Saturday, August 29, 2015

How to Choose Thread Color

How do I choose thread color?  Good Question.

There are a few things to consider.  First, what colors are in the fabric?  For the inner purple petals below there are two colors: blue and purple.  As you can see I took out a few spools and unwound a little bit on top of the fabric.  This gives me an idea what they will look like.  In the upper photo, the two purples I choose were too warm so I tried two cooler purples in the bottom photo.  I decided I didn't want to use the light blue thread because I wanted the purple to stand out instead of the blue on that piece.  I ended up using the bottom thread in the bottom picture which is an Art Studio Colors by Superior Threads.  

When looking at the final block you can tell that this purple is a shade lighter and a bit warmer than the actual fabric.  Finding a nice dark purple that is blue in tone is a challenge.  My current favorite for this purpose is Glide Thread by Fil-Tec in a color called "Raven."  It works well most of the time.  In fact, it is the exact thread I used for the little dot at the bottom.  However, I knew I didn't want to use the exact same thread for both fabrics.  I couldn't go darker for the purple and blue fabric, so I went a little lighter.  It definitely shows up more.  I have learned this golden rule of thread choice through applique AND machine quilting:

                    If you don't have an EXACT match, use something slightly DARKER.  It will hide 
                    better than something slightly LIGHTER....the LIGHTER will make it stand out. 

This is what I wanted for this blue and purple fabric.  I wanted it to pop and the lighter thread definitely does that well.

Threads I Used:
  • Outer Light Blue Petals - Mettler Silk Finish 50/3 Cotton - This thread is a 50 weight thread, but it is made of three plys (strands) of thread rather than 2.  It is surprisingly thick and a bit challenging to put through a size 80 microtex needle.
  • Inner Purple Petals - Art Studio Colors by Superior Threads -  This thread shines and works easily in my machine.
  • Inner Light Blue Petal - Sulky Metallic on top, Gutermann Poly in the bobbin -  I used a size 80 microtex needle and didn't put the top metallic thread through the last thread guide right above the needle.  I used a top tension of 1.5.  Usually I get a nasty mess when I try to use metallic thread, but was pleasantly surprised when it worked out beautifully.  I tested it first with a straight stitch and then with a blanket stitch. 
  • Inner Turqouise Petal - Deco-Bob by WonderFil Threads - shiny and great to use.
  • Dark Blue Dot - Fufu Thread - great texture and tons of shine.
  • Small Purple Dot - Glide Thread by Fil-Tec - great and easy to use.  Shiny.


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