! I love all the colors you used in the quilt!!! And yes, we should all quilt with Aurifil. :)