Friday, May 29, 2009

New Colors in King Tut

Have you noticed as you select fabrics, that the shades of colors change from year to year? For example, last year's Green is different from this year's green.
We pay close attention to fabric trends and work to bring you colors in thread that will match any project.
We are happy to announce we now have 21 new colors in King Tut.

Most of the new colors are are tone-on-tone shades, which is somewhere between a solid and a variegated. Having four shades of green is better than a single solid shade of green. With the one-inch color change and four near shades, you will not have to worry about finding an exact match.

Many of these new colors are pastel in nature. The three new grays are amazing!

One of my latest favorites is #900 called Sinai.

King Tut is a #40/3-ply extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton, available on 500 yard spools, and 2,000 yard cones.
To view all King Tut colors, please click HERE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Motherland Update

Construction is progressing well on our building addition at Superior Threads. We are getting very excited in anticipation of opening up The School of Threadology in the next few months.

There will be two levels in our new building.

The lower level will offer additional office and warehouse space.

The upper level will house our School of Threadology. The wide open area in the foreground will be the classroom for the longarm and midarm machines. The framed area toward the back will be additional classrooms and offices.

Imagine practicing on a longarm and being able to look out the window to see the spectacular red rocks of St. George. Bob calls this view "Mt. Superior".

This room has been nick named "The Bernina Room" because Bernina has very generously agreed to furnish 20 machines for this classroom. We can now provide machines to those who cannot travel with a machine.
Many other ideas are in the works. One room on the lower level will be called the "kaizen no ma" (the continuous improvement room). It will be an authentic Japanese style room. We are bringing in a Japanese floor, lights, and decor. We lived in Japan for 10 years and I've always wanted an authentic Japanese-style room. This will be a quiet, peaceful meeting room where there are no phones or computers. Our goal is to have a place to think, plan, and move ideas forward. August 2009 is the scheduled completion date.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What Is Trilobal Polyester Thread?

We are out of the office today in honor of the holiday. We hope you are enjoying the day with family and friends.

You've seen "Trilobal Polyester" written on our labels of Rainbows, Highlights, Nature Colors, Super Brights, Living Colors and Art Studio Colors, but do you understand what it means?

Recent advancements in fiber technology have resulted in a new type of polyester. Trilobal means three sided. Triangular shaped fibers reflect more light and give added sparkle to textiles. The trilobal cross section of the fiber creates excellent light reflection resulting in high sheen.
In the past, due to it's dull appearance, polyester was not as popular as other fibers, especially rayon. However, most rayon is not colorfast and it is a fairly weak fiber, and we do not recommend it for any application. Polyester is stronger and colorfast, but did not have the high sheen. Now we have the best of all worlds. A high-sheen polyester that is strong and colorfast.
The quality of our trilobals are, as we say SUPERIOR.

Rainbows is a 40 weight high sheen premium trilobal polyester thread with a one-inch color change interval. It's good for both quilting and embroidery.

Solid colors of trilobal polyester include Highlights, Nature Colors, Super Brights, Living Colors and Art Studio Colors.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Is It OK to Use Polyester Thread In a Quilt?

We are often asked, "Is it OK to quilt using polyester thread?"
Our answer: "Absolutely!"
But what about all those stories we hear about polyester cutting the fabric? Not true. If a thread were to ever tear through the fabric, it is because the thread is very strong or abrasive and the fabric is quite weak.
Some cotton threads are stronger than polyester threads so if a thread really were to tear through the fabric, some cotton threads would do this easier than some polyester threads. Think about your 100% cotton t-shirts. Guess what kind of thread they use to sew the seams together? Polyester thread and it DOES NOT tear through the t-shirt. How do we know what kind of thread they use? Bob called them and asked.

So Fine/50 wt./ polyester for quilting and general sewing.

The stories we have heard are myths handed down from grandma's generation when the only available thread was cotton. Cotton thread is great. Polyester thread is great. We like to piece with cotton (MasterPiece) and quilt with many different types of thread.
Here are a few of the facts we have gathered as we have studied the threads of today:
* The seams are the true stress points of a quilt, not the machine quilted area.
* If the fabric ever tears as a result of heavy use, it most likely will tear at the seams.
* Machine quilting does not add stress to the quilt. It strengthens it.

Poly Quilter/ 19 wt./ The look of cotton, with the strength of polyester.

Brights/ 30 wt./ High sheen polyester


  • Strong

  • Resistant to stretching and shrinking

  • Resistant to most chemicals

  • Quick drying

  • Crisp and resilient when wet or dry

  • Wrinkle resistant

  • Abrasion resistant

  • Retains heat-set pleats and creases

  • Easily washed

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Irish Linen Quilt

When Ricci Lindley, a member of our office staff, visited Dingle, Ireland in 2001 she did not have a premonition that she would be documenting history. On the morning of September 11th, 2001 Ricci purchased an antique Irish linen. By afternoon in Ireland, the news of New York and the devastation at Twin Towers was on every television and radio.
Once Ricci returned back to the United States, the linen was tucked away in a closet at home.
Fast forward to February 2009. Cindy Needham, one of our Superior Threads educators, came to St. George to teach at our School of Threadology. (see blog post on 2/5/2009)
Cindy, author of the book "Wholecloth Linen Quilts," specializes in turning ordinary linens into something special.
Ricci commissioned Cindy to create her magic on the Irish tablecloth purchased in 2001.

Cindy stitched with several types of Superior Threads to do her work.
Superior Threads Highlights were used for the feathers, heart, and border.
For the main part of the feathers, Cindy used Highlights #797
Look at the beautiful detail work. The beading was hand sewn on last.
In the center, a small white doily was added for the initial.
Superior Threads Bottom Line was used for the ditching, grid work and scribbling.
Several dark, medium and light colors of Bottom Line and So Fine helped bring depth to the piece.
On the back, Cindy included an Irish Blessing written on a doily.
The rod pocket and label were created by cutting off the end of an unfinished pillowcase.
To see more of Cindy Needham's beautiful work you can find her at

Monday, May 18, 2009

Which Thread Should I Piece With?

Many new quilters have asked us, "Which thread should I piece with?" There can be a lot of confusion understanding all the different options available in thread choices.
Although there may not be one right answer for every person or project, we can offer a few suggestions.

Most quilters use cotton fabric and prefer to use a cotton thread to piece with. The main reason is because cotton is high heat tolerant. Ironing the seams with a high heat iron works well when using cotton threads. Many do piece with polyester threads and that is fine as long as you are careful to set the iron heat to medium or low.
We have teamed up with Alex Anderson in the creation of "MasterPiece" a #50/2 extra long staple Egyptian cotton thread. Notice the name: MasterPiece (Bob thought up this name because it is mainly a piecing thread. But it also fantastic as an applique and bobbin thread). MasterPiece thread is very smooth and virtually lint free.

MasterPiece is available in 59 beautiful colors, and comes on 600 yard spools, or 3,000 yard cones.
Alex has said "When piecing, accuracy become instantly enhanced because MasterPiece creates a very smooth, flat, even seam which does not add any bulk."
If you would like to see the actual colors up close, you can order a Color Card (made with the actual thread here. We sell all colors cards at our production cost of $3.
We also offer a Neutrals Collection, and for the very ambitious a 50 Color Collection.
MasterPiece is available in prewound bobbins to enhance the ease of sewing. Bobbins are available in "L style" and "M style". If you want to understand which style to use for your particular machine we have a compatibility chart available on our web site. You can find it HERE.
Remember, instead of using the common tan, beige or gray to piece with, try matching the thread color to the project. We have provided so many beautiful colors to work with!
MasterPiece can also be used for applique, lacework, bobbin and fine quilting.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our Commitment to Excellence

Here at Superior Threads we continually focus on improvement. We feel little things pay off in big ways.
We pay attention to even the smallest details and are very specific about certain aspects of our company. Whether it's making sure we have well organized items on our warehouse shelves to the packing of boxes, we are committed to excellence. In fact, Bob gives every new employee a "box making lesson." Bob says it is in his genes because his grandparents' name is Packer and therefore he knows how to pack.

Our detail-oriented staff goes through training to make sure each box is packed with the highest standards.

Each box needs to have well aligned edges.

Taping in both directions keeps the product secure. Our focus is on problem prevention rather than problem resolution.

Some people might even consider us a little obsessive, but we want you to receive your order in prime condition.

When you open your box we want it to look nice and in excellent condition.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Quilt Pattern Shoppe

Superior Threads has partnered with The Quilt Pattern Shoppe to offer you even more service.
While browsing the web have you ever wished you could use your quilt patterns right away, instead of waiting for your purchase to come in the mail?

Problem solved!
The Quilt Pattern Shoppe (TQPS) is an on-line store offering immediate downloading of quilt patterns by many talented designers.
By printing patterns from your home computer, you save shipping costs and time.
TQPS also offers kits, supplies, block of the month, and even a shopper's rewards program.
Currently offering over 200 great patterns, the list is growing daily. TQPS provides a free monthly newsletter that will keep you up to date on the latest products, sales and designers.
If you are a designer and would like your patterns to be made available, there is an easy process to become a featured artist.
Good News: In honor of their 1st Anniversary, TQPS is offering a GIVE AWAY !(on their blog HERE)
Make sure to check out their web site at

Monday, May 11, 2009

Season Opener of SplashBall

We are celebrating the beginning of summer here in sunny St. George, Utah with our Season Opener of SplashBall with Superior Threads. It was 90 degrees here today. SplashBall is kind of like rough basketball in the pool. There is no such thing as a foul.
From May through early October, SpashBall games are every Friday from noon to 1:30 if Bob is in town (because if Bob doesn't play, no one plays) . It really is part of our workday, although participation is optional. We usually have about 10 players each week. Can you believe we get paid for playing in the pool? (Bob has to buy his friends.) SplashBall gives us the needed break from a long week of hard work.
SplashBall started around five years ago when we thought it would be a good idea to get together for a little healthy competition and it has turned into a highlight at Superior Threads.
We even offer trophies for the winning team (and yes, Bob's name is on the winning team's 2008 season trophy.)
There have been some pretty bad scrapes, cuts from fingernails, numerous bruises, foot blisters, and even a black eye, but they are soon forgotten.
Kyle Fisher, assistant warehouse manager, was our MVP for 2008.
We asked Kyle why he enjoys playing SplashBall. "It's all around good fun for everyone. I love roughing up the other guys," he said.
Bob's claim to fame is his three-point shot from the far edge of the pool, which he says he ALWAYS makes.
Once 1:30 rolls around we go back to work, making sure your orders are filled and taken care of in a timely manner.
You can watch a video of last year's SplashBall competition HERE.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Meet Jon Cole, Vice President

Jon Cole, Vice President, has been with Superior Threads since he was 15 years old. As Jon was growing up he lived two doors away from our home and worked and played with our children when the company was new.
Jon's first task at Superior was cutting and packaging Dissolve, one of our first products. This background has helped Jon understand Superior Threads from the bottom up.
As Vice President, Jon's main focus is to implement new ideas that help our company grow and improve. He works daily on the Kaizen suggestions (see blog post 3/9/09) and the S.T.E.P. program (see blog post 3/16/09).
"I love being part of a company where the public is so excited about a product. Seeing people's loyalty to Superior Threads makes my job fun. Our customer's are our #1 priority and I appreciate being part of a company that actually lives up to their mission statement to focus on quality and service. Many companies say they believe in these principles, but Superior Threads walks the walk," he said.
Jon is also very committed to personal growth. "We can always be good, but my goal is to be better. I'm very anti-complacent."
We see Jon's contributions here at Superior Threads on a daily basis. Whether it's providing a motivating message at our morning meetings (every work day at 9:00 a.m.) , solving computer problems, or even unloading pallets when needed, Jon's diverse talents help Superior Threads move forward in today's growing market.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Farewell To Todd

On Monday we had a luncheon to say farewell to our son Todd, who will be leaving for two years to Tokyo, Japan as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Todd has worked at Superior Threads as one of our first employees. He has worked full time for the last five years, currently serving as one of our Vice Presidents.
Todd was born in Japan (I usually say "made in Japan") and is excited to be returning to the place of his birth.

Mother Superior thinks two years is a very long time!
We met in the lunchroom to say our goodbyes and to share some food.
Heather, Todd and Bob (whose first name is Todd)

From the staff (except Pat, who was on the phone at photo time) at Superior Threads: "Best wishes. We will miss you! We will continue to work hard to be bigger and better when you come back in two years."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Heavy To Show, Thin To Blend

Some have asked "What weight thread should I use for the top of my quilt project? Should I use a 20 30, 40 or 50 weight?" The answer is that it depends on whether you want the thread to blend or stand out?
A good rule to remember is "Medium/Heavy To Show, Thin To Blend".
If you use a decorative thread, most likely you want to add dimension to the project and highlight the thread. Therefore a medium to heavy weight thread is recommended.

Brytes by Caryl Bryer Fallert is a 30 weight thread.
How do you know which thread is heavy and which thread is thin?
Remember that the smaller the number, the thicker the thread.
Below is a chart outlining some our thread selections with the respective weight.
17 wt. Perfect Quilter
19 wt. Poly Quilter
30 wt. Brytes
35 wt. Lava, NiteLite, Extra Glow
40 wt. King Tut, Rainbows, SunBurst, Super Brights, Highlights, Natures Colors, Art Studio Colors
50 wt. MasterPiece, So Fine
60 wt. The Bottom Line

#810 Zebra Rainbows/ 40 wt.
A lightweight variegated thread will not be as visible as a medium, heavier variegated thread. Therefore, most lightweight threads are not variegated.
Although our grand daughter Avilyn couldn't imagine why anyone would want to quilt with any thread that wasn't pink.

She is now considering blue because it matches her eyes.