I am new to quilting and have a simple question...What is the difference between machine quilting thread and hand quilting thread? Can they we interchangable? Where can I find a discription of which threads to use and when. Years ago when I sewed you had to color match your thread when sewing but now I am told just use one color to peice and another color to quilt. we had limited options. I am confused! Thank You
Hand quilting thread has a waxy coating to it and cannot go through your machine. It will leave a residue on the machine and damage it. Machine quilting thread encompases most thread out there on the market. These two are most definitely not interchangable.
The best site I have found for all things threads is Superior Threads (I think www.superiorthreads.com). While they talk about their products in particular, most companies carry all the different threads they address on this website (cotton, metallic, hand quilting, polyester, etc.). They have an education centre that is fantastic and covers a wide range of topics. I not only love their education centre I am a big fan of their products, especially the King Tut. The colours are very yummy!! If anybody knows of some other great sites for thread education, I would sure love to hear about them. The more info the better.
Jody is right, I have been told not to use hand quilting thread in machine work.
Another resource is your local quilt shop, or if you can go to one of the larger quilt shows, talk directly to the thread dealers for really good information. It's also a great place to get some of the unusual and yummy threads.
Cheryl / Muppin
I agree with Cheryl, your local quilt shop is a fantastic source for information too. One thing I would like to stress is to ensure you are buying high quality thread!! Thread from the dollar store is of poor quality and will give you nothing but grief when you try and use it. Shopping at your local quilt shops will ensure you are getting a high quality product. The extra cost is worth it!! We all have different favourite threads and I suggest shopping around and buying one of everything to at least try it.
I can truly say in addition to a fabric-aholic I have also become a thread-aholic! I probably have enough thread to last severals years.....but I just can't stop buying it!
Since I have started making art quilts, thread gives me the same feeling I had as a child when I opened a new box of crayons!!! It can bring so much to a project. But also, check your needles. Make sure you use the right needle for your thread. Esp. with mettallic. Used with the wrong needle, they break alot, used with the correct needle they are wonderful. Check for lessons from sewing machine shops, they can really help as well.