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Superior's Blog Posts

  • International Quilt Festival - Houston

     

    International Quilt Festival Houston

    IQF Houston

     

    We’re excited to attend the 2014 International Quilt Festival in Houston! The International Quilt Festival  is the most popular quilt show in the US and boasts an attendance of roughly 50,000 attendees.  You’re pretty much guaranteed to find what you’re looking for from the hundreds of vendors. And don’t forget about browsing the HUGE selection of quilts on display! You’ll have inspiration pouring out your eyes by the time you finish your walk about.

    If you haven’t attended the Houston show before, imagine this scenario: Combine world renowned educators and teachers, breathtaking quilts on display, gorgeous wearable’s in their own display area, a massive indoor vendor mall containing everything you wanted and things you didn’t know you wanted until you saw them in a booth, with thousands of happy quilters everywhere. That pretty much sums up the Houston experience.

    We at Superior Threads look forward to seeing our friends and making new ones at the Houston show this year. Be sure to bring your best walking shoes (you’ll definitely want comfortable ones) and your thread lists (do you use our new inventory app? http://www.superiorthreads.com/apps/) and troubleshooting questions.  Our show team is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding thread, notions, and more. 

    Please come visit us at booth #309.

    Superior Threads in Houston

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  • Halloween and NiteLite

    Halloween Pillow with Nitelite

    One of my favorite traditions is to make my kids (and now grandkids) holiday pillow cases.  These fast and easy projects help bring the joy and spirit of the holiday.  Plus the kids love the change!

    I like using NiteLite glow-in-the-dark thread on Halloween projects.  Here I used it for the embroidered lettering.  The best part?  My granddaughter says it helps scare away the monsters under her bed.  Being a grandma is amazing.

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  • Variegated or Solid? Which should I choose for quilt?

    MagnificoKing Tut

    When designing a quilt, we spend hours hunting for the perfect B's: background, block, border, binding, and backing fabrics. We coordinate the fabric colors to enhance, blend, contrast, or highlight the block design. Why not do the same with thread? Thread can also enhance, blend, contrast, or highlight specific portions of the entire quilt. After carefully creating the masterpiece, instead of using a single color of thread to complete the project, think what a careful selection of multiple threads could do to further enhance your work of art.

    When Great Grandma quilted, she used a single color of off white thread and stitched in the ditch. Every quilt probably had the same color of thread. Today, with the capabilities of machine quilting, we rarely stitch in the ditch. Thread color choice has become an important component of the quilt.

    When selecting the best thread colors to use, consider the balance between the background fabric and other fabrics used in the quilt. Do you want to emphasize the background fabrics or the block fabrics? To create contrast between the background fabric and the block fabrics, we don't want to use a single thread to tie them together. Instead, use a solid or a tone-on-tone variegated thread in the background and a variegated thread in the block. This will create a crisp contrast between the background and the block. Likewise, by using a different color of thread in the inner and outer borders, the borders will become more distinct.

    Many of our thread colors were designed with this in mind. Magnifico and Fantastico are color-coordinated threads, Fantastico being the variegated colors and Magnifico being the identical type of thread but in coordinated solid colors. King Tut also has a wide range as variegated colors, some solid colors, and many tone-on-tone subtle variegated colors. These combinations allow us to select the best colors for different parts of the quilt. Used together, two or more coordinated threads will take your quilt from a work of beauty to a beautifully coordinated masterpiece. The results will surprise you. Try using more than one color of thread on your quilt. It will add an entire new dimension to your artwork.

    Variegated Thread Finder

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  • Superior’s Color Comparison Charts

    Superior Threads

    Once upon a time, quilters were taught to use only cotton threads, use the same thread both top and bottom, and quilt on days that end in y.  We hope you no longer believe the first two! With so many different thread thicknesses (weights) and fiber types available for quilting, the options when it comes to thread are almost endless.

    Understanding how to balance your top and bottom tension frees you from the idea that you must only use the same thread on top and bottom. There are many occasions where we use Polyester on top and Cotton in the bobbin or Silk on top and Polyester in the bobbin.  Choosing the right thread to use in your project is simple. Now that you have the fiber type down, selecting the color you want can get tricky.

    We love Color Cards because being able to see the colors in real life is better than matching on a computer monitor, but we know that it’s not always possible to have a color card. We’ve recently added several lines to our Color Comparison Charts.  We take the guess-work out of deciding which color matches across our thread lines. Do you really like the Gold color in Bottom Line but want to use So Fine! #50? Not worries, we’ve got that comparison chart.

    We are continually adding new charts across our thread lines with more comparisons.  If we don’t have what you’re looking for, please let us know so we can add it!

    What is your favorite thread combination to use top and bottom? King Tut and MasterPiece? So Fine! #50 top and bottom?

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  • Put a little TWIST in your Embroidery!

    Twist is a fantastic new take on embroidery threads. Never before have two separately-dyed polyester filaments been combined to create a finished, dual-color thread. There are similar two-toned threads available in rayon, which is not as strong, colorfast, or heat-resistant as polyester. Available in over 50 dual-colored combinations. Add amazing texture and color depth to embroidery designs with Twist. Feathers, fur, and landscape designs will come to life by using one color of Twist instead of multiple solid colors for shading. Twist is a #40/2-ply Trilobal Polyester thread. Designed for Embroidery and Decorative Stitching.


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  • Superior Spotlight: Quilts of Valor

    Quilts of Valor is a wonderful organization which we would like to highlight.  The QOV foundation's purpose is to provide the servicemen and servicewomen of the United States Military custom quilts as gifts of gratitude for their service.

    Volunteers nationwide have joined together in presenting over 100,000 quilts to our veterans! Quilts are awarded at many different levels, but no matter how a Quilt of Valor (QOV) is given, the impact is unmistakable. Gorgeous quilts offer a warm recognition for those who have served to preserve our freedom. We are happy to have two veterans in our Superior Family who have been honored with a quilt from QOV.

    Quilts of Valor

    Quilts of Valor

    Quilts of Valor

    Quilts of Valor

    Local QOV groups are always looking for volunteers as well as product donations to offset the expenses.  If you are interested in participating with this great foundation, please visit their website at qovf.org

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  • Why can't I get even stitches!? Thread delivery.

    We’ve all been there before. It’s OK to admit the frustration caused from not being able to solve the problem of why our stitches aren’t coming out evenly. After adjusting tension and changing needles and saying things we shouldn’t, the thread still doesn’t stitch evenly. Why?!

    Your troubles may be caused by having an incorrect thread delivery method. Learn more in this video with Dr. Bob.

    Want to learn more about threads and troubleshooting?  View the rest of Dr. Bob’s incredible Thread Therapy here.

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  • Our New Look!

    We are pleased to launch our updated website!

    Superior Threads

    We hope you enjoy our updated layout and easier checkout.

    More exciting news accompanying our Superior Website update:

    -FREE shipping on retail orders over $50! (continental United States)

    -Our Featured Products page that highlights lines, colors, products and deals you won't want to miss

    -Improved navigation system which allows you to easily access what you need

    Superior Navigation

    Hope you enjoy your new shopping experience with us.  Please refer to our education section to answer many of your sewing, quilting, and serging questions.  Happy Stitching!

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  • Bugaboo Quilt

    bugaboo

    If bugs can be cute, then this quilt is cute as a bug!  When I saw this Bugaboo Collection from Northcott Fabrics I knew you would love it as much as I do.  My favorite fabric is the multi-colored mix because of the frog.  That is one happy frog with an unlimited food supply!

    bug

    bugaboo

    The pattern uses Prairie points in the border to set off the quilt.  I have never been a big fan of prairie points, but I think they add just the right dimension to this particular quilt.

    bugaboo

    My Bugaboo is quilted with MonoPoly because I wanted the quilting to show, but not the thread.  Clear MonoPoly is a great option when you can’t decide on just one color that would work for the quilt and you don’t want to change thread colors.

    We have a limited number of kits available, so get your cute as a bug quilt project started now!

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  • Charlotte's Fusible Web

    Fusible web/MonoPoly

    Applique is a fun way to add dimension, texture, and fun to any project!  We’ve previously discussed the awesome 3D effects you can achieve with Texture Magic.  Today we show you more about our Charlotte’s Fusible Web. 

    Charlotte’s Fusible Web gives you the ability to fuse fabrics together without the stiffness that is associated with standard fusible webbing. Wind a bobbin with Charlotte’s Fusible Web, stitch an outline around the cut out applique shape and then iron the applique piece to onto your backing fabric. You only need to press for about 5 seconds and the bobbin thread (Charlotte’s Fusible Web) melts, forming a temporary bond. There’s no stiff webbing and the project doesn’t crinkle when folded.

    Learn more about how to sew with and use this marvelous thread in our video:


     Charlotte's Fusible Web

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  • Superior Spotlight: Marie G.

    Not only is Marie a pickle ball gold metal champion and a grandmother of 2, she is a paper piecing whiz!

    Marie tells us that all these tiny pieces took a lot of time and patience, but she was thrilled with the completed quilt and how flat and smooth her seams were since she used MasterPiece cotton thread to piece them together.  Once her quilt was pieced, she took it to her favorite quilter who, according to Marie, always knows how to add interest and detail to her quilts.

    Marie G Paper Piecing

    Marie G Paper Piecing

    Marie G Paper Piecing

    Marie G Paper Piecing

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  • Bonded Nylon Video

    Have you ever sewn on canvas, leather, denim, or upholstery fabric?  Sewing on thick fabric like these usually requires a heavy-duty sewing thread.  Our Bonded Nylon and Bonded Poly are created specifically for this type of heavy-duty sewing

    For projects that will be exposed to heavy UV rays, we recommend Bonded Poly.  Polyester has better UV resistance than nylon.

    What projects are on your wish list that could use a heavy-duty thread like Bonded Nylon?

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  • Bobbin Tension 101 (part 2 of 2)

    How to Adjust Bobbin Tension

    Bobbin tension is easily adjusted with the aid of a flat head screw driver.  Unlike top tensions, a little goes a long way. 

    To make adjustments to your bobbin tension, we turn the large screw on the bobbin case. (If your machine has a drop-in bobbin mechanism, this post isn’t relevant for you as you will most likely pop in a new bobbin case for embroidery, quilting, sewing, etc.) Think of the adjustment screw like a face of a clock, we recommend making adjustments in 5-15 minute increments.

    Testing Bobbin Tension

    There are two quick ways to check your bobbin tension to see if adjustments need to be made. 

    -Use a bobbin tension gauge, like the TOWA, to get an accurate tension reading

    -Do a lift test by placing the bobbin case (with the bobbin inside) in the palm of your hand and pulling the tail of the bobbin up with your other hand.  The case should lift to a vertical position and then rotate freely in your palm.  If bobbin case lies flat while thread is unwinding, tighten the tension.  If bobbin case lifts off your hand, loosen the tension.

    Adjusting your tension is easy.  Although most thread issues can be solved using the top tension, now you are empowered to know when and how to adjust your bobbin tension.

    When is the last time you checked or adjusted your bobbin tension?

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  • Bobbin Tension 101 (part 1 of 2)

    What’s this? You’re telling me that I can adjust my bobbin tension?

    bobbin tension

    Yes!  You can indeed adjust your bobbin tension (and you should learn how to do it by reading the rest of this article).  90% of the time, we adjust the top tension to achieve the perfect stitch.  However, for the other 10%, we may need to adjust the bobbin tension to get the results you need.

    You may have been taught to never touch the bobbin tension, but we hope to help you feel confident in knowing when and how to adjust your bobbin tension.

    When to Adjust Bobbin Tension

    Bird Nesting: A very descriptive term which describes bunching of thread on the underside of your project. This is usually due to loose bobbin tension and generally occurs when using a slick or fine bobbin thread. Luckily, it’s an easy fix by tightening your bobbin tension.

    Changing to a thicker/thinner bobbin thread: When doing fancy bobbin work or reverse quilting with thicker threads, such as Razzle Dazzle, it may be necessary to loosen your bobbin tension. Using fine threads like Monopoly may require a bobbin tension tightening. 

    Looping and breaking: If you loosen the top tension and see looping on the back and then tighten the top tension and experience breakage, loosening that bobbin tension will help even out the tug of war  between your top and bottom threads and give you nice stitches.

    Return tomorrow to learn the ‘how’ to adjust your bobbin tension!

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  • Superior Spotlight: Guila G

    We are pleased to show you a beautiful completed quilt by Guila G, “Beach Buddies”. 

    Guila used Kimono silk to create a lot of texture.  This strong, fine thread gave her the look she craved without overcoming the focal point.  Such gorgeous detail work!

    Beach Buddies

    Beach Buddies

    Beach Buddies

    Beach Buddies

    Have you quilted scenery before, and if so, what of?

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