FREE SHIPPING  Enjoy free shipping on orders of $50 or more (to U.S. addresses)

Variegated or Solid? Which should I choose for quilt?

Posted: 21 October 2014 at 10:39 a.m.

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

Share |


  • 1. Diane Beaman (07 July 2016 at 12:24 p.m.)

    When choosing a variegated thread I find that it is important to consider the amount of value change in the thread against the various values in the quilt top and also the choice of bobbin thread. I am always drawn to variegated threads and love the color changes but when it swings from light to dark I am not always happy with the way it shows up. There is something about the dark sections on the light fabrics that I find uncomfortable. And if my tension is not perfect the bobbin thread is going to show up as dots in either the light or dark sections of the thread. So, I look for Fantastico threads with color changes but less value change.

Post a comment

Article Archive

  2017 (6)
  2016 (42)
  2015 (93)
  2014 (88)
  December (3)
  November (8)
  October (9)
  September (4)
  August (8)
  July (8)
  June (7)
  May (7)
  April (12)
  March (11)
  February (10)
  January (1)
  2013 (31)
  2012 (53)
  2011 (21)
  2010 (2)