July-August 2007

July - August 2007

Happy Birthday to Heather (Mother Superior)! With her permission, we are throwing a big 5-0 party for our Superior friends. Mother Superior is 50 in August (although she looks 38).
  • 50. This is our 50th Edition of our Superior Newsletter
  • 50 new colors of So Fine are here.
  • $50 Gift Certificates for the best ideas we receive during the next month (products, education, website, customer service, etc.).
Wise Words From Mother Superior
HandyNets (sometimes called thread nets, thread sleeves, or thread socks) are a great way to tame a smooth thread that tends to want to unwind by itself. Place a HandyNet over the spool or cone and it keeps the thread nice and neat. Leave the net on the spool or cone when storing and it won?t unwind.

Education: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
This topic is difficult to write because I prefer to emphasize the positive over the negative, but I can't think of another way to address this. We are often asked, "Is that $2 per spool thread OK to use?" If it were a quality thread, I would be the first to buy it, use it, and recommend it. Recently, there have been many reports regarding products from China. These include copyright infringements, impurities in medicines, poison in toothpaste, poison in pet food, lead in painted children's toys, and faulty tires. I was not surprised by any of these. I'm old enough to remember the days when "Made in Japan" was a laughing matter. What a long way Japan has come! Today, the label Made in Japan usually means it is the best quality in the world and they earned that image by focusing on quality first, with the belief that success would follow. As far as I can tell, China, India, and numerous other countries have no such focus. They want to sell, sell, sell, with little concern for quality, copyright issues, service, or honesty. And how about those labels that say, "Egyptian cotton. Made in India". Something doesn't add up here. We've had many discussions with thread companies in China and receive samples on a regular basis. They literally beg us to buy their products at very low prices. There hasn't been one product even getting close to being considered by us and they either refuse or do not have the technology to make high quality thread. Their cottons are linty, polyesters are oily, rayons are weak and usually not colorfast, and the twist on all types is not consistent. But it sure is cheap.

Any thread you can buy for a couple dollars cannot have the quality that your machine and you deserve. I cringe when I hear of professional quilters using a budget serger thread which they bought on sale at a discount store because they don't want to spend or pass on to their customers the few dollars more for a high quality thread. I am not anti-China, India, or any other country. I lived in Asia for 10 years and love the area and return often to visit dear friends. But I am anti-cheap and low quality products. You have probably heard many times the wise counsel to buy the best sewing machine you can afford. All of us cannot afford the top of the line machines. Fortunately, the products you put into that machine (fabric and thread) are not as expensive as the machine and it is wise to buy the absolute best quality of each. You will notice the difference. In the thread world, the highest quality thread should be guaranteed to work -- even metallic thread. We absolutely guarantee all products. If one does not work as intended, we'll buy it back. Quality thread should be smooth, free of bumps or slubs, without excess fuzz, and have a tight, smooth, consistent twist on it. It will keep your machine much cleaner which means fewer problems for you. If you could view a variety of threads though a magnifying glass, you would be amazed at the difference. The real test is in using it. You and your machine can tell the difference.

$30 Gift Certificate Winners
Send us your ideas to help us serve you better (products, education, website, customer service, etc.). We will award a $30 gift certificate for the best ideas. In the e-mail subject line, please type "$30 idea." This month's winners:

1. Rosa Aparicio (Arizona). Format the Education pages for easy-to-read printing.
Bob's note: We did this. They are now all printable from a pdf file. More information is below in the What's New section.

2. Susan Berbec (California). Please make a bright white Highlights thread.
Bob's note: It's here. Brilliant White is Highlights #798 and is available on 2,000 yd. cones.

3. Bob. (Hey, I finally won!) Make a Rainbows-like thread that works on Gammills. We did. It will be called LAVA (Long Arm Variegated Art). It works great on longarms and home machines. Sample cones are available now (see What's New section below) and many colors will be introduced in October at Houston Quilt Festival.

4. Rosemary Hayes (Ontario, Canada). Start a blog on your website.
Bob's note: I asked our webmaster to set this up and it was ready to go within 3 hours. I love those guys! I'm not promising to be a major blogger, but I'll write and ask some of our staff to write. To access the blog, click on the Other button on any page on our website, then Bob's Blog.

5. Judy Sartor (California) AND Lyn Sethna (California) In addition to the color number, please print the color names on the labels.
Bob's note: We have started doing this on all the cones that have the label on the inside of the bottom of the cone. Start memorizing those color names! By the way, we are working on more King Tut colors. If you have any Egyptian-theme name ideas, please e-mail them to me.

Intensive Training session
Last month we announced an intensive 2-3 day training session to be held in St. George, Utah sometime early next year. This idea is getting closer to reality and we will be sending more detailed information soon to all who requested it. If you are interested in detailed instruction, hands-on fun, and learning as much as we can teach in 2-3 days, please respond via e-mail to [email protected] with 'training' in the subject bar.

What's New
1. LAVA. Our newest and hottest project. LAVA is a new thread line we will introduce in October at International Quilt Market in Houston. LAVA is a 35 wt. polyester, wonderful for all machines, whether home or longarm. For longarmers, LAVA is like 'Rainbows for Gammill machines.' LAVA is similar in color patterns to Rainbows, but three times stronger. Not quite as high-sheen, but it has the same 1-inch precision dyed color change intervals. We have some sample cones available for $6 for those who want a preview of this new thread. We've tested it extensively . It's what many have been asking for. Why the name LAVA? Long Arm Variegated Art. Here is the link:

2. So Fine 50 NEW colors are now in stock on the 3,280 yd. cones. The new colors are numbers 451 through 500. Here's the link to the webpage: So Fine is a lint-free #50/3-ply polyester and is wonderful for quilting, bobbin thread, all purpose construction, and as a matte-finish embroidery thread. Longarm machines love it both as a top and bottom thread. See the Specials section for special sale price. So Fine cones are on sale through the end of August.

3. Art Studio Colors by Ricky Tims. 36 new colors of 40 wt. high sheen trilobal polyester thread ideal for embroidery and quilting. 500 yd. spools can be purchased individually or by the set of 12. There are a total of three sets: High Desert colors, Rain Forest colors, and Flower Garden colors. Spools are $4.99 each and the sets are $59.75.

4. Libby Lehman class kits. We have pre-packaged class kits for Libby's classes. These are available for individual purchase and also for stores to buy in bulk. Here's the link:

5. Our Education pages cover dozens of topics and we add to it regularly. We receive many requests for permission to reprint portions and willingly grant such requests as long as two conditions are met: a. the source is clearly cited, and b. it is reprinted and distributed without any commercial gain (that means you can't print and sell them). All the articles have been formatted for easy reading. Here's the link to the Education page:

6. A new Brilliant White color of Highlights, a high-sheen trilobal polyester thread, is now available. Great for bight white lace making, embroidery, and quilting. Color #798. 2,000 yd. cones. Here's the link to the Highlights page:

7. An Inventory List is available on our website, which lists most of our products by thread type and color number. Use the list to keep track of what colors you have and take it with you when you go shopping. The Inventory List is posted in the Reference Guide section. Here is a direct link:

Website Design and Hosting
Are you frustrated with your website or webmaster? Or thinking about creating a website or need to upgrade, change, or maintain your current website? We have a wonderful recommendation. Check out They are highly skilled, fast, accurate and have good rates. We use them, like them, and recommend them to everyone. Please contact them through their website or at [email protected] (This is an unpaid and unsolicited recommendation. We use them, like them, and therefore recommend them. You'll love their superior service.)

Invitation to Retail Stores If you own or work at a store that carries any of our products, please add your store information to the Store Locator on our website. Listing is free. Customers can find you by country, state, or zip code. We will tell the world about the your store, list all Superior products you carry, list your phone number and website, and even provide a map. Here's the link:

Upcoming Teaching Schedule
Bob joins Ricky Tims, Alex Anderson, and Libby Lehman at the Ricky Tims Super Seminars. These three-day seminars are amazing. Education, information, techniques, and fun interaction make this a most memorable event. If you are in the area, you're lucky. If you're not in the area, it's worth traveling to. Here is a link to the Super Seminar website:
August 16, 17, 18. Ricky Tims Super Seminars in Omaha, Nebraska.
September 13, 14, 15. Ricky Tims Super Seminars in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1. Sample cone of LAVA for only $6. One cone per person please. Go to Specials and click on LAVA. Here's the link:

2. Brytes by Caryl Bryer Fallert is a #30/3 high-sheen, lint-free polyester thread. Brytes is a medium/heavy thread and is intended to show off in your quilting and embroidery. 50 bright colors are now in stock. Brytes work best with a Topstitch #100/16 needle on home machines and a #21 (MR 4.5) needle on longarm machines. Special through the end of August: only $15.95 (reg. $19.80) for the 2,200 yd. cones.

3. Poly Quilter is a medium-heavy spun poly thread in 36 variegated colors. Spun poly has the appearance of cotton, but the lower price and greater strength of poly. 2,000 yd. cones are $16.50 (regularly $21.95). Poly Quilter works best with a Topstitch #100/16 needle on home machines and a #21 (MR 4.5) needle on longarm machines.

4. 50% off Perfect Quilter, both sizes. We plan to convert 300 yd. Perfect Quilter to a spool from the current mini cone. Therefore, all 300 yd. mini cones are 50% off. Regular price is $8.99. Now only $4.50. Here's the link:
2,500 yd. cones are $15 per cone (reg. $29.95). Perfect Quilter is a 17 wt. cotton thread that creates a wonderful, well defined stitch. We recommend using a Schmetz Topstitch #100/16 needle and a thread stand/cone holder. We recommend this thread for home machines and not for most longarms. Topstitch needles are available on our website and heavy duty thread stands are also available.

5. Check out other specials here: and click on Specials in the left-land Products column.

Bob's Superior Joke of the Month Living Will
Last night, my wife and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug." She got up, unplugged the TV, and threw out my beer.

Thank you for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day.

Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.

Copyright 2007 by Superior Threads. 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: