Saturday, November 19, 2011


Often at quilt shows, customers tell me that they only piece with “neutrals” and select gray and beige for piecing thread colors.  If this works well for you, keep doing it!  But if you’re ready for a little thread adventure and ready to make your quilting projects better, here are some ideas from the Threadmonger:

Usually, we want our piecing threads to blend into the quilt top and not be visible on the surface.  So choosing the appropriate thread color can be strategic – a specific choice for each quilt and often for each color section of a quilt.

Traditional neutral colors are those which are not at the far end of the range, which rules out black and white.  Off-white, cream, beige, and gray are the colors we think of first.  When you choose these colors for piecing, ask, “Is this the best choice for the fabric in my quilt?”  If you’re creating a quilt using low-contrast fabrics, you may find a beige or gray that is a good choice.  When you’re quilting in browns and earth tones, beige can work for you.  When you’re quilting in blues, greens, and purples, gray can be your friend.

But be very careful when you’re quilting with fabrics that go farther into the “brights” or “whites” categories.  Gray and beige thread will shadow through at the seams.  It’s the effect that makes your piecing seams look “dirty”.   I see this at almost every quilt show, and it’s a shame to think of all the work that went into the quilt that is compromised by the wrong piecing thread color.

White is a traditional quilting color!  I love the look of white thread for quilting on top, and no one will fault you if you piece with it.  It’s still a great choice and the best choice when you’re sewing blocks together that have a white background. 
It’s also a great choice when you need a fallback position and no other thread color seems better.  A 50- or 60- weight white thread will rarely be seen again when placed in a seam and the seam allowance is pressed to one side. 

I’m a big fan of starting a quilting project with a piecing thread color selected especially for that quilt.  When making a quilt that is predominantly blue, start with a blue thread in a lighter shade than the lightest blue fabric.  Fabrics containing multiple colors give you multiple choices for piecing thread colors.  As long as your choice is compatible with the overall color story of your quilt, it will be right.

I never thought I would quote my old home ec teacher…but she taught us that a zipper in a LIGHTER shade than your dress will be less noticeable than a zipper in a darker shade.  And she was right.  This applies to quilting, too. 

So I like to use pale versions of my fabric colors for “neutrals” when I’m piecing.  Pale green, lavender, and yellow are so useful, I find myself going to them often. 

This is the reason that applique lovers collect so many different colors of their favorite applique threads – they want to be ready when they’re sewing down a leaf or a petal or a kitty – with a thread that is the best choice for the moment!

Your personal color palette
I find that most quilters select colors in the same favorite palette over and over again – making exceptions when they are creating a quilt for someone who has requested specific colors or who prefers  colors outside of the quilter’s palette (or color comfort zone!).  Of course, this is how we grow as quilters, challenging ourselves to do new things! 

I’m a “brights” person.  For myself, I choose blues, purples, greens, and throw in some yellow and orange for good measure.  Many of my friends use a “country” color palette, which includes muted blues, beiges, grays, and browns, with a little cream and black for accent. 

For the typical quilting you do, choose a few threads in your favorite color palette and use those as piecing threads to have on hand for those projects you start at midnight or 6 a.m.  That way, you forestall any thread emergencies!

Change thread
I hear a lot of quilters say, “If I use beige/gray I can make a whole quilt and never change my thread!”

Is this really the best choice for your quilt?

If you’re making a quilt that uses white background blocks for the center and a pieced border of green shades, change thread!  Use that pale green thread to piece the border, a white to put the blocks together, and toss a coin for the thread to attach the green border to the white blocks.  I’d probably use white, defaulting to the lighter of the two choices. 

To be a better quilter, use the thread color that is best for your quilt, even section by section.

Speaking of choosing thread colors by “section”; always select a color for the hand-stitching of your binding that is as close to the background color of the binding fabric as possible.

Not to get too far off track, but there are two stitches that people generally use to hand-stitch the binding; a “whip” stitch and a “ladder” stitch.  The ladder stitch makes the thread less visible, but in my experience, the whip stitch is a little more durable.  You make the call. 

Your piecing thread “arsenal”
Keep a lovely assortment of threads in your quilting arsenal and be ready to use them!  Here is a list for piecing – note that most quilters use cotton for piecing but there are some new polyesters that approach the tensile strength of cotton that you may want to try:

Off-white or cream
Grays – two or three shades
Beiges – two or three shades
Red – remember, red is a neutral!  And you can’t “fake” red with any other color…
Light versions of the colors you quilt in most often, such as:
And if you own a LOT of fabric in one color family, consider having two or three shades of piecing thread in that color family, too.  I love teals and there are some great teal shades in several brands of thread that I keep on hand – and I use them up!

Thread is a big part of the fun of quilting!  Be sure to make your color choices fun and effective.   There are many areas of quilting in which we can build skills, and color selection is one. 

~~ Threadmonger

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coming Quilt Show - Block Party Quilters in Issaquah!

Threadmongers will be at the Block Party Quilters show November 11-12-13 at the Issaquah Community Center!  What a great venue for a quilt show and a fun quilt guild, too.  Their featured artist is Colleen Wise - you'll want to see her beautiful work!

For lots more information and inspiration visit 

Winter is coming!  I know you have enough fabric to get you through...but do you have enough thread?  Come and see me!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Coming quilt shows where you will find the Threadmonger!

Threadmongers will be at:

Sea Pal Quilters of Ocean Shores Quilt Show September 30 - October 1-2!! Ocean Shores Convention Center.

Santiam Scrappers quilt show October 8-9, Sand Ridge Charter School, Lebanon, OR.

West Sound Quilters quilt show October 21-22-23, Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
Get ready for some great quilting threads!

A big thanks to the Evergreen Quilters of Bellingham for a great show this past weekend, September 16 and 17. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Binding Your Best - a sweet little technical manual on quilt binding!

Need to upgrade your quilt binding skills?  Or learn to do it from scratch?  Want to mentor a new quilter into the wonderful world of FINISHING a quilt?  Tired of answering the same binding questions from friends or customers over and over? 

This is the book for you!

This little book is PACKED with techniques and guidance for making your binding the best on every quilt. 

How to achieve beautiful, even, crisp binding every time.
Turning corners and curves.
When to use bias binding and when it's not necessary!
Considerations for design and quality.

Binding is your last opportunity to make a design decision about your quilt.  Make it your best!

Available from Threadmongers! 
Easymade Publications
8.5" x 5.5"
44 pages
$13.95 plus postage  - and sales tax for Washington state customers.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Coming Show - Busy Bees Quilt Guild!

Threadmongers is at the Busy Bees quilt show this weekend!  In Monroe at their beautiful high school on the hill.  And the quilts in the show are absolutely amazing!  This show is widely known for quality and this year they have even surpassed themselves!  Congratulations to the guild, the quilters, and the show committee for their achievement!  Be sure to get there and see everything!

Friday July 29th 10 - 5
Saturday July 30th 10 - 5
Sunday July 31st 10 - 4

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coming Show - Covington Quilters Guild

Threadmongers will be at the Covington Quilters Guild quilt show this weekend!

"America the Beautiful"

Cedar Heights Middle School
19640 SE 272nd
Covington, WA
Friday, July 22 10am-5pm
Saturday, July 23 10am-5pm
Sunday, July 24 10am-4pm
Featuring: Judged quilts, vendors, tea room, bazaar, bed turning, HUGS charity quilt display and quilts in progress, I Spy, door prizes and lots of fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Coming quilt show - Vashon Island Quilt Guild June 25-26

Threadmongers will be a vendor at the "Life in Stitches" quilt show hosted by the Vashon Island Quilt Guild this weekend! 

Held at Vashon High Gymnasium, the show features 200+ quilts, viewers choice voting, vendors, and general quilty fun! 

This weekend is the annual Vashon Island Garden Tour and the quilt show is a part of the many activities you'll find on the island this weekend. 

And Threadmongers has a new selection of silk ribbon for embroidery! 

So come to Vashon to enjoy your Life in Stitches!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coming Quilt Shows: Treasures of Whidbey Island - Oak Harbor WA

Threadmongers will be a vendor at the Treasures of Whidbey Island Quilt Show during
Father's Day Weekend, Friday, June 17th through Sunday, June 19th!

The show will be located again at the Elks Lodge at 155 NE Ernst Street in Oak Harbor, WA, The hours are: Friday, 1-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

The Elks will be serving lunch entrees and beverages on site, for sale. Profits from the show will be donated to the Whidbey Island Treasure Makers Guild's charity - the neonatal unit at UW. Members are making quilts to cover the incubators and as gifts to parents of the infants.

Free parking is provided and the building is handicapped accessible.


Need 50 weight Aurifil thread?  Come and select from 200+ spools in the 1300 meter size.  Neutral colors - your favorites plus some new favorites.  And beautiful colors! 

What about Kreinik iron-on thread?  Yes, you need it!

And Invisafil, the 100 weight poly that everyone is talking about.  The little quilt in this photo was quilted with white Invisafil - so fine that it's barely visible.  Your quilted texture shows through, instead of the thread.  So many more uses!

Thread is half the fun of quilting!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Coming Shows - Woolley Fiber Quilters

Threadmongers is a vendor at and a sponsor of the Woolley Fiber Quilters quilt show in downtown Sedro-Woolley June 3-4-5! The show theme this year is "Blast of Color" so get ready to see and be inspired by lots of beautiful quilts!

The show is in two storefronts this year - 807 and 817 Metcalf Street. For those in the know, these are the former Courier Times and Oliver Hammer locations.

Show hours and lots of other info is available at:

June 3-4-5 is Sedro-Woolley's fun downtown festival, Blast from the Past! A perfect time for a quilt show and all of the other fun activities including vendors, vintage cars, kids' contests, SWAN bike ride, and more!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coming Shows–Clark County Quilters

Threadmongers will be a vendor at the Clark County Quilters annual show, April 7-8-9, 2011! 36th Annual Quilt Show: “It’s a Beautiful Day!”

10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m each day

Vancouver Church of Christ - 9019 NE 86th ST, Vancouver WA

* Over 200 quilts on display * Vendors * Free parking * Door Prizes *

visit for more information!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome to Threadmongers!

Threadmongers is a purveyor of quality threads for quilters!

We carry your favorite brands of quilting threads - available at quilt shows in Western Washington state or via mail order.

Visit often for more information!