variegated thread solid color

Should I use a variegated or a solid color thread in my quilt?

What if a thread looks fantastic on one part of the quilt, but not on the other?

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 Rainbows are color-coordinated threads, Rainbows being the variegated colors and Magnifico being the 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.

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By: Bob Purcell