Metallics–no fun!

There is this one spool of metallic thread that I just love. It is also the only spool of metallic that I have not been able to tame! I know all the tricks and I have tried all the suggestions and I just have not had success with this thread. And I have a machine that loves any other thread that I have used.

Because it is the perfect choice for my current project, I tried it again today. Too much breakage when I used it on the top…again!!

However, on this piece, I was able to quilt from the back and try that devil thread again!

Success–kind of! I didn’t get any breakage but the tension was not great. And I was afraid to mess with it too much, since it was mostly working. And it was definitely the right thread.

Desert City Sunset 8

Here’s a detail of a mostly good part and a pretty good part….oops! There isn’t a really good part!

Desert city sunset 9

I’m going to use it as it came out. I am NOT going to rip out all that quilting again. However, I may throw away or give away the rest of that devil spool of thread. If it’s not sitting in my drawer, then I won’t see it and it will never again be the perfect thread for a project because it will be gone, gone, gone!

I think this piece is ready for some bling, but I’m also toying with a bit more paint over the surface. Paint people–what do you think?

 

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18 thoughts on “Metallics–no fun!

  1. I am frequently tempted to use metallic thread. I find a large size needle helps since the thread isn’t “squeezed” by the eye. I am also a fan of running three beads of liquid silicon down the length of the thread and letting it soak in for 5 minutes or so before each use. I may still get breakage, but not at all as frequently as if I didn’t take these precautions.

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    • Aha–I have NOT tried the liquid silicon. Perhaps that’s what this thread needs. I’m thinking about experimenting more with this thread and another spool of the same type from the same company. There are several things that I have not yet tried!

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  2. oh, well I was going to say YLI always behaves well. That and Madeira. I have a Bernina, and it makes a difference as my PFaff friend has trouble with madeira! LeeAnna

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  3. Just a thought, but have you tried wetting the quilt and letting it shrink up a little bit? Sometimes that fixes some thread tension issues. Love the quilt!

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    • Never heard of that as a solution, but this–and all my fabric–has been washed and shrunk as much as it’s going to shrink. And the sunset fabric is hand-dyed, so it’s been *really* washed! But it’s an idea worth trying, ’cause it sure can’t hurt!

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  4. It is the thread I’ll bet. It isn’t Sulky Metallic by any chance? Crappy metallic won’t work in any machine. If you obeyed the three rules: metallic or top stitch needle, thread oriented correctly (cross-wound MUST come off the top of the spool, straight-wound MUST come off the side) and lowered the top tension, and it doesn’t work, it’s the thread.

    The fourth rule is absolutely must use quality thread-Superior and Yenmet are what I know, probably are others. If you are successful with the others and not that particular one, don’t you think it must be the thread?

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    • This thread happens to be YLI and I really like their cotton, especially the variegated. The only metallic I have had easy success with is Madiera. I have done everything to try and use this thread without really good results, so I think I must agree with you. It’s the fault of the thread, not me! I think I’ll make a piece with thread nests of this thread ’cause that’s the only way I’ll use it again!

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      • Was it Shimmer (metallic wrapped rayon-yikes!)? Just curious. I do use Sparkle on occasion ( metallic wrapped silk) which is a very good but fussy thread. I love it’s subtle glimmer. But Shimmer was awful to work with. – I never use it.

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        • Don’t think so–not much info on the label, but it didn’t seem like it was wrapped around anything. Just a thin metallic. I may try it on a straight line, but not for free motion anymore!

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  5. I hate metallic thread as well. Someone needs to invent a metallic that is user friendly, they would get very rich. The metallic is perfect for the sky though and it really isn’t that bad, pretty good actually. And I think paint would be good but might be hard to do after quilting. Have you ever painted on top of quilting? Or maybe you’re talking about the houses or city part. I can’t tell I’d that is quilted yet. Love the quilt so far though.

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    • The only painting I have done after quilting is with a screen or stencil and not much of that. It’s something I would like to explore more…probably starting with a piece that I think is really ugly. It won’t be this one!

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    • Older or newer, I don’t have much luck with them unless I use them in the bobbin. And sometimes you simply cannot quilt the piece without seeing the front, so consequently I don’t use metallics very much!

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  6. I have never had any luck with gold metallic thread. It just will not stand up under free motion work. I have given up on it now. Overpainting is a good way to redeem or enhance some areas of your quilt that just doesn’t seem to work.

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    • I so rarely use it. I’m more likely to couch a heavier weight gold cording if I really want the gold bling…or use gold beads. But this piece really called for the gold!

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