Monday, August 31, 2009

NiteLite Extra Glow Thread

As Fall is approaching we begin to think about our seasonal projects. For a fun idea to add an extra dimension to your Halloween sewing, try our NiteLite ExtraGlow thread.
NiteLite is wonderful when used as top stitching on a Halloween quilt or wall hangings.
Many of our customers have made a special pillowcase for a child and embroidered their name or message with NiteLite.
Pajamas that are decorated with NiteLite are fun to wear once the lights go out.
And those Halloween costumes are easier to spot when they glow in the dark with NiteLite thread.

NiteLite ExtraGlow is 40 wt. polyester that is dryer and iron safe and is available on 1,500 yard cones and 80 yard spools.

Charge it with natural or artificial light for a few seconds and watch it glow for up to 6 hours night after night.

The thread glows the color of children's glow-in-the-dark toys.
Available in 6 colors: Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink, Purple, and White.

We have discovered that white glows the brightest.
NiteLite ExtraGlow is ideal for quilting, embroidery, lacework, t-shirts, hats, pillowcases and pajamas.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Adjusting the Bobbin Tension

Some have asked us: "Is it ever necessary to adjust the bobbin tension?


The answer: Sometimes. Some bobbin cases work themselves tighter over time. If the bobbin thread is breaking, chances are the tension may be too tight. Before making adjustments, put a dot with a permanent at the top of the screw alignment so you can always go back to that setting. Then, loosen the tension screw 1/4 turn. Remember "righty-tighty and lefty-loosey."

A fine, smooth thread may require a tighter tension setting to prevent spooling off or backlash and a heavier decorative bobbin thread may require a looser tension to allow the thread to pass through the tensioner.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

King Tut Question

Question: Why don't you carry a full line of King Tut thread in solid colors?


*King Tut #40/3-ply extra long staple Egyptian-grown cotton.

Just as fabrics have changed, so has thread. Remember the old days when most fabrics were a solid color? Compare those to our current fabric selection. The fabrics we use today are rarely a solid color. They are either mottled, dappled, or textured, which provide much more depth to the fabric than do plain solid color fabrics.

Thread plays a similar role. With solid color fabrics, it was often desired to do a perfect color match with the thread. If the color was not a perfect match, it would stand out and appear out of place. With today's textured fabrics, a tone-on-tone variegated thread complements beautifully and enhances the overall effect without excessive contrast.

Approximately 2/3 our King Tut colors and many colors in our other variegated lines are tone-on-tone colors. These have an appearance of being a solid color from a few feet away, but close up, one can see the four different shades of a particular color. Having four close shades in a single thread makes the thread much more forgiving as it ties the colors of the fabrics and the thread together.
This is not to say that more solid colors are not a possibility. The tone-on-tone shades are wonderful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Texture Magic Tuesday/ Ruffly Clutch

Stephanie of Loft Creations has shared with us this Ruffly Clutch she has designed with Texture Magic.

Stephanie received Texture Magic as a gift, without instructions. Because she had been seeing so many items made with Texture Magic on blogs, she decided to be brave and give it a try on her own.
Pleased with the results, Stephanie said "This clutch will go great with my new black dress."

To order Texture Magic and any of our Texture Magic friendly patterns, visit our web site HERE.
*If you have any Texture Magic projects you would like to share with us, e-mail your pictures and a description of the project to nedra@superiorthreads.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

Superior Threads Summer Social

As we approach the end of summer here in St. George, Utah, we hosted a Summer Social at our house for all of our Superior Threads employees and family.

A time to visit.

And enjoy good western BBQ.

We love working together and appreciated having time just to relax and be together.

The kids played in the pool.

And on the trampoline.

Everyone wanted to hold Avilyn, who was flashing those baby blues, and wearing a flower in her (almost) hair.

But she preferred Kyle because he shared food.
We hardly recognized Pat our office manager without a phone on her ear.

Superior Men

We are a very multicultural group. One of the interesting parts of the evening was following various conversations. In this group three different languages were being spoken: English, Japanese, and Spanish.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Mother Superior!

Happy Birthday Mother Superior!

We appreciate all that you do. After all, you are the THREAD that holds us together.
You are the HIGHLIGHT, who puts the HALO over SUPERIOR THREADS.
In fact, you are SO FINE, you are a MASTERPIECE.
And the magic in TEXTURE MAGIC.

Thank you for sharing your GLITTER and RAZZLE DAZZLE with us.
The BOTTOM LINE is we would DISSOLVE and maybe even VANISH without you.
May there be many more SUNBURST(s), BRYTES days and RAINBOWS to come!

And "Happy Birthday Grandma!" from Avilyn.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Frosted Donuts

Everyone loves Frosted Donuts. Especially the kind that are calorie free.
Our Frosted Donuts contain a collection of 36 colors of pre-wound bobbins, all neatly tucked into a bobbin saver.
These L style bobbins are made from MasterPiece, a #50/2 , 100% extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton.


Frosted Donuts are wonderful for applique work, and offer a wide variety of colors to match any fabric. Easy to transport, we take our Frosted Donuts with us to applique class, or when we travel. So much easier than having all those spools of thread in our bag!

Even without the thread, Superior Baby Avilyn wants you to know that the bobbin saver has more than one purpose.

The soft rubber is just right to help those new little teeth coming in.

And to add to it's many uses, the bobbin saver is a great motivator to learn to crawl.

Ahhhh....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Texture Magic Tuesday/ Textured Tote and Accessories


Annie Unrein has designed several Texture Magic friendly patterns that we now offer on our web site.
The beauty of these patterns, along with their great design, is that all the thinking is done for you!
Annie offers step-by-step instruction, allowing for shrinkage when working with Texture Magic.
One of our favorite patterns is Textured Tote & Accessories.

Annie used a 1-inch grid on point when stitching Texture Magic to the fabric.
The pattern includes matching double eye-glass case, and mini bag.
Annie stippled the Texture Magic, creating a closer texture.
One 1/2 yard package of Texture Magic makes all three of these projects.
They are very easy and quick to make.
Make sure to see Annie's other patterns using Texture Magic.
You can read more at http://www.byannie.com/

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Science of Piecing


*MasterPiece by Alex Anderson

An excellently pieced seam requires skill as well as good components. One of the major components of a good seam is the thread. Most quilters prefer cotton thread for piecing because cotton has a high heat tolerance and is therefore iron-safe. Cotton is also softer and more pliable than most other fibers. Here is what to look for in a quality cotton piecing thread:
1. Twist. The twist should be consistently smooth and quite tight.Hold the thread up to the light. If you see bumps in the thread or inconsistent twisting, it is not high quality. These bumps, or slubs, will get caught in the tension disc and in the needle which will
result in lint buildup and a weakened thread as they are snagged.
They will also add unwanted bulk to the pieced portions, resulting in
not-so-flat seams.

2. Fuzz factor. If you hold the thread up to the light and see no
fuzz at all, that's bad. Either the thread isn't cotton or it is a
glazed cotton. Glazed threads are for hand quilting, not machine
piecing or quilting because the glaze rubs off in the tension disc and
other areas and gums up the machine. If you see a lot of fuzz and
uneven amounts of fuzz along the strand, it is not a quality thread.
If you see a very small amount of fuzz and the thread is consistently
smooth, that's a good one.

3. Thread thickness. Cotton thread is almost always either a 2-ply or 3-ply thread. A high quality 2-ply thread can be stronger than a lower quality 3-ply thread due to the fibers and the processing. A thin, smooth thread will make the best seam because it lies flat in
the fabric. Therefore, assuming the quality is the same, a 50 wt. cotton thread will make a better seam than a heavier 40 wt. cotton thread. When pressed, the finer thread will make a better seam and the points will match up better.

4. Strength. A non-glazed, fine cotton thread will not win any
strength contests by itself. However, because the average stitch
length for piecing is 12 stitches per inch, the strength is in the
stitching. A high quality 50 wt. 2-ply cotton is the perfect piecing
thread.

5. Piecing with matching colors. I saw a beautiful quilt that had what looked likepencil marks next to all the seams. I wondered why the quilter didn't erase them. Upon closer examination, what I was seeing was a gray thread showing through a yellow fabric. Had the quilter pieced with a matching yellow thread, it would have not been noticeable. Although many think that white, cream, and gray threads are the only necessary colors for piecing, matching the piecing thread color to the fabric really does make a big difference.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A few Less Bricks In The Wall

As we expand our warehouse, the wall was torn down between the new addition and the existing space.

Our building is now about 98% ready, and we are excited to have more room to carry all those wonderful Superior products.
video

Piecing Two Very Different Colors

One of our customers asked a very good question, "I have a question that has been nagging me for some time. When piecing two very different colors of fabric, for example, a black and white, which color thread is the best to use? Do you always go with the lighter or the darker?"

(MasterPiece #151 Canvas)

One of the first things to look at when piecing two very different colors of fabric, is to ask: Is one color more dominant than the other? It's usually best to match the background of the fabric.
If the both colors are solid, and you have an equal amounts of white and black, then it really doesn't matter which thread color you use to piece with.

(MasterPiece #161 Raven)

If you are using a black thread, unless the tension is perfect, the bobbin thread may poke through and show a little on the white fabric.
If you are using a white thread, unless the tension is perfect, the bobbin thread may poke through and show a little on the black.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Texture Magic Conversion Chart

We now have a Conversion Chart that will help you adapt any pattern using Texture Magic!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kassi's Pants

On our July 22, 2009 post we wrote about Kassie, one of our employees who just got back from a 2 week trip to Zambia.
In that post we mentioned how Kassie had a pair of pants made for herself. While she was waiting for her fitting, she noticed the seamstress had Superior Threads So Fine! on her machine.
We had a lot of responses to that post, with many of you asking to see the Kassi's pants.

The pants are now finished and Kassi received them this last week.
Look at the beautiful African fabric.

Very comfortable to wear as she works away at Superior Threads.

And if you look closely, you can see our So Fine! thread on the hem.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Betty Cotton's Recommendation


"Nothing compares to King Tut Quilting Thread"
In my Cotton Theory quilting projects, pieces are layered and quilted first before they are assembled. I often use cotton thread in all aspects of my quilt construction, including piecing, quilting, topstitching, applique, and embroidery. King Tut Quilting Thread, produced by Superior Threads, lies smoothly when creating quilted embroidery. The subtle color changes in the variegated thread blend well and tie the fabric colors together.

I've used about every thread in the marketplace, and nothing really compares to King Tut thread. It's smooth and strong, and there's no lint.

Customer service is No. 1 with Heather and Bob Purcell of Superior Threads. I asked, and they delivered. Thank you, Superior Threads, for listening to my needs and creating the deep jewel tones in my Cottage Colors collection of King Tut threads. These Cottage Colors blend well with the fabrics I use in Cotton Theory quilting projects. Cotton Theory quilts are reversible, so it's important to have a good-quality thread in my sewing machine's bobbin as well as on top. King Tut thread is the perfect choice.

Strength, smoothness, subtle color changes, and lack of lint are the four main reasons I love to use King Tut thread.
Sincerely,
Betty Cotton

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Machingers Gloves

Have you ever pulled out the gardening or cleaning gloves to wear while machine quilting to keep your fabric from sliding?
They probably didn't work very well.
Superior Threads now carries Machingers Gloves, specifically designed for machine quilters.

Machingers are available in two sizes, are lightweight and form fitting, and have rubber fingertips that help you grip the quilt sandwich.
These gloves are designed to provide the necessary traction while you machine quilt.
Machingers can also help to pull up the bobbin thread, thread the needle, slip threads, adjust fabrics, and add or remove pins.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Texture Magic Reps Wanted


Reps Wanted:
Superior Threads is recruiting independent sales reps in each state (*Utah Reps already selected), province, and country to introduce, demo and sell their popular new product, Texture Magic at local shops all over the world.

What is the role of a Texture Magic Rep?
Texture Magic is a very exciting product but, when only seen in a package the excitement and creative possibilities are not effectively communicated. What turns Texture Magic into a “must-have-I-can’t-wait-to-get-started-on-it” product is seeing and touching it in a project.

Superior Threads’ Texture Magic motto is: “Everyone who sees Texture Magic buys it.”

A Texture Magic Rep uses sample projects and a Demo Book to sell Texture Magic to stores and groups. The objective is to get Texture Magic in front of as many people as possible where they can see it and touch it in a project. When they see what it can do with fabric and touch the fabulous textures it creates they’ll want to buy it to create some of that wonderful “Texture Magic” for themselves.

If this sounds like a fun part time job, please contact kent@superiorthreads.com for details and an application.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Making of A Thread

Many years ago, when piecing a quilt, we used the standard budget thread that is available at most shops. It broke from time to time and we thought that was normal. We tried other brands and had similar breakage problems and lots of lint buildup. We had just finished designing King Tut thread and were discussing piecing thread frustrations. That is when we decided to begin working on a top quality piecing thread line.

With so many piecing threads on the market, we wondered if we could even compete. We would not make a cheap and fuzzy thread. We believed if other piecers were as frustrated as we were, they would also prefer a very high quality piecing thread. And once they used a quality thread, they would become loyal customers. We knew it would be a long and expensive uphill battle.

We designed MasterPiece for piecing with five things in mind:

1. Weight. A #50/2-ply thread is finer than regular quilting thread. As it forms the seam, the thread is not nearly as bulky. The result is a flatter seam and we have the complete 1/4" seam without the bump that results from using a heavier or fuzzy thread. This explains why so many books talk about a scant 1/4" seam to compensate for lumpy, fuzzy thread which takes up some of the seam.

2. Quality. The cotton fiber used in MasterPiece is the same cotton used for King Tut, extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton. Short and long staple cottons are lower grade cottons which means a weaker thread and probably quite a bit of lint. Our cotton really is grown in Egypt (unlike most other threads labeled as Egyptian cotton which come form Romania, India, China). Egypt has the best climate for consistent quality cotton. We ship this Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton to Japan for precision processing.

3. Production. Japan has a long history of textile excellence. Japan cares about quality. Although processing costs there are the highest in the world, we believe it is worth it because we can produce a fine, smooth, consistent thread.

4. Colors. Many believe that gray and beige are the magic neutral colors for piecing any color fabric. Those colors are neutral if we are sewing flavors of beige and gray fabrics. Just as a tailor or seamstress matches the thread color to the fabrics, so should a quilter when piecing fabric. For best results, the piecing thread should be color-matched to the fabric being pieced. Sometimes it is necessary to use more than one color when piecing a quilt. This explains why we started with 50 colors of MasterPiece and more have been added since.

5. Spool sizes. Running out of the perfect thread is not a pleasant experience so we decided to avoid the mini spool sizes. Offer enough to get through the project. Spools, labels, and winding starts and stops are expensive so make the spool large enough to make it worth it. We decided on 600 yd. spools and 3,000 yd. cones. Yard-for-yard, a quality thread on larger spools and cones often costs less than a cheaper thread on a small spool.