March 2010 Newsletter (Part 2)
We are continuing the $3.95 SHIPPING ON ALL RETAIL ORDERS
within the U.S. 50 states through March. You choose the products, we’ll choose the shipping method. To our international customers:
Because we cannot offer these special shipping rates to international
destinations, we will offer FREE thread with your retail order. At the end of
your order, in the Comments box, write in the thread type and color and
we will include it with your order. Select anything up to $7.99 in
(Wholesale and business account orders do not qualify for these offers.)
WISE WORDS FROM MOTHER SUPERIOR
What do I piece with? I
used to piece with So Fine. It makes a beautiful seam. However,
because it is polyester, it is important to remember to turn down the
iron temperature when ironing the seams. Same with The Bottom Line.
Some quilters piece with King Tut. It is a fantastic thread but a
little on the heavy side for piecing and creates more bulk in the seams
than a fine thread does. We developed MasterPiece
as the ideal piecing thread and that is what I now use for piecing. It
is extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton, a very smooth 2-ply thread
which means virtually no bulk in the seams, extremely low lint, and it
is iron safe. Remember MasterPIECE for piecing.
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EDUCATION: A Dog Story
have a Golden Retriever. She was easy to train, is very eager to
please, obedient, and loves everything we do. Our neighbor has a
Dalmatian which is rather high strung and not yet properly trained.
Unless trained, some dogs cause a lot of frustration. Sewing machines
and longarm machines are like dogs. Some require very little training,
love any thread we give it, and cause very few problems. Other
machines are temperamental, high maintenance, and require a lot of
attention and training before they serve us well. If we learn how to
train (adjust) the machine, it will serve us well and bring much
happiness. An untrained machine can cause more frustration than joy.
the perfect stitch is the goal of all sewing. It is perfectly fine to
use different threads in the top and the bottom, whether they be
different fiber types (for example, cotton and polyester) or different
thicknesses. Adjustments for these differences are made with the
tension settings, usually only to the top tension on home machines but
to both top and bottom on longarm machines.
Home Machines. For home machines, the training is usually quite simple.
1. Use the best quality thread.
2. Use the proper needle style and size.
3. Sufficiently adjust (usually loosen) the top tension.
differ in top tension among brands but it seems that the recent trend
is to make tighter-tensioned machines and that can be frustrating.
Learning to adjust the top tension setting, even if your machine claims
to be automatic, is very important. Most machines are factory set too
tight to successfully sew with decorative, delicate, sensitive, or
medium/heavy threads without loosening the top tension setting. On a
scale of zero (no tension) to 10 (highest tension), most factory
tension settings are in 5.0 range. That is OK if we use a 50 or 60 wt.
polyester thread (the kind we use for sewing clothing or crafts) but it
is too tight for most other threads. The most common tension range we
use for other threads is between 2.0 and 3.5 so this requires adjusting
the tension setting.
For a chart of recommended needles and tension settings for threads used on home machines, please see our Thread Reference Guide.
Midarm and Longarm machines.
Some longarm machines require extra training. Don’t give up. It is
possible to have a machine that loves to serve its master by
successfully running a wide range of good quality threads. If you have
experienced problems running metallic, monofilament, trilobal
polyester, or other delicate or sensitive threads, this scenario might
sound familiar: I loosen the top tension so the thread does not
break but it is so loose it loops on the back. If I tighten the top
tension to get rid of the looping, the thread breaks.
This is a
common problem with many longarm machines. The problem is that the top
tension and bottom tension are too far out of balance so no matter what
we do to the top tension, it will not solve the problem. In order to
fix this, we must loosen the bobbin tension also. Many of us were
taught to never touch the bobbin tension. That was when thread choices
were very limited and decorative threads hadn’t yet been created or
used on high speed and longarm machines. Times have changed. If you
can thread a sewing machine, you can successfully adjust the bobbin
tension. There is no need to spend money on a second bobbin case. With
a permanent marker, put a dot where the tension screw is now pointing
to so you can always return to the original setting. Then, with a
screwdriver and thinking of a clock, make adjustments by turning the
screw equivalent to what a 15-minute movement would be (1/4 turn).
Counterclockwise loosens the tension (the most commonly required
adjustment) and clockwise tightens the tension. Remember, lefty-loosey,
righty-tighty. For longarm machines, the bobbin tension should be loose
enough that if you hold the bobbin case in your left hand and pull the
thread up with your right hand, the bobbin case should not lift off
your left hand. The old 4-inch drop test is gone. Bobbin tension gauges are available and worthwhile. They allow you to measure and then make note of the best bobbin tension for each thread.
running fairly loose and balanced top and bottom tensions, you will be
amazed how well your machine behaves. Training is not difficult. Just
as a well trained dog is much more fun than an untrained dog, so it is
with a well trained machine. You paid a lot for your machine. It can
and should serve you well.
BOB'S TEACHING SCHEDULE. Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob
April 7-9. St. George, UT. School of Threadology. Certified Threadologist Course. (SOLD OUT)
April 16. Providence, RI. MQX show
April 23. Paducah, KY. AQS show
May 3-5. St. George, UT. School of Threadology with guest teacher PAM HOLLAND. Class Schedule. (2 spaces left)
May 12. Overland Park, KS. MQS show
July 1-3. School of Threadology goes to HAWAII as part of Quilt Hawaii 2010
Sep. 27-29. St. George, UT. School of Threadology. Certified Threadologist Course
SCHOOL OF THREADOLOGY
April 7-9. St. George, Utah. Certified Superior Threadologist course. (SOLD OUT)
May 3-5. St. George, Utah. School of Threadology with guest teacher PAM HOLLAND. Class Schedule (2 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.
New session just added. Sep. 27-29, 2010. St. George, Utah. Certified Threadologist Course.
$30 IDEA WINNERS
1. Debbie Henry. I suggest adding a link for the Thread Selection Guide to the Product Index.
Maybe even link it periodically throughout the list. With so many
wonderful choices, it's almost overwhelming. I found the Thread
Selection Guide on your site while exploring. The chart makes for an
easy visual without going into each separate thread type for
Bob's Note: We did it. The Index
is not very well known on our website but is a wonderful resource.
Please discover it. It provides a list of threads by weight, name, and
use. We now have added a link to all the Reference Guides at the top
of the Index. The Thread Selection Guide shows
what thread is best for any sewing application such as piecing,
clothing and craft construction, quilting, embroidery, bobbin,
applique, serger, and more.
2. Ann McNew (Missouri).
Groz-Beckert needles for the A-1 longarm machine in smaller sizes. My customers are
begging for the better needles in sizes 16 and 18. I love your thread and my longarm customers do too!
Bob's Note: Groz-Beckert size #16 and #18
for A-1 machines are now here. A-1 machines use a different needle
size than other longarms. A-1 machine needles are marked 135x17 and
most other longarm needles are marked 134.
3. Summerset Banks (New Hampshire). Please
make sub-categories for the product list on the "All Products" page
that is under the Products tab. Organizing the products by thread,
notions, etc. will make it easier for
customers to find exactly what they're looking for. I
primarily buy thread from the website and would rather get
to looking at all the pretty threads quickly rather than sifting
through the list looking for the thread products.
Bob's Note. Great idea. The Products are now categorized by type and much easier to find.
Marcia Middents (Arizona). I was looking on the website at
the patterns that use Texture Magic and
wondered if you could add more information about the patterns. For
example: quilts - dimensions of the quilt; purses and totes -
the purses or tote; and sizes for the clothing patterns. I loved the
"Little Miss Sunshine" pattern but had to look at the tiny print on the
of the pattern to determine that it was only a 6 month to 1 year size
pattern. The "Tickled Pink" pattern doesn't have any sizes listed on
the front of the
Bob's Note: Done. Size descriptions are added at the top. Click here to view patterns
BOB’S SUPERIOR JOKE of the MONTH
WHAT’S NEW (This week)
1. New educational video, All About Polyester,
just posted on our website. Learn about the three main types of
polyester threads: Spun poly, Multi-filament poly, and Trilobal poly.
2. Our revised color catalog and reference guide entitled What Makes Us Superior? is now posted online.
3. New needle sizes for A-1 longarm machines. Groz-Beckert size #16 (MR 3.5) and #18 (MR 4.0)
SAN 11 style needles are made specifically for multi-directional
stitching which is what longarm machines do. Needles for other longarm
brands are also available.
4. New and interesting ideas for Quilt Guilds. Please see this page for ideas
Bubba walked into a doctor's office and the receptionist asked him what he had.
said, "Shingles." So she wrote down his name, address, medical
insurance number and told him to have a seat.
Fifteen minutes later a
nurse's aide came out and asked Bubba what he had. Bubba said,
"Shingles." So she wrote down his height, weight, a complete medical
history and told Bubba to wait in the examining room.
A half hour
later a nurse came in and asked Bubba what he had. Bubba said,
"Shingles." So the nurse gave Bubba a blood test, a checked his blood
pressure, did an electrocardiogram, and told Bubba to take off all his
clothes and wait for the doctor.
An hour later the doctor came in and
found Bubba sitting patiently in the nude and asked Bubba what he had.
Bubba said, "Shingles."
The doctor asked, "Where?"
Bubba said, "Outside on the truck. Where do you want me to unload 'em?"
Need a new or improved website? Bob's personal recommendation
Information For Stores
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Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor and self-certified Threadologist.
Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.
Superior no ka oi
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