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January 2012 Newsletter

sew superior . . . . . . .  it's guaranteed! 
Superior Threads TEL 800-499-1777 or 435-652-1867

January 2012 Newsletter

Having lived in Japan for ten years, much of the way we think and act has been influenced by that culture.  Socially, Japan is one of the most polite cultures we have experienced.  Economically, Japan is one of the most competitive societies and in the business world, continual improvement (kaizen) is required to survive.  Treating others respectfully is an absolute.  Quality and service are never to be compromised.  We live and work by these principles.
As we look back on 2011, it has been a wonderful year. We made a short list of some of the highlights:
New, improved MonoPoly (finer, yet stronger)
Omni thread. 172 colors designed for midarm and longarm machines.
So Fine #40 variegated thread
Top Thread Tension Gauge (for longarm machines)
Silk #30, #50, #25/3 floss, Buttonhole Silk
changing MasterPiece to 3-ply
over 80 educational videos added to our website
Thread of the Month Clubs
We enjoy our work.  Superior Threads is a fun place to be.

As we begin 2012, we have much to look forward to.
Six new thread product lines are in the development and/or testing stage.
More King Tut colors will be introduced.
Superior University can now send our School of Threadology classes to your home each month.
Thank you for being part of our lives.  Happy New Year.

AND FROM BOB . . . . . .
For 16 years I taught in private and public schools, both secondary education and college.  The last four years I was teaching what most colleges consider one of the more difficult subjects to learn -- Japanese.  I was not an "easy grader" but 90% of my students received an A in the class.  My class philosophy was simple: If you learn the material and pass the tests, you earn the grade.  My goal was to help them succeed and most did.

We carry this same philosophy into Superior University.   I am excited that this project is ready to begin.  It has been in the idea and planning stages for over six years.  Superior University is for those who will invest 30-90 minutes once a month to learn, relearn, or improve a sewing-related technique that will open new doors of creativity and pay dividends throughout the future.  An interested student recently sent this request: "Please list the projects so I can choose only the projects I want to do."  We thought about this and decided otherwise.  This is designed like a university, not a trade school, and the goal is to learn a variety of subjects.  Although an academic student may not like science or math or humanities or English, those subjects are necessary to graduate.  There is value in learning them.  Our goal is similar.  You may think you have no interest in fusible thread or bobbin work or decorative threads or texturizing fabric or using silk thread but imagine what can happen if you learn new skills and a new world opens up before you?  Our purpose is to teach and to help you learn and succeed.  This is not a profit-producing project for us.  We priced it at our operating cost (only $16.95 per month including shipping to U.S. addresses).  We hope you will join us on our educational journey.
You will learn.  You will succeed.  Go Team Go!

Q. Why is my thread shredding or breaking?
A. If it is a quality thread, most likely the needle is too small or the tension is too tight.

Q. Can I use So Fine #50 for piecing?
A. Yes but because So Fine is polyester, make sure the iron is set to medium or low heat when pressing the seams.

Q. Is the new 3-ply MasterPiece heavier?
A. Yes but not as heavier as you may expect.  Because we put a very tight twist on this thread, the new 3-ply MasterPiece is barely noticeably heavier.  It is still a very fine, smooth extra-long staple cotton and is much stronger than the original 2-ply type.

Q. What size bobbin do I use in my machine?
A. About 75% of home machines are compatible with prewound bobbins.  L style is the most common bobbin type, followed by Class 15 style.  Please refer to our Bobbin Compatibility Guide to see what bobbin style your machine uses.

Q. Will you wind Kimono Silk thread onto bobbins for applique?
A. We looked into this but it would be too expensive.  Our Kimono Silk spools hold 220 yds. and cost $5.99.  Because this thread is so fine, we can wind 150 yds. onto a bobbin and that would  put the cost for a single bobbin at about $4.00 and make a set of prewound silk bobbins very expensive.  We recommend the spools over prewounds for silk thread.

Q. How long does a titanium-coated needle last?
A. Five to eight times longer than a regular needle or approx. 60 hours.

Q. In humid areas, should we store Vanish water soluble thread in a special way?
A. Yes, keep it in a zip-lock bag.

Q. Will you ever carry MonoPoly in a larger cone?
A. Probably.  We are experimenting with it now.

Q. Why don’t you have MonoPoly prewound bobbins?
A. They are in the works.

Q. I like the color compatibility charts which cross reference colors across your numerous thread lines.  Do you have them to compare your colors with other brands?
A. We really don’t look at other brands’ colors and even if we did, our colors would not be an exact match to their colors. Our goal is to offer a wide variety in what we think are the best colors for today and tomorrow.

Q. What do you mean by matte finish MonoPoly?
A. MonoPoly is a monofilament thread and by nature, all monofilament threads are shiny. We have developed a reduced sheen or matte monofilament.  There is still some sheen but not as much as non-matte types.

Q. I heard that a titanium-coated needle will damage my machine if it breaks. Is this true?
A. That is a bad myth.  Most sewing factories around the world use titanium-coated needles and they would not do so if there were a risk of machine damage.

Q. I have L-style prewound bobbins and have a problem with the bobbin catching in the bobbin case. It seems like the paper sides on the top and bottom of the bobbin are just a little too wide in circumference. Will these not work in my machine?
A. Remove the cardboard sides.  They are made to be removable.  The thread will not unravel.

Q & A part 2 will be in the next newsletter.

Superior University starts in mid-January and each month's project will ship between the 15th and 20th of each month.
For only $16.95 per month (includes shipping to U.S.A. addresses), we will send you a carefully designed project including selected products. You will receive a simple pattern and easy-to-follow instructions to create a project.  Many projects will include a product or technique you may have never tried before. 
The purpose is to help you increase your knowledge and use of threads and related products which will add more possibilities to your sewing projects.
For details and enrollment, please visit Superior University.
Open enrollment (start and stop any time). No contract. No registration fees/federal excise taxes/dealer prep/fuel surcharges, or other fast-talking hidden charges.

Personal note from Dr. Ricci, C.S., D.A., R. (Curriculum Supervisor, Director of Admissions, and Registrar)
We are getting ready to send out the curriculum binder and materials and the first month's project  to those who have signed up.  Course 101 will teach how to use Razzle Dazzle and Soft and Stable in an easy-to-make project.  Superior University is going to be fun whether you're a quilter, garment maker, thread artist or just interested in how to use many of our threads and related products.

So Fine #40 Variegated is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, Jan. 3 and is now available on our website.

NEW KING TUT COLORS: Please help us create
We are planning to add 17 new King Tut colors to bring the total to 150 colors.  Please help us choose some new colors.  What new colors would you like to see?  Is there a multi-color variegated color or a tone-on-tone variegated color or solid colors that we should have?  Please e-mail your recommendations to Heather (Mother Superior).

WHAT’S NEW (this month)
1.  Two new Thread of the Month Clubs will be available from Jan. 5.
So Fine #40 variegated Club. 1,650 yd. cones. (wholesale and retail clubs)
Poly Quilter Club. 2,000 yd. cones.  (wholesale club only)

2.  Last month we introduced two smart phone Apps in both the Apple and Android formats.  Many asked if these same apps are available on our website.  Here are the links to view these on a regular computer:
How Much Thread Does it Take?
Thread Selection Guide

3.  Deal of the Day e-mail request sign up.  We promised to not bombard you with daily e-mails.  Many have requested notification of each day's special so we created a separate newsletter which will be sent only to those who request it.  Click here to subscribe.

WHAT’S NEW (last month)
1.  When you go to a Product page such as King Tut or Bottom Line or Rainbows, you will see many colorful tabs.  One new tab is labeled
Sample Photos.  We have linked photos of quilts to the thread lines represented.  For example, see how Bottom Line looks when used a top thread. See King Tut in a beautiful quilt. Photos also link to Mother Superior's Gallery which shows detailed photos.

2.  The Superior Blog is back.  After taking a few months vacation from blogging, we're back.  Most blogs are thread related; sometimes we detour to other fun topics.  A recent blog highlights Joanne Baeth's award winning quilt ($5,000 Master Award for Thread Artistry) at the recent Houston Festival. 

3.  Our Color Compatibility Charts list similar and compatible colors across thread lines.  For example, if you are using King Tut color X on top, what is a similar/compatible color in So Fine #50 for the bobbin? Two new charts are now available:
King Tut to OMNI
OMNI to King Tut
List of currently available charts.   More charts are on the way.

4.  We just added 24 more patterns to our website.  Heather (Mother Superior) and Annie work well together designing quilts. 
Most of the quilts we display in our booths at shows are the joint effort of their creativity. Heather visualizes a quilt, they create the design, Annie writes the pattern, Heather chooses the fabric and pieces the quilt, and talented quilters around the country do the quilting.  Annie has created many patterns for quilts, bags, and accessories.

5.  Order Pick Up Option.  If you plan a trip to or drive through southern Utah, please visit us. If you order online, you can select the "I will pick up my order" option.  We are open Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and visitors are always welcome. St. George is in the southwest corner of Utah and we can see Arizona from our windows. We are less than two hours from Las Vegas.

6.  APQS-recommended longarm needles are now available in size #14 (MR 3.0) as well as other sizes.

7.  Superior University is available for quilt shops and sewing machine stores to use as in-store classes.  Please contact Ricci if interested.

8. Thread Therapy Thread Set (without DVD).  This thread set is a companion to the DVD seminar, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob. Threads and Needles discussed in the DVD are included in this set. It is offered here without the DVD for those who already have the DVD. 
Thread Set Includes:
Superior Metallic 500 yds.
King Tut 500 yds.
MasterPiece 600 yds.
So Fine #50 550 yds.
Rainbows 500 yds.
Bottom Line 1,420 yds.
Kimono Silk #100 220 yds.
Superior Topstitch Needles. Pack of 5 assorted sizes.
(Colors may vary from image)
A $62.39 value for $37.45

9. Two new Apps for Apple and Android phones are ready for free downloading.
The "How much thread?" app estimates how much thread it will take to quilt various sizes of quilts.
The "Thread Selection Guide" app helps you determine the best thread for your desired use.
To download the apps, you may search for them in the Android Market or the iTunes Store or simply click on the links below. More apps are on the way.
How Much Thread
Thread Selection Guide

How Much Thread
Thread Selection Guide

10. Sampler Set for Longarm Quilters   The Longarm Sampler has been revised and has a lower price.  Almost 50% off.  This set contains one each of the most popular longarm threads.
Set contains the following:
96-page color catalog
Longarm Machine Thread Reference Guide
Rainbows (2,000 yds.)
Bottom Line (3,000 yds.)
So Fine #50 (1,000 yds.)
King Tut 300 yd. mini Cone
SuperBOBs (L-style & M-style x 1 each)
So Fine #40 variegated (1,650 yds.)
OMNI Thread (1,000 yds.)
LAVA (2,000 yds.)
Longarm Machine Thread Reference Guide
$95.00 value for $54.95

11. Hugo's Tape in the 2-inch wide size
Exact same glue-less tape but twice as wide as the regular size.
2 inches wide x 50 feet long.
Ideal for cones.


During December we invited you to vote for the best $30 idea of the year.  Based on your votes, here are the Best of the Best winners:

1st Place Prize: $250 Gift Certificate.  Congratulations to Ashley (Midnight Quilter).  My Idea though is when you use the search engine on your website and, for instance, type in color 918. Then when I click on either the 500 yd. or 2.000 yd. images to enlarge the picture of the thread, there is no color description. If you could add the color descriptions, it would be so extremely helpful.

2nd Place Prize: $150 Gift Certificate.  Congratulations to Linda Gosselin.  I have another use for my thread stand.  When I have a quilt to bind, I roll up the folded binding and put it where the thread cone goes.  It feeds the binding so nicely and leaves my hands both free to guide it!

$30 IDEA WINNERS  Please be our Business Consultant.  Post your ideas here to help us serve you better (products, education, website, customer service, etc.). We award $30 gift certificates for the best ideas.  This month's winning Consultants:

1.  Kathryn Fisher.  I read that you do not want to bombard us with Deal of the Day e-mails but I would appreciate knowing that info without having to remember to go to the website everyday.  How about letting those who want to get a daily e-mail sign up for it?
Bob's note:  Done.  You may sign up to receive the Deal of the Day e-mails.

2.  Katrina Branting.  Could you put Superior University under the Education tab on your home page?
Bob's note:  Added.  It is now included in the drop down menu under the Education tab and also included in the Products menu.

3.  Barbara Cutler.  On thread images such as King Tut, it would be nice to be able to click on the color swatch or spool image to see the larger image. I know you can click on the "View larger image" line, but I am used to clicking on pictures on websites.
Bob's note:  Done.

Thread of the Month
 * More than a dozen clubs to choose from.
Fantastic benefits for Club members including free shipping (U.S.A. addresses) or discounted shipping (international).
 * Members-only private sales
 * Price Guarantee. Club members are guaranteed that the price for Club threads will not increase for the monthly Club shipments.  For example, the price of King Tut and MasterPiece spools recently increased.  However, the Club price stayed at the original level.  This means that if you join a club now, your prices are at the original Club level, not the current higher price.
 * No contract.  Start and stop anytime.
 * Available for both Wholesale and Retail accounts.
For details, please visit the Thread of the Month Club

School of Threadology
What is the School of Threadology?

1.  January 16-17, 2012. Ontario, Calif.  Certified Superior Threadologist course.   Register through Road to California quilt show office.  Limited capacity (2 spots left). Monday (Jan. 16) is a holiday which may make attending this 2-day session convenient.

2.  February 2-4 and 6-8, 2012. St. George, Utah. The Silk Experience.   Session 1 (Feb. 2-4) is for quilters. Session 2 (Feb. 6-8) is for sewers.  Conducted by Maggie Backman, one of the most knowledgeable silk specialists in the world.  Maggie designed these unique round robin classes using three talented and experienced teachers for each session.  The classes will be utilizing silk as the fiber of choice because silk invites many techniques such as easy coloring, surface design and quilting processes. Each class will utilize and experience the silk threads that Superior has recently introduced to their thread line. The six classroom teachers are well known national/international teachers, having worked together in previous years at the Houston Festival. The new class setting in St. George, Utah offers a new retreat format that allows a quiet, wonderful atmosphere for fun, fiber and function. Detailed information is available at or contact Maggie via e-mail.

3. March 20-23, 2012. St. George, Utah. MY DESIGN by Cindy Needham .  Cindy has created this workshop for the confident beginner up to the experienced free motion quilter.  She will provide you with a solid foundation on thread choices, how to make good quilting design choices, how to create and design fabulous feathers and her new French paisley designs, and how to create beautiful background designs with minimal marking.  Everyone will go home with a beautiful wholecloth sampler quilt that is created during the week. Cost of $400 includes 4 full days of Cindy's workshops, 4 lunches and 3 dinners.  Price does not include airfare or hotel accommodations.  (2 spaces just opened up) Contact Ricci to register.

4.  June 27-29, 2012. Kauai, Hawaii. Certified Superior Threadologist course offered during Quilt Hawaii.

Try Me Specials This is a fantastic way to try new products.  You choose the product, we choose the colors, and you save 40-50%. Available for most products.

Perfect Quilter. We need to make room for new products. All remaining stock of Perfect Quilter is less than half price.  Perfect Quilter is a #30/3-ply cotton and is being discontinued.  Available on both 300 yd. mini cones and 2,500 yd. cones.  Perfect Quilter is a heavier cotton thread and intended to be visible on your quilts.  Works well on home machines with a Topstitch #100/16 needle.  Some longarm machines (tight-tensioned machines) do not run it well.  Loosely-tensioned longarm machines are fine.
300 yd. mini cones $3.75 (reg. $8.99).  27 colors remaining.
2,500 yd. cones $10 (reg. $29.99).  7 colors remaining.

50% off pure filament silk ribbon.
Superior's Silk Ribbon is available in 3 widths (2mm, 4mm, 7mm).
30 beautiful variegated colors and some solid colors.
50% off this month.
Only $3.50 per pack (reg. $6.99).

Superior Sampler Sampler Sets   If you are not familiar with many of our products, we offer a variety of Sampler Sets at discounts of approx. 40% off.
Home Quilting Sampler Set
Longarm Quilting Sampler Set
Embroidery Sampler Set
Embellishment Sampler Set (for bobbin work/serger/couching)
Silk Sampler set

What I believe to be the most innovative quilting-related Internet company in the world is Websites For Quilters.   They also developed many websites in the quilting world including the FindMyFabric website and the Quilter's Daily Special website.  We use them and highly recommend them.  (This is an unpaid plug for them because we like the superior work they do.)  For more information, please click here.   They have designed hundreds of websites for quilting-related individuals and companies as well as non-quilting related websites.

An Irishman was terribly overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet.
“I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, then eat regularly again for 2 days then skip a day and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks.  The next time I see you, you should have lost at least 5 pounds.”
When the Irishman returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 30 lbs.
“That's amazing!” the doctor said “Did you follow my instructions?”
The Irishman nodded and said, “I'll tell you though, I t'aut I were going to drop dead on dat 3rd day.”
“From the hunger, you mean?” asked the doctor.
“No, from the darn skippin'.”

THANK YOU for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day. To change your subscribed e-mail address or if this was forwarded to you and you want your very own copy personally sent to your e-mail Inbox, please click here: Subscribe.   To unsubscribe, click the link at the bottom of the e-mail.

Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor and self-certified Threadologist.

Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.
sew superior . . . . . . . it's guaranteed!

TEL 800-499-1777 or 435-652-1867

Copyright © 2012 Superior Threads. All Rights Reserved.  If you wish to reprint the Education portion of this newsletter, authorization is hereby granted as long as the source is clearly cited as follows: used with permission from Bob Purcell,