Monday, June 29, 2009

Speedy Binding Using Charlotte's Fusible Web

This tip was submitted by quilter Susan Simpson Berbec:

I know there are people who enjoy the last step in completing a quilt - applying the binding. Well, I'm not one of them. I want that binding on and done!
I recently discovered Charlotte's Fusible Web from Superior Threads and love the way it speeds up the process.
Wind Charlotte's Fusible Web onto the bobbin. Do not thread the top of the machine with this thread. Bobbin only! Apply the binding to the back of the quilt using a zigzag stitch.
On my Bernina, a width of 2 and a length of 2 are just right.
Working from the back of the quilt, use a hot iron to crease the binding the way it needs to go - toward the edge. You just need a bit of a press here to convince the binding to head in the right direction.
Now, turn the quilt over and work from the right side. With your fingers, fold the binding over the edge. It should end just past the widest part of the zigzag stitching. Finger press 4 to 6 inches of binding in place. With a hot iron, press straight down on this to 4 to 6 inches of binding. Hold the iron in place for a count of ten. Move to the next section of binding.
At each corner, insert a pin to hold the miter in place until it is sewn down. After you have pressed your way all around the quilt, the binding on the front will be fused to the front of the quilt, courtesy of Charlotte's Fusible Web.
Next, use your machine to stitch the binding down. If you want an invisible look, use MonoPoly, a heat resistant invisible thread.
MONOPOLY (Polyester monofilament invisible thread. Soft and heat resistant)
I personally favor a decorative stitch combined with a decorative thread. I feature this stitching as part of the finished quilt.Notes: Use the zigzag stitch rather than a straight stitch to expose more of the fusible thread. It makes things stick better. Don't 'iron' the binding. Press straight down with the iron. Don't rub the iron back and forth. This technique is not recommended for fuzzy flannel because the thread sticks to the fuzz rather than the fabric.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Should I Use A Glazed Thread?

Have you ever wondered what it means when you read the term "glazed" or "coated"on the label?
Is it OK to use a thread that has been glazed? Here is some information that can help you when making thread selections.

Glazing or coating cotton threads involves heating the thread and then coating it with waxes, starches and other chemicals.
Glazing results in a glossy thread with a hard finish. Glazed thread is stiffer than unglazed and has a wire-like look and feel. Most professionals do not recommend glazed or coated threads for machine work as the glaze rubs off and gums up the machine.
Glazed or coated cottons are recommended only for hand quilting only. If you see a cotton thread that has a smooth, no-lint surface, most likely is it glazed. Look beyond the label because many glazed threads do not state that on the label.

We have recently introduced Treasure for hand quilting. It is glazed or coated. It is an Extra-long staple cotton, and is available on 300 yard spools in 25 different colors. Made specifically for hand quilting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Much Thread Does My Bobbin Hold?

How much thread does my bobbin hold?

There is a major difference between a self-wound bobbin and a professionally-wound prewound bobbin. Even among self-wound bobbins, there will be differences due to machine winding tension, speed, and size of thread.
Some ask, "Why would someone want a prewound bobbin. I just wind my own." The most common answer I hear is, "Oh honey! Let me tell you. It is an unbelievable convenience and you will never want to wind another bobbin! It is well worth the few pennies extra to have a professionally wound bobbin and they last a lot longer."

Here are yardage estimates:
L Style Bobbin (This style bobbin is compatible with about 70% of home machine models. To see the compatibility list, click HERE).

  • Bottom Line: 60-80 yds. for self-wound; 118 yds. for SuperBOBs prewound bobbins.
  • Masterpiece: 45-50 yds. for self-wound; 82 yds. for MasterPiece prewound bobbins.
  • Brand X fuzzy cotton: 35-40 yds. for self-wound.
  • So Fine: 50-60 yds. for self-wound. Not yet available on prewounds.

*MasterPiece Bobbins. #50/2-ply, Extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton.

M Style Bobbin
(for most longarm machines. see compatibility list HERE)
  • Bottom Line: 120-160 yds. for self-wound; 215 yds. for SuperBOBs prewound bobbins.
  • Masterpiece: 100-110 yds. for self-wound; 148 yds. for MasterPiece prewound bobbins.
  • Brand X fuzzy cotton: 60-70 yds. for self-wound.
  • So Fine: 80-100 yds. for self-wound. Not yet available on prewounds but they are in the plans.

*SuperBOB's. Cardboard-sided, premium polyester Bottom Line 60 wt. thread. Named after Bob.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ricky Tims Recommendation

"Often a particular thread will become the source of inspiration for a particular design"
In the contemporary world of sewing and quilting, threads no longer take a back seat. In the past, fabrics dictated the direction of a sewing project. This is no longer the case. Often a particular thread will become the source of inspiration for a particular design. No one knows this better than Superior Threads. They have become the innovators in providing quality threads for quilters and embroiderers worldwide.
Their success has been based on the fact that they listen to the requests of the consumer and respond by producing beautiful, unique, dependable, and very practical threads. They recently worked with me to introduce a new thread called Razzle Dazzle by Ricky Tims. It is a heavier embellishment thread made of polyester and metallic that is perfect for bobbin embroidery and even bobbin quilting. It is soft and pliable, not bristly or stiff like other threads I've used. The variety of colors are stunning and the metallic finish provides that extra spark to make your sewing projects dazzling!

Many thanks to Superior Threads for creating and driving the market for wonderful products.
Sincerely,Ricky Tims

From a very early age Ricky knew that music was to be his life. He recorded his first album at the tender age of five. At university he trained in concert piano performance and the composition of music. He had the great misfortune to have all his university compositions scattered by the wind of a F5 tornado as it swept through his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas taking with it his and 5000 other family homes. Music continues to be his first love and fortunately for the quilting world he has chosen to combine his composition and performing of music with his quilting activities. Quilter: A close bond with one of his grandmothers ultimately led him into the world of quilting but more about that later when he tells you himself how he became a quilter.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Superior Threads Guarantee

Superior Threads is the only thread company that guarantees every spool we sell.
Our guarantee is that our thread will work on your machine if you follow the simple rules outlined in our Thread Reference Guide.
The Thread Reference Guide explains which needle and tension setting to use with all our threads.
You can find our Thread Reference Guide HERE on our web site.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The History of Superior Threads

After working in Japan for many years (two of our children were "made in Japan"), we moved to Hawaii in 1990. While we were there I (Heather/Mother Superior) took my first quilting class and got my first taste of this creative hobby/addiction/passion. In 1994 we moved to St. George, Utah where I took another quilting class. By then I was hooked and quilting has been a passion of mine ever since.
A few years later I worked part time at a quilt shop and began to learn about fabric and notions and thread. I learned that Japan made the best quality thread.
After many months of research, Bob went to Japan in 1998 to meet with thread factories and discuss our ideas with them. Because we had lived in Japan for 10 years, it was easy to connect with many of the factories that produce thread. Bob met with four thread factories and started what has become a very good working relationship with them.
Our first product was Metallic thread. It was a slow beginning. We took our product to shows and taught seminars. We knew that our Metallic was better than any other product out there but because metallic had such a bad reputation, many people did not even want to try another metallic thread. The first seminar that we did was at the California Association of Machine Embroiders (C.A.M.E.). They were so kind and supportive.
Our next product was Glitter Hologram Thread, which is also a metallic thread, but a flat hologram thread. In the beginning, both metallic and Glitter were more popular in the embroidery world than the quilting world. Next came Halo, a decorative serger thread. It was followed by Polyarn, a woollie polyester thread which is a wonderful replacement of the woollie nylon threads on the market.

Our 5th product was Vanish-Extra, a water soluble thread (and not recommended for swimsuits Ha Ha!), followed by NiteLite, a glow-in-the-dark thread.
Now, many years later, including all the colors and multiple spool and cone sizes, we have over 2,000 individual products. It's been a wonderful and fun learning experience. We love being part of the quilting and embroidery world and the association we have with you. We are blessed with good friends, wonderful co-workers, and truly superior customers. Thank you for joining us on this journey. The future will be even better.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Visitors WELCOME

Welcome to Superior Threads in St. George, Utah.
St. George is a lovely city in southern Utah, right on the Arizona border. We are just under two hours from Las Vegas and about five hours from Salt Lake City.
If you are in our area, please visit us, see our office and warehouse, and meet our staff. Don't forget your shopping list.
Imagine having every Superior Threads product right at your finger tips.

Our warehouse is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

We are located at 87 East 2580 South, right off Interstate 15. It's a new address and may not be in many GPS databases. Take Exit 4 and you will see a new La Quinta Inn hotel. We are located just behind the hotel.

Once you enter our reception area, you will be greeted by Carrie.

She will give you a guest badge to wear into our warehouse.

You can walk up and down the aisles that are stocked with over 2,000 individual products.
We like to refer to it as "Superior Heaven."
Come see us soon! We love visitors!

Friday, June 12, 2009

This Month's Specials at Superior Threads

1. Brytes thread 2,200 yds. Save 50%. Brytes is a #30/3-ply polyester thread and is intended to be bright and visible. 2,200 yd. cones are on sale at $9.90 through the end of June (reg. $19.80).
2. Heavy duty thread stand/cone holder. $14 through the end of June. The price will increase to $15.99 in July.
3. Try Me Specials. You choose the product, we choose the colors, and you save 40-50%. Available for most products.
4. Art Studio Colors 2,000 yd. cones. This is a beautiful high sheen premium trilobal polyester thread for both quilting and embroidery. 36 colors. Half price. Only $6.95 (regularly $13.90).
5. Perfect Quilter. When they’re gone, they’re gone. 50% off Perfect Quilter. Regular price for 300 yd. mini cones is $8.99 (34 colors still available). Now only $4.50.
2,500 yd. cones (only 17 colors left) are $15 (reg. $29.95). Perfect Quilter is a 17 wt. cotton thread that creates a wonderful, well defined stitch. We recommend using a Topstitch #100/16 needle and a thread stand/cone holder. Perfect Quilter is recommended for home machines and not for most longarms.
6. Superior Sampler Sets Each set is designed for either home quilting, longarm quilting, embroidery, or bobbin work. Save almost 50%.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Starr Fire Kit

I love using hand dyed fabrics in my quilts. For our STARR FIRE kit we worked together with Kathleen and Shelley (who just got married on May 30th) of Starr Design Fabrics to create a package that includes not only the pattern and fabrics, but the threads to use to piece and quilt with. So many have asked me what threads go best with different projects. This kit is an example of how we should be as selective in our thread choices as with any other part of coordinating our projects.

Designed by Heather Purcell (Mother Superior) and Annie Unrein.
This 68" x 88" quilt is specially designed to use Starr Design Fabrics' Starr Fire fabric pack, a group of twenty fat quarters in rich, vibrant colors.
By using the fabrics in the order in which they are stacked in the fabric pack, you will get a beautiful effect of graduated color. Use coordinating fabric yardage for the centers of the blocks, the sashing, outer borders, and binding.
Blocks are made by strip-piecing fabrics and then cutting wedge-shaped pieces from the strip sets. A special plastic template is included in the pattern to make this quick and easy.
kit includes:

  • 20 hand-dyed fat quarters in vibrant, graduated colors

  • 2-3/4 yards coordinating fabric for block centers, sashing, outer border, and binding.

  • Starr Fire quilt pattern, special plastic template for cutting wedges.

  • MasterPiece thread. 600 yds. x two spools. Mother Superior's recommended colors for piecing.

  • King Tut 500 yds. x 2 spools. Mother Superior's recommended colors for quilting.
You will need also to add the following items: 5-1/2 yards of fabric for the back of the quilt and 75" x 94" of batting.
This entire Starr Fire kit is available on our web site HERE
On Sale for only $149.95. (Total value = $201.95. Save $52.00.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Caryl Bryer Fallert's Recommendation

I was first introduced to Rainbows 40 wt. trilobal polyester threads a year ago. At that time, I was already using a 40 wt. polyester topstitching thread for most of my quilting. Although I couldn't imagine finding a better thread than the one I was using, I discovered that Superior's trilobal polyester is even stronger than the thread I was using. The quality is consistent and the colors are gorgeous. In the past, I seldom used variegated threads because the wide range of values in a single strand often caused unwanted visual breaks in a quilting pattern. Rainbows has beautiful color variation without the large jumps in value. This allows a pattern to flow, unbroken, even while the colors change.

I'm also in love with the lightweight Bottom Line threads. You can get much more thread on a single bobbin, and it doesn't build up a lot of bulk or leave big knots on the back of the quilt. The lightweight thread is also great for quilting on the top, when you don't want the thread to show very much or if you don't want to use monofilament. I also use it when I'm doing machine applique, because it leaves a very lightweight line around the applique and doesn't build up around the edge.

Superior's monofilament thread, MonoPoly, is the best. Although I use lots of invisible thread in my piecing, I have always had a love/hate relationship with it, because it broke so often. When I got my first spool of MonoPoly, I had a major deadline for photo quilt. The whole thing was quilted with MonoPoly, at full speed on my machine, and the thread never broke. It's a miracle!!!
Thanks for making this wonderful thread available.
Caryl Bryer Fallert

Friday, June 5, 2009

Another Use for So Fine

We have discovered another good reason to use So Fine.
It's not just for quilting anymore . . . . . . . Superior Baby Avilyn who turns 6 months old on June 5th, recommends it for teething.

After all, Mother Superior has named a color after her.
Have you tried color #523 Avilyn?
So Fine is #50/3-ply lint-free, extra smooth polyester with a polished cotton look. It is wonderful for quilting, bobbin thread, clothing and craft construction, and general sewing. We are up to 134 lovely colors.
  • The Original 50 Colors
  • 50 New Colors

  • 34 Newest Colors (Sept. '08)
Please visit our web site HERE

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Treasure" our New Hand Quilting Thread

You asked and Mother Superior listened.
Superior Threads introduces a hand quilting thread called "Treasure".

This #30/3-ply coated, extra-long staple cotton thread is available in 25 beautiful colors. This thread is for hand quilting, not for machine work. It is available on 300 yard spools. All colors can be viewed HERE.
You can now hand quilt your heirloom treasures with colors such as Buried Treasure, Cedar Chest, Spice, or Silver Thimble.

#555 Buried Treasure

Most colors are tone-on-tone variegated with a precise 1-inch color change, consistent with Superior Threads' standards of quality.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Meet Josh, Our New Warehouse Manager

Meet Josh Every, our Warehouse Manager.
Josh is returning to Superior Threads after being gone for two years while he pursued his education at Brigham Young University. Originally Josh worked in the warehouse, which gave him the experience to move into this new position. He's happy to be back. "I feel like working for Superior Threads is a good match for me," he said. "I love the management style here, where we have opportunity to expand our minds and grow."

Several things have changed while Josh has been gone. He brings back his wife of 1 year, Amber, who is again part of our office staff. Amber and Josh originally met while working at Superior Threads. (Most of us here knew it was a Superior match long before Josh realized it.) One major change Josh noticed upon his return was the growth of the company. "We are in a new building now, with an even larger addition under construction. Also, Superior has added so many new products. It's fun to be part of a company that is moving forward," he said.

"The best part of this job is that this company takes normal people and helps them accomplish extraordinary things. I believe in Superior Threads' top two business goals of providing the best service and offering the highest quality in product." he added.

One of Josh's goals as new Warehouse Manager is to create a team atmosphere. He will encourage his co-workers to become knowledgeable in every aspect of the warehouse and to realize that each order represents the group as a whole. "We are here to help one another." he said.

Josh carries his business philosophy into his personal life. He will be leaving in June for six weeks as a service volunteer to Africa. This will be Josh's 3rd trip to Africa (he really speaks a local tribal language) and he will be working with a program called Literacy for Social Change. "Our group will be going to a small village called Kwanibela, where we will meet with the people to help them improve their standard of living. We want to facilitate some ideas that will work within their culture, to help them generate some income through micro-financing opportunities.

"There are many good things to do in this world. My heart yearns for a way to give back." he said.

Welcome back to Superior Threads Josh. You are already contributing great things.