Mid-January 2012 Newsletter

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

Mid-January 2012 Newsletter

In our Superior world, Heather is the thread designer and I (Bob) am the educator.  Being on the road 10 days each month teaching the world about string isn't really a life of glamor.  Airplanes are uncomfortable, airports are slow, and waking up in a hotel room wondering what city I'm in is a strange feeling.  Oh the tales I could tell about visiting quilt shops and shows and guilds.  Some stories are wonderful and others would shock you.  One day I might write the story.
For 12 years, I've been dedicated to teaching the quilting and sewing industry about thread, needles, tension, and related topics. I've tried to count the number of people who have attended a Thread Therapy seminar over the years.  Maybe 25,000.  That's less than 1% of quilters.  To reach more quilters and sewing enthusiasts, we filmed an extended seminar (1 hour, 45 minutes), made copies on a DVD, and have it available for $19.95 on our website.  It is called Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob

Now for the birthday part.  My birthday is next month so, in February, we will celebrate by sending this DVD free of charge to the following:
1.  Thread of the Month Club members will receive the DVD free of charge with their February shipment.
2.  Superior University students will receive the DVD free of charge as part of Course 201 (which will ship in mid February if you are enrolled by Jan. 18).  If you enroll after Jan. 18, the DVD will ship with your second month's project.
It will be a happy birthday.
If you are enrolled in both the Club and the University and receive two DVDs, please give one to your guild library or give it to a friend.  Your friend will thank you forever.

Two weeks ago we asked for new color recommendations for additional King Tut colors.  Thank you for your many color ideas.  We value your input and will soon begin working on new colors.  As we carefully read through each recommendation, we realized that we already have many of the proposed colors.  This tells us that our current colors are not well enough known or that many do not realize how many colors are available (133 for King Tut).  We thought about what we can do to get our current colors better known.  Our decision: to help everyone know what colors we have in each of our thread lines, for the first time ever, we are offering ALL colors cards (made with the actual thread) at below our cost through the end of January.  Our cost to make the single card color cards is $3.00. Because we want everyone to have them to view the actual thread, we will subsidize the cost through the end of January.  All single-card Color cards are only $2 each.  Our OMNI Thread color book, Tiara #50 Silk color book, and Silk Tire Brand color book are only $9 (instead of $14 to $16) through the end of January.

Q. With the Try Me Specials, may I pick the colors I want?
A. No.  You choose the thread type, we choose the colors.  They are prepacked and offered at a discount to make it affordable to try new threads.  Most likely you will receive some bright and contrasting colors as Try Me Specials.  The reason is so the thread is very visible as you try it for the first time.  We want you to see exactly how a particular thread will sew, how the tension looks, and how it will appear in your project.  If we were to send only soft, blending colors it would be more difficult to judge the thread.

Q. Are L-style bobbins the same as Class 15?
A. No. Although the bobbin diameter is the same, Class 15 bobbins (Janome machines) are a little taller.  Some Class 15 bobbin machines can use L style bobbins but not vice versa. We currently do not have Class 15 bobbins but prewound MonoPoly on Class 15 bobbins are on on the way and there will be a lot of happy Janome people. Prewound MonoPoly on L style bobbins will follow.

Q. If I use a larger or smaller needle than your Reference Guide recommends, is that a problem?
A. No.  We recommend using the smallest needle possible to accommodate your sewing technique and skill level.  The needle size recommended in our Thread Reference Guide is the most common size for that particular thread but some prefer a smaller size and others prefer a larger size. Fabric type, batting thickness, speed, and tension settings also affect the stitch and required needle size.

Q. What is the difference between Vanish-Extra and Vanish-Lite?
A. When used as the top thread, Vanish-Extra is heavier and stronger and recommended for longarm machines and high speed industrial machines.  Vanish-Lite is recommended for most home machines. As bobbin thread, either is fine for all machines.  Vanish-Extra requires soaking, whereas Vanish-Lite can be spritzed to dissolve. Not recommended for swimsuits.

Q. Can I iron MonoPoly? Will it melt?
A. MonoPoly is 100% polyester and has a much higher heat tolerance than nylon monofilaments. MonoPoly is ironable but make sure the iron is set to medium or low heat.

Q. Why don't more local stores carry your products?
A. We wish they would. We have heard hundreds of times, "We have no room to add another thread line" or "We already have enough thread."  Please continue to encourage your local stores to carry our products.  They will listen to you more than they listen to us. We appreciate those stores that make our products available to their customers.

Q. What needle do I need for this thread?
A. Please refer to the Reference Guides for Home Machines and for Longarm Machines.

Q. Do I need silicone lubricant on my thread?
A. A good quality thread should not need silicone lubricant.

Q. Why do some say to keep the thread in the freezer?
A. I don't know.  There is no scientific reason to keep thread in a freezer.  And husbands sometimes look in the freezer.  Freezers have a dehydrating effect.

Q. Do I have to use the same thread on top and in the bobbin?
A. No.  Machines are made to accommodate different weights and types of thread on the top and bottom.  Whether different fiber types or different thread weights, your machine is made to handle different threads on the top and bottom.  Tension adjustments help facilitate making a perfect stitch with two different threads. Mix fiber types and fiber sizes to get the effect you want.

The DVD, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob will be included FREE of charge in the February shipment (Course 102) for all who have enrolled by Jan. 18.

Superior University (Academia Supernus in Latin) 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 the featured product. 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.  You can use any home sewing machine for the University projects.
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, CH, C.S., D.A., R. (Chancellor, 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.

We just added a short educational video on our website describing Soft and Stable and showing it's many uses. This new product is used in the first Superior University project (Course 101 shipping this month). Video   Soft and Stable product page

Personal note from Bob, Chief Threadologist. Superior University 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.  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.

WHAT’S NEW (this week)
New Q & A tab on Product pages. Each product page has numerous colorful tabs indicating sub-categories for that product.  Some tabs are labeled Description, Videos, Spool sizes, Reviews, Color grids, and Photos. A new Q & A tab will soon appear on most Product pages.  This tab will take you to a page with answers to frequently asked questions regarding that product. See the MonoPoly page for an example.

So Fine #40 (variegated) is here.  This is the exact same thread type as So Fine #50 but in a #40/3-ply size and in variegated colors.
 -- Smooth, lint-free polyester
 -- one-inch color change intervals
 --1,650 yd. cones
We first introduced this thread last September and quickly sold out.  Each subsequent shipment immediately sold out.  This week's shipment should be adequate.
35 variegated available colors now and more in the works.

NEW PRODUCT arriving January 20
Superior THREAD HOLDER, an innovative notion for thread delivery.
For use with both Spools and Cones.
Multiple threading options for specialty threads
Fits cones and spools up to 3.5" in diameter
Use horizontally or vertically
Sturdy, yet lightweight and portable

Directions for the new Superior Thread Holder
Videos showing how to use the new Superior Thread Holder

Tiara Variegated #50 Silk
New and better images of Tiara #50 Silk are now online.
Click on any of the smaller images and a larger closeup image appears, showing the variegated colors.
Tiara Silk is available in 24 colors.
273 yds. per spool.

WHAT’S NEW (this month)
1.  Two new Thread of the Month Clubs
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


This is better than Willy Wonka. On a recent trip to our thread factory, I pulled one cone of So Fine #40 (variegated) from the box and wrote a secret message on the bottom underside of the cone.   If you happen to buy this cone and reveal the message I wrote, contact us and win a $200 Gift Certificate.

Thread of the Month
1. So Fine #30 1,650 yd. cones
2. #100 Kimono Silk 1,090 yd. mini cones
3. So Fine #40 (variegated) 1,650 yd. cones
4. Poly Quilter 2,000 yd. cones

19 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
FREE Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob DVD with all February club shipments.

$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.  Alice Hix.  It would be nice if the color card images would display in high resolution so I can see a close up of each of the colors side by side.  That way I could tell better which one of the golds that I wanted.
Bob's Note:  Done.  Not quite as good as having the actual thread color cards but this is next best.

2.  Barbara Anderson.  When I want to ‘warm up’ before starting my free motion quilting, I just fold excess backing fabric of the quilt sandwich over the edge of the excess batting and practice along the margin of the quilt.  This ensures that I am practicing on the real deal and with the thread I plan to use on the quilt.

3.  Priscilla Benson.  I recently enrolled in Superior University and received an e-mail requesting that I check my online account to  update my account information. It would be great if you identified the link to my account with a "My Account" button instead of my email address. It took me a long time to figure out where to do this.
Bob’s Note: Done.  When you are logged into your account, you will now see "My Account" in  bold blue letters at the top right portion of the screen.  Click on “My Account” and it will take you account management features. Our website security features are checked and confirmed daily.

School of Threadology
What is the School of Threadology?

1.  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.  (1 space left) Contact Ricci to register.

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

3.  The School of Threadology is coming to your home town.  We have developed an in-home curriculum and can send you a fun and educational project each month.  Please visit Superior University for details.

* * * Bob's Birthday Special * * *  FREE Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob DVD for all who are enrolled in either a Thread of the Month Club or Superior University. Normally priced at $24.95 but worth thousands.

Color Cards
Available for most thread lines and made with the actual thread.
Regular price is $3.00 which is our cost to produce them.
Available below our cost through the end of January.
$2 per card. Color Books are also discounted.

So Fine #40 (variegated) is here.  This is the exact same thread type as So Fine #50 but in a #40/3-ply size and in variegated colors.
 Smooth, lint-free polyester
 35 colors. 1,650 yd. cones
only $18 (reg. $21.95).

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


When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept  hinting to me that I should get it fixed.  But somehow I always had something else to take care of first -- the shed, the boat, fishing -- always something more important to me. Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.
When I arrived home one day, I found her sitting in the tall grass busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a minute and when I  came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, "When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway."
The doctors say I will probably walk again but I will always have a  limp.

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

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