Note: I have two posts today. Check out my other post on “Trends, Trunk Show and my new machine!”.
I am always interested in new threads. If the line looks promising I will purchase a few spools and take a spin to see if I will invest in it. Two new thread lines suitable for our quilting world have recently hit the market and I had to try them!
Quilters Select is a new brand specifically made for quilters, featuring the endorsement of Alex Anderson. I talked with her a little bit about the line a few weeks back at Quilting in the Garden. The line is manufactured by RNF which manufactures Floriani products. The line includes rulers, mats, a rotary cutter, applique products, a batting line and two threads.
Alex has made a video about how the rulers, mats and rotary cutter work in union to create an entirely different cutting experience. Alex calls it “The Trick” and you can view a video that explains it here. It really sounds slick and may make it worthwhile to invest in new cutting mats and rulers-really. I haven’t tried them yet so I have no comment other than it does sound pretty cool-watch the video.
I did try both of their threads: Perfect Cotton-Plus, a 60 wt thread with Egyptian Cotton over a poly core, and Para-Cotton Poly, an 80 wt thread that would be ideal for micro quilting, nearly invisible machine applique and bobbins.
At first I was shocked at the introduction of a cotton-wrapped poly thread. Don’t you remember that stuff we used to use in Jr High Home Ec (I’m dating myself here!) that was junk? But it actually makes sense. The poly core gives it strength that a pure cotton thread cannot deliver. When I took my pojogi class and we hand stitched our work, it was perfect. It held up to the intense tugging I did to snug up the thread on the project yet it was a thin thread with a cotton look.
Perfect Cotton-Plus is skinny and strong. The above photo shows its size next to other popular piecing threads-Aurifil 50/2 and Superior Threads Masterpiece 50/3. All these are good threads. The Perfect Cotton Plus is the skinniest of all at a 60 weight. The thinness of the thread combined with the strength of the poly core makes for a good piecing thread. I did some hand sewing and a little bit of piecing and I did like the combination of the thinness of the thread with its strength.
My experience with the Para-Cotton Poly was not as good. I had several problems with this thread. But first the positive-I was excited about an 80 wt poly that would be strong enough to go in the bobbin but skinny enough to be able to micro-quilt when needed and be able to go on the top of my quilts. Skinny poly threads can mimic silk without the expense of silk. So I was excited about this entry into the market.
My first issue was the thread splitting. I bought 4 spools and each did this. Just one stroke or two, like you would do to ready the thread for threading through your machine, and it split. That is very annoying.
Then there was the shredding. Every single time after maybe about a yard of free motion quilting, it would shred. I had been quilting with various threads and this same needle earlier so I didn’t think it was my machine or the needle. I did try different needles sizes and types, even different batting and fabrics. BTW I never use icky batting, thread, needles or fabric, snort.
I wrote the company and even spoke with them and could not resolve the problem. To their credit they were very responsive, concerned, helpful and speedy to reply. But I was not able to resolve the shredding issue.
And then there is the issue of the label. When a company puts a label on like this, with the central hole covered by a sticker, it is a problem! If you just spike that guy onto your thread holder, it will push the label into the hole, resulting in the spool not spinning properly because the paper tightened up the hole. You can have tension issues because the spool does not spin freely. Also, the sticky from the label will get onto your spool holder, preventing future spools from spinning freely. This is a bad idea in my opinion.
I discovered this earlier and wrote about my issues with a Superior threads spool doing the same thing here. You’ll notice that Superior no longer labels in this manner-they punch the hole out in the middle, eliminating this problem. It’s such a simple fix and it vexes me why a company would manufacture their spools this way.
So this thread was a no-go for me. In all fairness, there may be some undiscovered Operator Error involved. If I discover that there was an error on my part I will be sure to report back to you.
UPDATE: Quilters Select sent a replacement spool of the Para-Cotton Poly. I went right to my machine to test it and…..same thing-shredding. Ugh. Their customer service is outstanding! But I can’t get this thread to work. I hope there is a “fix”. Hoping some of you are having better results.
Somewhat coincidentally, Superior Threads has recently come out with a 100 wt poly thread to be used for the same purpose-micro quilting, bobbins and nearly-invisible machine applique. Of course I had to test this thread too!
I purchased several 3,000 yd cones of this one to try. My first try was to do some very small scale quilting:
It ran beautifully through my needle and laid a gorgeous line down. I had no troubles with shredding or splitting.
I intuitively knew to use a 60 Microtex needle, but isn’t it nice that all Superior threads tell you what needle to use?
Note how they punch the hole through the label-thank you!
I quilted a sample extensively, at times going pedal-to-the-metal just to test it. I experienced no problems at all. This will be my go-to skinny poly thread. Jerry Granata, quilter extraordinaire, did a You Tube review here. It is an extensive review and may be of interest to you.
So have any of you tried these threads? What has been your experience? Let me know!