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."