Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy Thread New Year! 2017!

Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope your resolutions include GREAT THREADS!!

Don't get in a thread rut - try something new this year!

Are you using poor quality, linty thread?  Try a premium quality, long staple, smooth cotton thread!

Stuck using the same color all of the time?  Try some new ones!  So beautiful.

Stuck using the same weight threads all of the time?  Experiment with thread weights to get the drama or the texture you want.

Not sure about the polyester threads?  Jump on in!  Try quilting on top with some beautiful polys.  They have the shine and strength you will love!

Had a bad experience with metallic thread in 1989?  They are all new now!  Use some bling!

Be ready to create some marvelous quilts in 2017 with some amazing threads! 

The Threadmonger is here for you!

I'll publish my show schedule soon.  First up is the Kitsap Quilters show February 17-18.  I know you can hardly wait!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Downtown Sedro-Woolley is ready for Christmas! 
Come and visit us - we are an old-fashioned downtown experience every day of the year.  Dine and shop with us and enjoy the main street feeling.  You'll be glad you did!
Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holidays to all of you!
Photo by J. Osborne.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Block Party Quilters present the last guild show of 2016 - Nov. 11-12-13!

The Block Party Quilters have creative inspiration for you at their annual quilt show Nov. 11-12-13 at the Issaquah Community Center!

This is the last "guild" quilt show in Western Washington of the year - and the vendors are always a little manic for the occasion! 

You'll enjoy the members' entries plus those of their featured quilter, Lisa Jenni.  She's a local standout and if you are a frequent quilt show attendee in these parts, you are probably familiar with her interesting work. 

BPQ always has a great tea room and boutique, as well as some super door prizes! 

And the Issaquah Community Center is the perfect venue for the show - lots of light comes in, even on the gray November days!

Come early and stay late!  Threadmongers will be there - it will be a long winter and YOU NEED THREAD!!

Here's the link:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tillamook Quilt and Fiber Festival - October 7-8, 2016!

Lovely Tillamook on the Oregon coast is so famous for ----- Quilts!!

Home of the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center, the busy quilters of Tillamook metro produce a lively little quilt show in even numbered years.  Lucky for you, it starts this weekend!!

Friday and/or Saturday, take a quick drive to the Tillamook County Fairgrounds (just east of town and just south of Hwy 6) to see what it's all about!

There are fiber arts as well as quilting and some other surprises in store.

They have a Facebook page - here's the link:

And I think you know that there are other great adventures to be had in and around Tillamook.  Fun for the family! 

So roll on out to Tillamook this weekend and join the fun!  Guess what?  Threadmongers will be there!  The Tillamook quilters have already told me that they need thread.  You do, too!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum show Sept. 30-October 1-2!

The big dog of northwest Washington quilt shows is this weekend!  A juried show with the finest in fiber art to show you!

We love having a quilt and textile museum in Skagit County and we love to support their annual fabulous quilt show!  Classes, vendors, mini-workshops, and amazing inspiration!  But you will see quilters' names on these pieces that you recognize because they include some of our local talent!

I should mention that La Conner is one of the most charming towns anywhere.  You know what a gem it is and most people are looking for a reason to go to La Conner and spend a lovely day!

So set aside some time this weekend to come to La Conner and thoroughly enjoy this show.  You will love every minute and be ready to create some masterpieces of your own!  With THREAD!! 

Yes, Threadmongers will be there!

Here's the link:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cabin Fever Quilters of Port Townsend and Chimacum - quilt show Sept. 23-24!

In the very charming Port Townsend and Chimacum areas there are some very charming quilters!!

The Cabin Fever Quilt Club holds a fun show in even-numbered years and this weekend is it!

So much to see from the needles of talented quilters - you will enjoy every minute!!

Here's the link: 

The weekend includes quilts, demos, vendors, and a Quilter's Country Store!

Great parking and easy access at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in beautiful Port Townsend.

So come on out and be inspired - and then you'll need thread!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sea Pal Quilters at Ocean Shores September 16-17-18!

Don't you just love to go to the beach?  And take in a quilt show??  The Sea Pal Quilters are getting ready for you!

Ocean Shores has a thriving quilting community with a huge show at the Convention Center every year.  So many quilts!  Door prizes, demos, member boutique, raffle quilt, FOOD!, and vendors!

Yep, you guessed it, Threadmongers will be there!  Along with some of your favorite vendors (hey, we all love to go to the beach) including Beach Tyme Quilts, the charming local shop! 

Three days of quilting and beach fun! 

Threadmongers will be doing a demo all three days on the #12 weight threads. If you have questions about these thick threads and their uses, be sure to attend!

Here's the link:

See you in Ocean Shores.  You need thread!!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Yakima Valley Quilter's Guild - August 17, 2016!

Yakima Valley Quilter's Guild - get ready, because here I come!  Wednesday, August 17 I'll be at your meeting to talk about using metallic threads in quilting!

Let’s sparkle!   There’s a new generation of metallic threads out there that are beautiful, easy to use, and can make your project sparkly!  We’ll discuss the main ways to make using metallic threads successful and show samples – from quilting all over with metallic thread to adding little touches.  What about that “old” metallic thread that you bought and found too frustrating to use?  I’ll show you how to use that, too!  Come and find out how quilters use metallic threads to sparkle and shine!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Threadmongers schedule: July through November 2016

What fun to look forward to these terrific quilt shows in the Pacific Northwest - I love to see what these friendly and talented guilds have been doing, and to make sure they have the best THREAD for all of their projects!  You will love these shows, too.  Be sure to "catch them all"!!

Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club - July 15-16-17, Sequim.
Covington Quilters - July 22-23-24, Cedar Heights Middle School, Covington

No shows for me but I'm speaking to the Yakima Valley Quilt Guild at their meeting on August 17th!  We're talking about metallic threads and how to LOVE using them! 

Sea Pals - "Whale of a Quilt Show" - September 16-17-18 - Ocean Shores Convention Center
Cabin Fever Quilters - September 23-24 - Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Port Townsend

La Conner Quilt Festival - September 30, October 1-2 - Maple Hall in La Conner
Tillamook County Quilters - October 7-8 - Tillamook County Fairgrounds

Note:  Moonlight Quilters of Bellingham are having their show October 7-8, also.  I am unable to do their show, because I had already contracted with the Tillamook folks.  But I am HAPPY to promote the MQ show - it's my guild!  And the show will be delightful.  Check it out!!

Block Party Quilters - November 11-12-13 - Issaquah Community Center

Check the guilds' web sites for lots more information. 
Trust me, you need THREAD!

Covington Quilters "Coming of Age" Quilt show July 22-23-24!

Covington Quilters have another three-day extravaganza planned for you, this weekend at the Cedar Heights Middle School in Covington! 

They always have GREAT QUILTS, vendors, door prizes, and kids' activities.  But, wait, there's more!  Check out their web site for the whole story:

Threadmongers will be there with your other favorite vendors!  One vendor is coming back from a medical leave to do the Covington show - wait until you see who it is! 

So toodle on down to Covington.  Great parking, great quilts, great weekend to buy THREAD!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club 30th Annual Quilt Show July 15-17, 2016!

Those sunshiny Sunbonnet Sues are having their annual FABULOUS show, and they're having it for the 30th time!  All during Sequim's Lavender Festival!  Best festival in July, on the breezy and sunny Olympic Peninsula!

Threadmongers will be there!  This is a favorite show, for sure, as those Sunbonnet Sues are gracious hosts and have fun planned all weekend long.  I think they have the benchmark bed turning in the Pacific Northwest.  You'll want to see it more than once!

So take that mini-vacation you have been talking about and come to Sequim July 15-17 to enjoy the lavender and the QUILTS! 

Stop by to see the Threadmonger at this show!  You need thread!!

Here's the link:

Monday, May 30, 2016

Blast of Baskets! Woolley Fiber Quilters have basketloads of fun! June 3-4-5

Here we go:  June 3-4-5 in Sedro-Woolley is a GREAT community quilt show for you to enjoy!  The Woolley Fiber Quilters put on an annual quilt show in conjunction with Blast from the Past in Sedro-Woolley and invite all local quilters to display their quilts.  It's a wild ride with 250+ quilts on display, demos, raffle quilt, bed turning, and VENDORS!  Yep, Threadmongers will be there!

Check out the links below to find out more about the show and about Blast from the Past in the downtown core.  Saturday features a motorcycle show, and Sunday features a vintage car show!  Kids' games are on Saturday, including the annual Adult Jump Rope Smackdown competition with Concrete Mayor Jason Miller defending his 2015 title!!

The quilt show is on Highway 20 next to Three Rivers Inn.  Slightly out of the downtown core (by a few blocks) but all under one roof in the former Skagit River Restaurant!

Be ready for some festival fun!  All in Sedro-Woolley!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Using Metallic Threads - tips and tricks from the Threadmonger!

Metallic threads – sparkle up your quilt!

I use metallic threads all of the time.  On my machines!  And by hand!  I like to quilt with them, blanket stitch with them, zig zag raw edges, add a little sparkly embellishment, and couch them down. 

I must have been a crow in a previous life, because I do like the sparkly stuff!

As the Threadmonger, I try all of the metallic threads I can and I sell the ones I find easiest to use.  There are a number of great metallic threads available and you can add subtle or brash metallic effects to your quilted pieces.  Are you ready for some basics on using them?  Here we go!

Longarm quilted with silver metallic thread!
Domestic machine quilted (FMQ) with red metallic thread!

I find that metallic threads fall largely into two categories of weight:  The ones that will go through your machine needle and the ones that are too big.  The threads that will go through your machine needle are usually 40-weight threads, or thereabouts.  If there is a weight printed on the spool/cone it is usually about “40” and if there is not, you can probably treat it as a 40 and you’ll be fine.

Flat, “hologram” threads are not assigned a weight like traditional round threads, but you can usually treat them like a 40-weight thread, too. 
Raw edge applique with hologram thread on a domestic machine.

The much heavier threads, like a size 8 or 12 (similar to pearl cotton) must be applied to your quilt in a different way:

     1.  Hand sew with them.
     2.  Bring them up through the bobbin. 
     3.  Couch them down.

I find that bringing them up through the bobbin (and quilting your piece upside down) is both challenging and slow.  Mostly because the heavy threads take up so much space in the bobbin that you can’t get much on it.  And bringing heavy threads up through the bobbin takes practice!  You probably want to finish your piece and start another one!  Do your practicing with pearl cotton.

In the meantime, if you just want a little touch of heavy metallic thread, hand sew it!  Easy and quick. 

Another effective way of applying heavy metallic thread is to couch it down.  Couching Decorative Threads is a separate topic that I’ll address in another blog post.  But you can easily couch a metallic thread with another metallic thread, or a thin one that virtually disappears, or a heavy thread that makes a dual statement with your metallic.  It’s easy, quick, and very precise. 
The tusks are outlined with an 8-weight white metallic thread,
couched down with a 100-weight white poly.
Machine use
Metallic threads that will go through your machine needle are MUCH easier to use in the current day.  If you are still swearing at the metallic thread you bought in 1989, give it a rest.  Set that thread aside for another project (more on that later) and get ready to sparkle!

Here are my best tips for using metallic thread in your machine:

1.  Use a thread from the new crop of metallic threads that are manufactured now.  The round threads usually have a poly or nylon core and the metallic fibers are wrapped around them.  The flat threads are manufactured by applying the metallic media to an extruded, flat surface using electrostatic technology. 

Each of these types is using the most current methods for manufacture and if you haven’t tried a “modern” metallic, please do!

Don’t use nylon thread in your quilt if you ever expect it to be ironed, washed in hot water, dried in the dryer, or displayed where the sun will heat it.  Nylon is heat-sensitive and it will melt, turn yellow, and/or fracture over time. 

2.  Use a needle that is rated for metallic threads.  Generally, that means a topstitch needle, because they are designed for decorative threads.  Many are coated, have a deeper “scarf” for guiding the thread, and have a bigger hole.  Always use a needle that is sized for your thread weight.  For 40-weight threads, that means a 90/14 needle in your domestic machine.  Possibly a 100/16 if you feel the need to bump up a size.  Longarmers usually use a size 18 needle. 

3.  Use something as smooth as possible in the bobbin.  Metallic threads are inherently rough on the surface.  You want to oppose that with something very smooth.  Poly, silk, and rayon are all good choices.  The polys give you the biggest choice in thread weight; a 60-weight, 80-weight, or 100-weight poly for the bobbin could be the easiest to find.  When you buy your metallic thread, buy a bobbin thread in a color that is friendly to your metallic color, so that if it pops up to the surface during quilting you won’t notice the change.  Usually that means a gold or silvery gray color.  But remember that metallic threads come in a full range of colors and you’ll need something compatible for each one. 

Now that I have told you this, I will admit that I often use cotton in the bobbin with metallics and have no adverse effects.  The new cotton threads are delightfully smooth.  Just not quite as much as a poly and I want you to have good results the first time!

4.  Sew a little slower.  Metallic threads are decorative threads and you want to treat them with loving care.  If this means stopping down your machine speed a little, then do it.  Enjoy the process.  Breathe.

5.  Here it comes:  You must be “willing” to adjust your tension.  Know your machine well enough to be able to adjust the tension for each set of top and bobbin threads.  You want that perfect join in the middle of the batting, where it is supposed to be.  Take a class.  Make samples.  Play your machine like a musical instrument.  Know it well.  Even if your machine has automatic tension settings, you still must know if you are getting the result you want.  As we say in the computer biz, you must be smarter than the computer.  Well, you must be smarter than your sewing machine, too!

6.  Practice!  If you want to make a practice piece for free motion quilting or using some of your machine’s decorative stitches, here’s a tip:  Make your quilt sandwich out of a pretty top piece, a chunk of leftover batting, and any cotton on the bottom.  Do your practicing until your stitches and your tension are just right.  Then set that practice “quilt” aside and come back later and make it into a tote bag.  Nothing is wasted.  Give it to a friend who will not mention the quality of the quilting.  They’ll just think it’s beautiful and be glad you thought of them.

So many uses
I love to use metallic thread to emulate water or waves.  There are some especially pretty blue metallics available.  I use metallics liberally on Christmas quilts and table runners because, well, it’s CHRISTMAS and we can go over the top at that time of year.  I outline with it either with a straight or decorative stitch

Raw edge applique with gold hologram thread. 
Veins applied with 100-weight poly. 

When you lay down a single strand of metallic thread, as you probably do when free-motion quilting, you will get a subtle effect.  If you want more bling, lay down more thread!

Sparkle or shine?
Finally, think about whether you want to sparkle or shine.  Metallic threads give you the sparkle.  But if what you really wanted was shine, a poly or rayon will give you a lovely, glowy shine without sparkle.  I made that choice recently, when I had planned to quilt a wall hanging with a 40-weight silver metallic but when I looked at the quilt, I decided that a metallic would overwhelm it.  I used a 60-weight silver-gray poly which had a recessive effect but gave it the texture that I wanted. 

In another blog post I’ll give you some ideas for using up that metallic thread you have been holding on to since 1989.  Until then, hold on to it a little longer!!

In this little quilt, the only metallic thread is the buckle on the collar. 
Hologram thread.  Domestic machine. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Stray Threads quilt show May 14-15 in Bothell!!

The Stray Threads want to share the "Joy of Quilting" with you!  Threadmongers will be there!!

Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15, 2016
Mobius Hall at the Bothell Campus of Cascadia Community College

Saturday: 9 am to 5 pmSunday: 10 am to 4 pmTicket price: $7.00

Here's the link!  See you in Bothell!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Busy Bee Quilters show! April 23-24 at the Monroe Fairgrounds

This Bee-utiful weekend there will be Bee-utiful quilts and Bee-utiful quilters at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe! 

Those happy Busy Bee Quilters are putting on last minute sleeves and binding as we speak!!  I know because I saw it on Facebook...

Come out to Monroe and enjoy the weekend.  Admission to the quilt show is free but the Fairgrounds charges for parking.

Threadmongers will be there!

I noticed that there are a lot of talented Busy Bees who are giving great demos during both days of the show.  Not every guild does this, so Bee sure to take advantage and learn something new!  Quilters love to learn new techniques and refine their skills!  Do you know a beginning quilter?  Bring them along to the show!  Inspiration abounds!!

Here's the link:!quilt-show/clpa

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Threadmongers schedule - from now through June!!

I have had so many requests for my schedule information, that here it is again with the immediately upcoming shows:

Busy Bee Quilters, April 23-24, Monroe Fairgrounds

Moonlight Quilters - Monday, May 9 - I'll be speaking at their regular evening meeting!
"Thread by weight and fiber content."  My most popular presentation.  All the basic information that quilters want to know!  Bellingham. 

Stray Threads Quilt Guild "Joy of Quilting", May 14-15, Mobius Hall, Cascadia College, Bothell 

Woolley Fiber Quilters “Blast of Baskets”, June 3-5, On Highway 20 next door to the Three Rivers Inn, Sedro-Woolley

I'll post the July through November schedule for you a little later...yep, I'm already booked through to November!  At some of your favorite shows!  Including the Latimer show in Tillamook!

Fidalgo Island Quilters - another great show!

Thanks to the Fidalgo Island Quilters for another great and fun show at the Swinomish Casino this past weekend!  Did you come to the show and stop by to see the Threadmonger?  Here are some booth photos to remember me by:

HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of spools and cones of your favorite quilting and piecing threads as well as threads for embellishment and specialty needles. 
And your thread questions answered! 
Be sure to use the best quality threads in your beautiful projects!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fidalgo Island Quilters show - April 15-16!

Quilts are in BLOOM at the Fidalgo Island Quilters show this weekend!  Once again at the beautiful Swinomish Casino and Lodge, the FIQ members have compiled their best quilts to dazzle and inspire you.  Are you ready?  A fun outing and oh, so close to those amazing tulips!

Threadmongers will be there!  You need thread to make your projects bloom!!

Here's the link:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mini Pineapple wins big at Clark County Quilters show!

Thanks!  To the Clark County Quilters for a GREAT show and for awarding my little pineapple quilt a great Viewer's Choice ribbon!!  How can I follow this up for next year?  Time to think about quilting...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Clark County Quilters Guild quilt show - April 7-8-9!

One of the LARGEST quilt guilds in the state, and certainly one of the most talented!!  I can say that because, full disclosure, I'm a member!

CCQ has changed locations this year because their show just grows and grows.  They'll be at the Clark County Fairgrounds which is a great, accessible location for all regional quilters.

Threadmongers will be there!!  Wouldn't miss it!  Come and see these great quilts from challenges to judged entries; from beginners to national prize-winning quilters' work!  Be prepared to be SO inspired!  You'll take home lots of new ideas, many of them involving just the right THREAD!!  Trust me...

Here's their link with all the information.  See you at CCQ!!

Tri-City Quilters Guild quilt show April 1-2!

It's SPRING and time for a great quilt show in the beautiful Tri-Cities!

Come on out to the Three Rivers Convention Center and enjoy the HUGE quilt show that the Tri-City Quilters have planned for you. 

Threadmongers will be there along with some great vendors that you might not see anywhere else this year. 

And if you love scrappy red quilts, take a chance on their spectacular raffle quilt, pictured here.

Visit their link:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Threadmongers schedule March through June 2016!

I have had some inquiries in the past week regarding my upcoming show schedule.  So I thought I'd post it again!  My first show of the year was with the Kitsap Quilters in Bremerton and it was SUCH a great time!  Quilters never fritter the winter away - they get a lot of quilts ready for the first shows of the year!

Here are my shows coming up.  I don't have a show in March, but I'm doing four fabulous shows in a row in April!  In the spring, quilters' thoughts turn to THREAD!

Tri-City Quilters “Quilt for all Seasons”, April 1-2, Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick
Clark County Quilters “Circle of Life”,  April 7-9, Clark County Fairgrounds Event Center,
Vancouver WA

Fidalgo Island Quilters, April 15-16, Swinomish Casino, between La Conner and Anacortes

Busy Bee Quilters, April 23-24, Monroe Fairgrounds

Moonlight Quilters - Monday, May 9 - I'll be speaking at their regular evening meeting!
"Thread by weight and fiber content."  My most popular presentation.  All the basic information that quilters want to know!  Bellingham. 

Stray Threads Quilt Guild "Joy of Quilting", May 14-15, Mobius Hall, Cascadia College, Bothell 
Woolley Fiber Quilters “Blast of Baskets”, June 3-5, Downtown Sedro-Woolley

As always, you are welcome to contact me any time regarding shopping for thread or questions about thread!  Be assured, people do it all the time!
Come and see me at one of these GREAT shows!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Kitsap Quilters - February 19-20, Kitsap County Fairgrounds!

What a beautiful way to start the quilt show year!!  The Kitsap Quilters are putting the finishing touches on the GREAT quilts they have to delight you at this year's show - Going Coastal!

So head out to the Kitsap County Fairgrounds on February 19-20 and gather up some of that inspiration you have been looking for.  Sure, you can see it on Facebook and Pinterest, but it's always BETTER to see the quilts in person and meet the quilters!

Threadmongers will be there!  I'm sure you have used up all that thread by now and you need MORE!

Here's the link:

Monday, January 25, 2016

Threadmongers schedule - February through June!

Here is a list of my confirmed shows, February through June 2016.  More shows could be added to this list so be sure and check back here.  

Kitsap Quilters “Going Coastal”, Feb 19-20, Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Bremerton

Tri-City Quilters “Quilt for all Seasons”, April 1-2, Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick

Clark County Quilters “Circle of Life”,  April 7-9, Clark County Fairgrounds Event Center,
Vancouver WA

Fidalgo Island Quilters, April 15-16, Swinomish Casino, between La Conner and Anacortes

Busy Bee Quilters, April 23-24, Monroe Fairgrounds

Stray Threads Quilt Guild "Joy of Quilting", May 14-15, Mobius Hall, Cascadia College, Bothell 

Woolley Fiber Quilters “Blast of Baskets”, June 3-5, Downtown Sedro-Woolley

Come and see me at one of these GREAT shows!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Need Aurifil? Here's an idea!

Here's a little reminder that I can get 12 of the 1300 meter spools of Aurifil in one USPS Priority Mail box!  Don't need 12?  Maybe you and a friend or two can go together on an order.  After all that holiday gift sewing, you probably need thread!!

Message me here or on Facebook for details.  Just search for "Threadmonger".

Yes, I have the #2600 gray!