August 2011 Newsletter

sew superior . . . . . . . it's guaranteed!

Superior Threads August 2011 Newsletter

This newsletter is longer than most but it is full of valuable information.  Please print it out and read it as time allows. Good education, sales, announcements, and a joke at the end.

EDUCATION: Common and not-so-common Questions
Here are some questions (and our answers) asked recently in quilting blogs:
Q. Are all invisible monofilament threads the same?    
A.  No.  Most invisible monofilament thread is nylon and nylon is not a good fiber choice for thread.  It has very low heat tolerance (400 F compared to polyester’s 480 F).  Nylon goes brittle over time and yellows.  That is why very few threads are made of nylon.  If you like invisible monofilament thread, choose a polyester type such as MonoPoly.
Caution: Watch out for a brand of invisible monofilament thread that is labeled as “polyamide.”  That is the chemical name for nylon.  It is not polyester.

Q. Does Superior have any threads made of nylon?    
A. Yes. Charlotte’s Fusible Web.  It is a fusible thread, meaning it melts at low temperature.  This thread is wonderful for fusible applique.  No more stiff webbing between the layers.  Seven easy-to-follow video demonstrations are available on our website.

Q.  How do I know what needle to use for quilting, sewing, embroidering, and piecing?
A.  We listen to the professionals -- those who do and those who teach.  The majority tell us they use the Topstitch style needle for nearly all applications including piecing (#80/12 needle), embroidery (#90/14), quilting (needle size depends on the thread size), general sewing construction/crafting (usually #80/12).  The only exception is when sewing on knit fabrics and they use a ball point needle.
Top secret revealed: The bestselling brand of home machine needles puts the exact same needle in the Topstitch and Metallic needle package.  It's the same needle.  One needle, two packages = double the sales.  Save your money.  You do not need to buy both.  This explains why we no longer sell metallic needles.  The Topstitch style is the needle preferred by the professionals.

Q.  What determines if a thread is for hand quilting?
A.  Strength.  Hand quilting puts a lot of repeat stress on thread so it requires a strong thread.  Traditional hand quilting thread is coated or glazed with wax or starch which makes the thread rather stiff, slick, and strong.  Our hand quilting thread is Treasure, a coated cotton.  Some high quality non-coated threads such as King Tut are also perfectly fine for hand quilting.
Caution: Do not use a coated or glazed thread in a machine.  The coating will rub off and gum up the machine.

Q.  What’s the difference between a piecing thread and quilting thread?
A.  Size.  When piecing, we want the thread to be fine enough to make a flat, smooth seam. A medium or heavy thread will not do this.  Choose a fine (#50) thread for piecing.  MasterPiece was created as the ideal piecing thread.

Q.  Is it OK to piece with polyester?
A.  Yes, if you are careful when ironing the seam.  A high-heat iron can melt polyester, so turn the iron temperature down to low or medium.  We prefer to play it safe and piece with cotton (MasterPiece) so we can iron the seam on high heat with no risk of melting the thread.

Q.  What thread should I use for quilting?
A.  There are many choices.  Polyester, cotton, metallic, variegated.  Please refer to our Thread Selection Guide.  And, it is perfectly fine to use polyester thread in your quilt.  It will not tear the fabric.  That is the biggest myth in the quilting world.  Here is a good article on this topic.

Q.  What is filament polyester?
A.  Most polyester threads are made of multiple filaments (continuous strands) of polyester twisted together.  If there is only one single strand, it is a monofilament thread.  Most polyester threads have many polyester filaments twisted together.  A 3-ply polyester thread has three strands twisted together, but each of those three strands are made up of many micro-strands twisted together.  A top quality 3-ply multi-filament polyester thread may have as many as 144 strands (48+48+48) twisted together.  A low quality polyester thread may have only 18 strands (6+6+6).  The labels do not state the number of micro-strands.  If you have wondered why you absolutely love a particular polyester thread, it is probably due to the high number of micro-strands.

Q.  My dealer told me that using prewound bobbins will void the warranty.  Really?
A.  Your dealer is wrong. No sewing machine company makes such a claim.  In fact, most sewing machine companies sell prewound bobbins.

Q.  Is it true that Superior is the only brand I should use because other brands cause global warming, the swine flu, and other problems?
A.  Thank you.  This is my favorite question.

Aug. 26.  Tacoma, WA. Pacific West Quilt Show. 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Sep. 8, 9, 10. Madison, WI. Wisconsin Quilt Expo. 8:30 a.m.
Oct. 6. Huron, OH. Quilting with Machines. 7:30 p.m.

Offer to
Guilds and stores in Orlando, FL.  Due to travel schedules, I may have an open day in Orlando, FL on Sep. 6 and I will be available to teach a seminar.  I do not charge when I teach. Please contact me if interested.

WHAT’S NEW (This Month)
1.  Product-specific videos.  We are making a series of 2-3 minute videos demonstrating each of our threads.  We show the thread in use and talk needle and tension.  The first video is for OMNI Thread and is now on our website.  Click here to view.

2.  APQS-recommended needles.  Some longarm machine companies recommend specific needle styles for their machines.  Although other needle styles may also be compatible, we now offer the specific needles recommended by the machine company.  APQS-recommended needles are now available in sizes #16, 18, 21.

3.  Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob. REVISED July 2011.  15 short videos are now available on our website and more on on the way.  Recorded live at an actual thread therapy session at the School of Threadology.  These will help solve most problems you encounter with thread.

WHAT’S NEW (Last Month)

1.  Make My Own Set of Prewound Bobbins
Due to many requests, you can now mix and match to make your own sets of prewound bobbins.  For example, if you want a 1/2 gross (6 dozen) or full gross (12 dozen) of prewound bobbins but want to put together your own mixed color collection, it is now possible.  Available for SuperBOBs (L and M style) and MasterPiece (L and M style).
During the checkout process, simply write the colors you want in the Notes box. Please order in increments of one dozen bobbins per color.

SuperBOBs L style 1/2 gross
SuperBOBs M style 1/2 gross
SuperBOBs L style  1 gross
SuperBOBs M style 1 gross

MasterPiece L style Bobbins 1/2 gross
MasterPiece M style Bobbins 1/2 gross
MasterPiece L style Bobbins 1 gross
MasterPiece M style Bobbins 1 gross

2.  Website update. On each of our Products pages, we added colored tabs for easier browsing.  Tabs include Spool Sizes, Sets, Color Grids, Educational Videos, Color Compatibility Charts, Product Description, and more.

Our Thread Index has been updated.  The index lists threads by function, size, and fiber type. This is one of many convenient and useful Reference Guides.

3.  WHITE Soft and Stable.  Originally in BLACK only, this wonderful product is now available in WHITE.
ByAnnie's Soft and Stable is a new product which was developed to use in place of batting or other stabilizers in purses, bags, totes, and more.  Why use Soft and Stable?
-- Great lasting body and stability
-- Lightweight
-- Maintains shape
-- Gives a professional finish to your project
-- The only foam with fabric on BOTH sides
-- Easy to sew
-- Soft and comfortable
-- Washer and dryer safe

4. More So Fine #50 colors are available on 550 yd. spools.
In addition to the original 50 colors (#401 through #450), these colors are now available:
451, 452, 453, 454, 457, 466, 469, 470, 472, 473, 474, 486, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 504, 509, 524, 533.

5.  So Fine #40 Variegated is coming next month.  The same wonderful thread as So Fine #50 but now in #40/3-ply size and all variegated colors.  Your longarm and home machines are going to love this thread. 

6. #25/3 Silk Embroidery Floss. 25 beautiful variegated colors.  A Try Me Special is also available.

7. #16 Quilter's Silk is available in 36 solid colors.   A Try Me Special is also available.

8. 36 new colors of MasterPiece prewound bobbins are available in various quantities.
 - pkg. of one dozen bobbins
 - 1/2 gross (6 dozen)
 - gross (12 dozen)
A new Frosted Donut II which contains all 36 new colors x 1 bobbin each is also available.

Silk Sampler Set9. Silk Sampler Set.  Provides an economical way to try all 7 lines of silk thread.
Includes one each of the following:
#16 Buttonhole Silk 22 yds. (wound on a card)
#16 Quilter's Silk 22 yds.
#25/3-ply Silk Embroidery Floss 16 yds.
#30 Tire brand Silk 55 yds.
#50 Tire brand Silk 109 yds.
#50 Tiara Silk 273 yds. (variegated)
#100 Kimono Silk 220 yds.
40% off special for $32.36 (
reg. $53.93)
Please also see Recommended uses for silk threads

10. King Tut to So Fine #50 Color Compatibility Chart.  This new chart lists compatible colors of So Fine with all 133 King Tut colors.  Because many colors of King Tut are variegated, this newly revised chart lists all compatible So Fine #50 colors.
King Tut to MasterPiece Color Compatibility Chart.  This chart shows compatible colors of MasterPiece with all 133 colors of King Tut.

11.  Updated Inventory List now includes all OMNI Thread colors. The I
nventory List is a convenient way to keep track of what threads you have.  Available in both Microsoft .xls and Adobe .pdf formats.

12.  The name NEW Brytes is changing to So Fine #30.
New Brytes is the exact same thread type as our popular So Fine #50 thread (but heavier) and we decided to rebrand it. 
50 colors in two spool sizes (275 yds. and 1,650 yds.).
Please watch our Educational Video showing New Brytes (So Fine #30)

13. King Tut to So Fine #50 Color Compatibility Chart.  This new chart lists compatible colors of So Fine with all 133 King Tut colors.  Because many colors of King Tut are variegated, this newly revised chart lists all compatible So Fine #50 colors.
King Tut to MasterPiece Color Compatibility Chart.  This chart shows compatible colors of MasterPiece with all 133 colors of King Tut.

Please be our Business Consultant. E-mail 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.  This month's winning Consultants:

1. Pattio Nolan (Oregon).  I love my thread stand/cone holder, except when it slides off the table to the floor. I cut a circle of the rubberized shelf-liner, hot-glued it to the bottom of the holder and yippee - no more mishaps. Thank you for being there for us.

2. Jeanette L Vincent.  Just wanted to suggest to you and others what I like to do within the thread spool cases.  I like to keep the recommended sewing machine needles in a slot in the same thread case as needed for said thread.  This keeps me from looking for that small box of miscellaneous sewing machine needles that float around most sewing rooms.  I love the Superior Threads thread cases.

3. Ellie Cannan.  I find that your prewound bobbins can be used on many machine models not listed on your compatibility chart.  For example, they work well on Bernina 440 and Bernina 153 models if I remove the prewound's cardboard sides.  They are well wound and do not come undone in the bobbin case.
Bob's Note:  One lesser-known fact of cardboard-sided prewound bobbins is that the cardboard sides are pressed on after winding in order to keep the bobbins intact during shipping.  It is not absolutely necessary to keep the sides on.  If your machine likes them better with the sides on, leave them on.  If your machine cannot use them with the sides on, remove them.  Pfaff users have been taught this forever but it is not common knowledge among other machine brand users.


We recently received this e-mail from a customer:  "This club is So Fun!  I have received colors that I would never have ordered but I have used them on quilts within days of the shipment arriving!  Thanks for this wonderful opportunity to have a terrific stash of thread.  When So Fine color #531 came in, I pondered where to put it on my shelf.  Is it red?  brown?  peach?  I turned around and the perfect quilt for that color was already on the frame!"

Price Guarantee. Club members are guaranteed that the price for Club threads will not increase for the monthly Club shipments.  This guarantee is valid for all Club members.  For example, the price of King Tut and MasterPiece spools recently increased.  However, the Club price stayed at the original level.  This means that even if you join a club now, your prices are at the original Club level, not the current higher price.

We tried to design our Thread of the Month Clubs in such a way that it screams, "Why wouldn't I want to be part of this?  The benefits are amazing."
- FREE SHIPPING (USA addresses) or discounted shipping (international) on your monthly Club order including all Superior products items you add to the Club shipment.
- No enrollment fees, management fees, or any type of fees.
- No time commitment. Start, add, cancel, or switch Clubs any time.
- Wide variety of threads to choose from such as King Tut, MasterPiece, So Fine, Bottom Line, OMNI, Embroidery, Silk, and a new Superior Sampler Club.
- Members-only amazing monthly discounts.  There are some great specials.
- Retail and Wholesale Clubs available. (Wholesale accounts must log in to view Clubs.)


What is the School of Threadology?

Scheduled Sessions
1. September 13, 20, 27, 2011.  Sue Gilgen Landscape Quilt class.  The class is held on three consecutive Tuesdays so we understand it is not feasible for those who travel, but if you live near us, it's going to be a great class.  $195. Maximum of 14 students.

2. January 16-17, 2012. Ontario, CA.  Registration will be through Road to California quilt show office.  Limited capacity.

3. February 2-4 and 6-8, 2012. St. George, Utah. The Silk Experience is coming to the School of Threadology. Conducted by
Maggie Backman, one of the most knowledgeable silk specialists in the world. The Silk Experience brings top teachers from around the world to teach all about silk. This class has been taught in Houston during International Quilt Festival for many years.  Two different 3-day classes will be offered at the School of Threadology.  Maximum: 30 students per session. Registration information is available on the Silk Experience website.

4.  JUST SCHEDULED  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 good 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.  Please do not make non-refundable airline and hotel reservations until we meet our student minimum of 18.

Specials logo (Small)
OMNI Thread is on sale.  22% off during August.  Celebrating the full line of 172 colors.  OMNI Thread was designed as a machine quilting thread for high speed midarm, longarm, and home machine quilting and is recommended as both a top thread and a bobbin thread.
Thread size:  Tex 30 (approx. equal to 40 wt.)
Construction:  Filament poly core wrapped with a spun poly outer layer.
Number of colors: 172.  Cone size: 6,000 yds.
Sale Price: $12
(reg. $15.40)

#100 Kimono Silk on 1,090 yd. mini-cones.  80 vibrant colors of #100 fine silk thread.
Ideal for hand applique, invisible machine applique, and detail quilting.
1,090 yd. mini cones.
On sale this month for $12.99 (reg. $17.99).

With over 3,000 products, ordering and producing is a busy task.  We made a mistake on a recent batch of two colors of Glitter and they are not quite as sparkly as our standard colors.  So, here is the offer:  We have a batch of light gold and a batch of bright gold Glitter that are slightly different from our regular colors, so we are offering them at 75% off.
Exact same quality as all our Glitter thread but just a not-quite-as glittery in color.  If you teach classes or need a decorative thread for store demos, this is a great opportunity.
Glitter is wonderful for decorative quilting and embroidery. 
To see Glitter in use, we have a short video available.
Only $1.50 per spool
(reg. $5.99).  No Limit.  Click here to order.

Sampler Sets.  If you are not familiar with many of our products, we offer a variety of Sampler Sets at good discounts.  We have a set for home quilters, another for longarm quilters, another for embroiderers, and another for bobbin work/serger/couching.
Each set contains many threads for the indicated application.  For example, the Home Machine Quilting Sampler kit contains the following: Color catalog, Superior Metallics (500 yds.),  Glitter (400 yds.), Rainbows (500 yds.), NiteLite ExtraGlow (80 yds.), The Bottom Line (1,420 yds.), Nature Colors (500 yds.), So Fine (550 yds.), King Tut (500 yds.), MasterPiece (600 yds.), Superior Topstitch Assortment needles (pack of 5 needles), SuperBOBs L-Style (1 bobbin), So Fine #30 (NEW Brytes) (275 yds.), Kimono Silk (220 yds.).  A $90 value for only $54.  Similar discounts are offered on all Sampler Sets.

Perfect Quilter. All remaining stock at 50% off.  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: $4.50 (reg. $8.99). 27 colors remaining.
2,500 yd. cones: $15 (reg. $29.99). 11 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).

If you see us at quilt shows, you have probably met our Superior show team members.  Ryan is one of our hard working show staff.  He is also a talented film maker.  Enjoy a 1-minute movie promo clip called Agent 808.  Who is that dominating in splashball?


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.


A young man excitedly tells his mother he's fallen in love and is going to get married. He says, "Just for fun, Mom, I'm going to bring over three women and you try and guess which one I'm going to marry." The mother agrees and the next day he brings three beautiful women into the house and sits them down on the couch and they chat for a while.
The next day, the son says, "OK, Mom, guess which one I'm going to marry."
She immediately replies, "the one in the middle."
He was surprised that his mother was so easily able to guess the correct woman and asked, "How did you know?"
The mother replied, "I don't like her!" 

starburst shipping (Small)$3.95 SHIPPING ON ALL RETAIL ORDERS CONTINUES within the U.S. 50 states.  You choose the products, we’ll choose the shipping method.  (Wholesale and business account orders have different shipping rates.)  You still have the option of choosing faster shipping methods.

International orders: We now offer low Air Mail rates on international shipping to most countries.  Air Mail rates are available for packages up to 4 lbs.  International packages over 4 lbs. sent via the Post Office require Priority Mail or Express Mail rates.  UPS is also available.  

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!
Superior no ka oi

Copyright 2011 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.

Copyright © 2011 Superior Threads. All Rights Reserved.