February 2010 Newsletter

February 2010

This Newsletter can also be viewed on our website in larger font sizes.  Click on the font size in the upper right hand corner of the web page.

Forgotten item.   Jae Stewart: Please e-mail us about forgotten items at our booth at the Road to California show.

birthday cake (Small)

BOB’s BIRTHDAY SPECIAL. Shipping costs are always a concern for us.  It is expensive and we subsidize shipping costs on many orders.  But it’s my birthday and we’re going to offer something very different.  
During February, ONLY $3.95 SHIPPING ON ALL RETAIL ORDERS within the U.S. 50 states.  You choose the products, we’ll choose the shipping method and we’ll celebrate together.  (Wholesale and business account orders do not qualify.)


Quality. Service. Education.
Everyday, our goal is to provide the absolute best quality products to the quilting, embroidery, and sewing world and help you be successful in using them.  Education is a top priority.  Here are methods we use to teach:
 *  Free e-mail Newsletter.
 *  Information and Reference Guides on our website.  See our Education pages.
 *  Seminars and hands-on classes at stores, guilds, and major quilt shows.
 *  School of Threadology.
The formula is simple: The best quality thread + learn and apply knowledge = sewing success.

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EDUCATION: Top 10 Questions of 2009
1.  Is it OK to piece with polyester?
Although we recommend MasterPiece for piecing because it is extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton, piecing with polyester is fine if you remember to turn down the iron temperature when ironing the seams.  Cotton is iron safe.  Polyester can melt at high temperatures.  

2.  My machine has automatic tension.  Do I still need to adjust the tension settings?
This is a big YES.  The newer machines are coming with tighter and tighter tensions.  Most machines are preset with fairly tight top tension and adjusted to sew (not quilt and embroider) with a 50 or 60 wt. polyester  thread.  The preset tension is too tight for most quilting and embroidery applications.  Learn to override the automatic tension and loosen it to the point that works best.  On most machines, we set the top tension between 2.0 and 3.5.  When using metallic thread, we go all the way down to a 1.

3.  How can I tell if the problems are with the thread or with the machine?
Our Troubleshooting Guide will tell you.  You will love this guide.  You will know if the problem is with the thread, the needle, the tension, or the machine.

4.  What tension settings are recommended for each thread?
See our Thread Reference Guides.  One is for home machines and one is for longarm machines

5.   Why do we recommend Topstitch needles?
Because that is the needle used and recommended by many professional quilters and full time educators.  They use and like the Topstitch style.  It has a larger eye, a deeper and wider groove, and a nice sharp point.  Superior Topstitch needles are titanium coated.

6.   Are titanium-coated needles OK for home machines?
Definitely yes.  Most industrial machines around the world use titanium-coated needles because they last much longer.  The titanium coating is micro-thin and prevents normal wear and tear at the friction points. If you hear the rumor that a titanium coated needle will cause more machine damage if it breaks due to the titanium coating, ignore it.  The micro-thin titanium coating does not make the needle super strong.  It just provides a very hard surface coating to reduce wear.  Any needle breakage can cause damage and the titanium-coated needle will not cause more damage than other types of needles.  If that were true, industrial sewing companies would not use them.

7.  Prewound bobbins. Sides on or off?
It depends.  For example, most Pfaff machine users remove the cardboard sides.  Compatible machines can use prewounds either with the sides on or off.  When making prewound bobbins, the sides are attached after the bobbin is wound to keep the sides smooth and clean.  If the sides interfere with the rotation of the bobbin, remove them.  If your machine has a bobbin sensor device which warns when a bobbin has run out of thread, remove the sides if you like that feature.  Click here for a list of home machines that are compatible with prewound bobbins.

8.  Does it matter how I position the spool of thread on the machine?
Yes.  Spools of thread which are wound with a straight or parallel wind are made to unwind from the side of the spool and not over the end or top of the spool. (Cones are meant to unwind over the top.)  Most machines have a vertical spool pin.  Position the spool on the vertical pin and the thread will unwind straight from the side of the spool with the spool rotating.  

9.  What is the best way to store thread?
Store thread out of direct sunlight and away from settling dust.  There is no need to keep thread in the freezer or refrigerator or in a ziplock bag or in a humidor.  (I've heard them all.)

10.  Why don’t you have solid colors of King Tut
Of the 100 colors of King Tut, only six are true solid colors.  However, about 60 of the remaining colors are tone-on-tone colors which is kind of between a variegated and solid color and these are much more popular than solid colors.  For example, instead of a single medium blue shade that one would try to match the perfect shade, the King Tut medium blue has four very close shades of medium blues.  This makes a much better color match than a single solid color.  Fabric has evolved like this also.  A plain solid color fabric is very hard to find today.  A blue fabric today is almost always a print design, a mottled color design, marbled, or a hand-dyed design.  Thread, just like fabric, has evolved and the colors today are much more versatile.

BOB'S TEACHING SCHEDULE. Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob
Feb. 11. Scottsdale, AZ. Sew From the Heart
Feb. 25-28. Sewing & Stitchery Expo. Puyallup, WA.  Bob will present four lectures and Superior Threads will teach one hands-on class using Texture Magic.
April 7- 9. St. George, UT. School of Threadology. Certified Threadologist Course.
April 16. Providence, RI. MQX show
April 23. AQS show.  Paducah, KY
May 13-14. MQS show.  Overland Park, KS
July 1-3. School of Threadology goes to HAWAII as part of Quilt Hawaii 2010.

School logo (Small)

April 7- 9. Certified Superior Threadologist course. St. George, Utah.  (Only four spaces left.)
May 3-5.  Pam Holland class.  (Only 10 spaces left.)
July 1-3. Hawaii (Big Island). Certified Superior Threadologist course in Paradise. Part of the Quilt Hawaii 2010 event.  Life doesn’t get much better than this. Become a Certified Superior Threadologist while enjoying a few days in paradise. Other classes and events are also available as part of the Quilt Hawaii event. Great room rates at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa have been negotiated.  Register through Quilt Hawaii.

Please be our Business Consultant. 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."  Click here to submit an idea.  This month's winning Consultants:
1.  Cindy Scraba  (Canada) for numerous website improvement recommendations.

2.  Gail Rowland (TX).  I have been longarm quilting for six years. I have kept a log of all my machine's issues. It includes dates, problems and the solution, the people who helped with that solution, tricks, type of thread I was using at the time, and anything that might be relevant to the troubleshooting process. This log has been invaluable to me.  It has saved time and money.

3.  (We know your e-mail address but not your name.)  How about a sentence at the top of your email newsletter that it can be read at your website in large or huge type size.  I recently discovered this option at your website and I now use it all the time to read your newsletter in huge type.
Bob’s Note: Done.  Thank you.

WHAT’S NEW (Last Month)
1.  Revised Inventory List. 24 pages of easy-to-print Inventory List.  This helps you keep track of your thread inventory and makes a convenient shopping list. 

2. Updated Longarm Thread Reference Guide.  Includes a cross reference for the MR scale and number scale.

L-12-MPDK (Small)3. L-12-MPLT (Small) MasterPiece neutral bobbin sets.  Neutral colors are the most popular when it comes to bobbin thread.  We now have two new assortment sets.  Neutrals Light contain four light MasterPiece colors x 3 bobbins each.  Neutrals Dark contain four darker MasterPiece colors x 3 bobbins each.
Item number for the LIGHT set is L-12-MPLT.
Item number for the DARK set is L-12-MPDK
These same color sets are also available in regular 600 yd. spool sets.

4.  Longarm needles.  A smaller needle, SAN 11 #14 (MR 3.0) is now available.  Recommended for very fine threads such as The Bottom Line, MonoPoly and Kimono Silk (coming soon).            

5.  Updated catalog, What Makes Us Superior?  The newest edition contains 78 pages of great information.  Color sheets for all products, All Thread Reference Guides, Thread Selection Guide, Troubleshooting Guide, and much more.  The newest catalog is light green in color and dated September 2009.  Sold at our printing cost of $2.

If you own or work at a store that carries our products, please register your store on our Store Locator. It is free. New customers can find you by country, state/province or zip code. We also list your contact information and what Superior products you carry. We recently added a new feature to online orders. At the bottom of the customers’ orders, we list all stores in their area that carry our products. Your store must be registered on our Store Locator to be included. The Store Locator feature is as accurate and current as stores add themselves to our website.

BOB’S RECOMMENDATION for Website Design and Hosting
Simple website packages start as low as $49 per month.  Or create a custom website in any way you like.  The possibilities are limitless.  If you are 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. 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.)


A group of 40 year-old buddies were discussing where they should go for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Glowing Embers Restaurant because the waitresses there are young, shapely, and beautiful.
10 years later, at 50 years of age, the group discusses again where they should meet. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the Glowing Embers because the food there is very good and the wine selection is good also.
10 years later at 60 years of age, the group discusses again where they should meet. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the Glowing Embers because they can eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant is smoke free.
10 years later, at 70 years of age, the group discusses again where they should meet. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the Glowing Embers because the restaurant is wheelchair accessible and they have an elevator.
10 years later, at 80 years of age, the group discusses again where they should meet. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the Glowing Embers because they have never been there before.

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 chick here:  subscribe.  To unsubscribe your current e-mail address, click the link below.

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

Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.
Superior no ka oi

Copyright 2010 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: used with permission from Bob Purcell.

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