Thread Weight in Hand Quilting

If you’ve been following me for awhile on instagram, you know I have a deep seeded love for hand quilting. I love the slow process of adding stitches onto a quilt top and the wonderfully snuggly finished feeling it provides. I have written a whole blog post dedicated to my process (you can find that HERE), but I had the idea recently to highlight different thread weights for hand quilting. I have organized them in this photo (as well as this post) from lightest weight to heaviest weight.

Aurifil 50 wt Thread:

This is a typical weight thread that you would use for machine piecing. Some of you use a different brand. Anything you basically buy for machine piecing is about this weight. If used in hand quilting, this will provide a delicate line of stitching that will be closest to invisible that you can achieve by hand (or machine).

Hand Quilting Thread:

This thread is a representation of many different brands that sell a “hand quilting” thread. It is typically cotton thread and a heavier weight than machine piecing thread. I have used this on a few quilts and in my experience, it knots up really badly. I highly recommend using short lengths of thread as well as thread wax if you plan on using this type of thread. It provides a really beautiful finished line of stitching that pops a bit more than 50wt thread.

Aurifil 12wt Thread:

This is one that I just tried for my first time. I have previously used Perle Cotton #8 (see below), and I love this even more. The best part about Aurifil 12wt is I could use a regular needle! I find I need to use an embroidery needle for Perle Cotton, which hurts my fingers more. The finished look of quilting with Aurifil 12wt thread is very similar to Perle Cotton. They both knot up occasionally, but I know it is because I like to cut off really long thread lengths so I end up needing less knots in my quilting. This will be a go-to for me in the future and I’ll be upping my color supply.

Perle Cotton #8:

In my previous hand quilting post, I said I exclusively use Perle Cotton #8. It is available online in a huge amount of colors. It has a shiny finish that I really love, and doesn’t tend to knot a ton. The biggest downfall for me (mentioned above) is that I have to use an embroidery needle. Even with a leather thimble (a life changing tool!), it hurts my fingers. The finished line of stitching is really beautiful, though. You can choose a color that blends really well or pops to add extra personality. I’ve done both and love the look of both!

Aurifloss:

Aurifloss is embroidery floss. I used this to quilt my Pillow Fight Pillow and while it worked well for a small project, I could picture it being really frustrating for a large quilt. It tended to knot up and every once in awhile a strand of floss wouldn’t move with the rest of the group. I found I achieved a similar result with Aurilfil 12wt thread.

If you haven’t tried your hand at hand quilting, I highly recommend trying it out on a small project. Maybe a coaster or a pillow or a mini. It adds such a fun pop of personality!

For a list of supplies I love to use, see below!

Scrap Quilt Tutorials Round-up

A few years ago, I made a Scrap Vortex quilt. This is a fun, super easy method you can read about HERE). I was hooked. To this day, I think this quilt is my all-time favorite. I backed it in a snuggly flannel sheet from Target and it is the quilt that hangs out in my baby’s room. I use it literally daily. I had no idea scrap quilts were such a “thing” when I started, but now I know better. We don’t like to waste our precious fabric!

After I finished this quilt, I wanted to make another immediately. I decided to start saving my Cotton + Steel selvages to make a selvage quilt. I had no idea what I would choose to do eventually, but I saved every. single. one. Fast forward a few years and I decided to use THIS method to make my quilt. It took about a zillion selvages, but thanks to the help of awesome friends, I finished!

Last week on Instagram, I posed a question asking for suggestions of scrap quilt tutorials and patterns after having finished my selvage quilt. Here are some of the suggestions and links to tutorials/patterns!

Plaidish by Kitchen Table Quilting

Scrap Jar Stars by Gigi’s Thimble

Raspberry Kiss Block by Wooden Spoon Quilts (resized to 12.5″ by me)

Scrapbuster Log Cabin by Simple Girl, Simple Life

Quick Cornerstone Quilt by Diary of a Quilter

Scrappy Crossroads by Lori Holt

Two by Four by Film in the Fridge

Scrappy Granny Squares by Quilty Love

Snippets by Cotton Way

French Braid by United Notions (great for jelly roll strip leftovers)

Epic Bow Tie quilt by Heritage Threads

Simple Patchwork in any size you need (3.5″, 5″, etc)

The humble half-square triangle in any size you need

Log Cabin or Courthouse Step blocks (there are a variety of tutorials out there)

Scrappy Pixellated Heart (there are lots out there)

Irish Chain

Hopefully that is a good place for all of us to start planning our next scrap quilts! Do you have a favorite that isn’t on this list? Leave me a comment and I’ll update this post!

Stellar Quilt from Fresh Fat-Quarter Quilts

I am so excited to be a part of Andy Knowlton’s book tour. Andy is the real deal. She is one of the kindest humans I have ever had the privilege of meeting and knowing. She is genuine and fun. Her curly hair is amazing and gives me hope that I can one day embrace mine with good results! 🙂

Andy has written her first book, Fresh Fat-Quarter Quilts. Guys…. it is AMAZING. There are so many books and patterns out there for yardage and precuts, but what is the first thing we all gravitate towards in a fabric shop? FAT QUARTERS! What is the hardest thing to actually cut into and use? FAT QUARTERS! Andy has broken her book down based on how many fat quarters each quilt requires. It. Is. Genius.

I had a hard time picking just one quilt to make, but I finally settled on her Stellar Quilt.

This quilt uses fat quarters for the background AND for the stars. I looooooved coming up with a plan for this quilt. I settled on using my favorite low volumes with pink and different pinks for the stars. This makes my pink-loving heart sing. It is such a fun quilt. This quilt finishes as a really good sized kid quilt. It’s the perfect size for snuggles or dragging around everywhere or an extra layer for cold nights.

This quilt uses 12 fat quarters. 9 for the background and 3 for the stars. I am pretty sure most of us could make this quilt several times over and still not make a dent. It is a fast quilt and if you have a little one who “needs” a gift for this holiday season, this quilt would be perfect!

Over the next few weeks, several other quilters will be blogging about their quilts from Andy’s amazing book. Be sure to tune in on instagram and on their blog’s to get more of a preview of Andy’s book!

If you’re interested in snagging yourself a copy (you should!), you can find it on Amazon (affiliate link), Fat Quarter Shop, or directly from Andy herself!

Fresh Fat Quarter Quilts from Amazon

Fresh Fat Quarter Quilts from Fat Quarter Shop

Fresh Fat Quarter Quilts from Andy