Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wow, that's fine



The theme for this Winter is thread.  I want to learn all about this basic material and how it can be best utilized. I've chosen 'Threads- The basics and Beyond'  by Debbie Bates & Liz Kettle.  There is a web site for those who want to work through it and keep in touch with other like minded students of thread. I study better alone but it is certainly a good resource.


There are 8 main sections and a lot to learn.  I began to read.  I know thread comes with numbers and I did know it is not a world standard.  In fact the numbering is quite confusing so many  recommend just dividing thread up into 5 sections:  ultra fine, fine, medium, heavy and ultra heavy.  I must admit I thought okay, let's skip to the actual sewing but there is value in following the directions. So I needed to compare all these.


I had stored my thread by colour and I use little baggies to contain those slippery rayons and keep bobbins and thread spools matched. Thread does have a shelf life and should be stored out of the elements.  I also don't do my creative best when I have sensory overload so I store mine in those clear plastic drawers, handy but not highly visual.  I may go back to the colour system, in fact, I luv the artist's colour wheel and that is the way I sort fabric as well.  I just never thought of thread as another  'paint' in the tool box.  DUH!
But I am really lousy at deciding/analyzing nuances of thickness and colour.  The pile almost did me in but then I figured ultra heavy shouldn't be too hard. It is mostly too big to pass through the needle's eye easily and is relegated to bobbin work or couching.  Wow, I had a lot.  Who knew?  Then I went to ultra fine which is my silk hand applique thread and the mono filament invisible thread.   Not so much ultra fine but by eliminating the extremes there is less in the 3 middle sections to do.  The bulk of my thread is the regular falls into the cotton, polyester and rayon threads that define medium.  Then there are some iffy's and some of the brand names listed in the book really help with deciding which designated pile.


Now that took some time and I'm quite the better informed for doing it.  It isn't 100% but certainly a place to start and definitely shows what I lack.  I learned that both the fines will show the least which is good for applique, stabilizing and fine work..  The heavy section is where you get the most bang for your buck in thread work.  And that is where my biggest lack is.  So is it off to fill in the thread stash?  Uhm, no!  Some of these brands I've never even heard of. Thank goodness for the give away I won that included new thread brands. More importantly,  this will be all about finding the ones that Nina, my main sewing machine, and I like.  I shall now be much more aware of my options and I'm not talking about colour which turns out to be  in an whole other section.  lol

And now I must confess this is not such a fine day, but more like a tea and blanky day.  So,"Threads at ease.  Be ready for your marching orders when things are fine."


9 comments:

Createology said...

Thread overload for certain. I know so little yet learned some when I got my new Pfaff and took the classes. Machines are very fussy when it comes to thread and quality is the best thing I learned. Tea and blanky and comforting hugs...

Dolores said...

And I thought I had a lot of thread. It's not something that keeps me up at night and as long as the one I am working with keeps working fine, then that's pretty much all I care about.
Good luck with the learning.

Michelle @ Periwinkle said...

Well, who knew that thread weight could be so interesting? I will be interested in finding out more about thread, I must admit that I don't tend to accumulate much of it, as I tend to use whatever I have on hand,

æble said...

Very interesting information. Hope the bad days pass soon.

Laura said...

I've started to pay more attention to different kinds of threads and different weights or whatever it's called, and have seen a great improvement in my FM quilting. Now I love Aurifil 50 weight and Isacord threads, and go through lots of it! I also love YLI Soft Touch but it creates a lot of lint in my machine, so it's not one of the best, at least in my humble opinion.

My Sweet Prairie said...

thread! oh you made me drool. I now officially love thread far more than fabric. ; ) I love to sort them by color too. I use big flat clear 12x12 scrapbooking cases to store them in, and i roll them in that 'amazing tape' stuff. It's like cling things you'd put in a window. Hugo's it's called? hmmm.

ahhh thread. ; )
~Monika

Leanne said...

I have a lot to learn about thread and then my big question always is what kind of needle and size of needle is needed for my sewing machine with particular threads. And as a knitter, I see yarn as just very thick thread and I have a great deal of that.

Ellen said...

Wow - who knew that there was so much to know about thread. Thank you...I will have to pay closer attention.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I hope you are well. I am finally back online and now YOU are missing. You never go this long between posts, so I hope all is well. Maybe you are finishing a few projects (one of your 2012 words), or maybe you are still stuck under a blanket getting well or rested.

I'm in a yahoo group with Liz and she is wonderful. I really like her mixed media book, and her advise on thread has always stuck with me: "Buy the best thread you can afford." Looks like you have lots of thread! Mine seems to be at the "old age" stage of its life cycle!

Happy belated New Year. Sorry I wasn't around sooner. Thanks for visiting me, even though I was unable to reciprocate. It means a LOT!