Spool Party by Susan V. Polansky
Creative Chrysalis

134 – Spool Party: stitched fabric collage

December 23, 2021 By

How about diving into a little bit about thread?

Do I have loyalty to any brand of thread? No, but I do have favorites. My first consideration will always be color. Then I consider how much I want the thread to add to the fabric collage. There are so many choices available! Thickness, sheen, metallic, variegated, and so on. When I go into a fabric store promising myself to not add any yardage to my collection, I find myself going to the thread displays, as there is always something tempting and small enough not to be a burden to my overstuffed studio shelves.

I don’t have any method of noting what I have in my supply, so sometimes I end up with duplicates. I tried keeping a spreadsheet, but that was impossible to keep current. I’d love to know if anyone has a good system for this. An annoyance to identifying what I have is that the manufacturer’s label is often on the spool end, becoming lost or impossible to read with use. So it’s pretty much just guessing when I’m at the store.

I change thread colors to work with the fabric. I’m drawing with the thread, adding details or shadowing, or calling attention to some area, or maybe filling in an area that I couldn’t create with fabric pieces. That means changing my thread often. I’m quite fast at re-threading my machine. I use the same bobbin color all the time. Typically, a medium color gray in a fine weight. (Thread size is measured in weight, 100wt. being fine to 12 wt. being very thick. There is much variation in manufacturer’s labeling, so I go by the feel of it rather than paying much attention to stated measure.) I like Aurefil and So-Fine as bobbin threads. I’ll wind multiple bobbins at the same time so I don’t have to stop everything when one runs out.