February 1, 2012 Newsletter
sew superior . . . . . . . it's guaranteed!
Superior Threads TEL 800-499-1777 or 435-652-1867
February 2012 Newsletter
BOB LIKES POETRY?
I'm not much of a poet, but I really like this one. Linda Moran writes a blog entitled Marbled Musings and in a recent blog post, she posted a poem she wrote called Why Superior Really is "No Ka Oi". No ka oi is Hawaiian for 'the best' and it is a favorite saying in Maui (Maui no ka oi). You may have noticed that at the end of the newsletter, we have always written Superior no ka oi. Enjoy a fun rewrite of a famous poem by visiting Linda's blog. Thank you Linda. You are no ka oi.
WISE WORDS FROM MOTHER SUPERIOR: BOB'S BIRTHDAY SPECIAL
We are celebrating Bob's birthday this month with some free offers and really good specials. Here's the FREE offer: We are sending the Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob 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 with their February course which will ship between Feb. 15 and Feb. 20. All who are enrolled in Superior University by Feb. 14 will qualify.
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.
See other Birthday Specials in the Specials section of this newsletter.
Have you ever wondered what a needle burr is? The eye of a needle is punched out in the manufacturing process. Sometimes the punch process is not clean and a microscopic fragment of metal is left behind (see photo at left of a new Universal #80/12 needle -- not ours!). As the thread goes through the needle, the burr snags it and causes problems. If it is a small burr and you are using a cotton thread, the burr will snag some cotton and pull out a piece of lint while the thread keeps going. If you are using a smooth polyester thread, the burr will snag the thread and result in breakage. This explains why sometimes a cotton thread might run well, but a stronger poly thread breaks. A large burr will cause problems for all threads. Burrs usually do not develop during use but exist in an imperfect needle. A burr in a smaller-eye needle (most needle styles) will cause more problems than a burr in a larger eye needle (Topstitch style).
During a visit with the largest industrial needle manufacturer in the world, I was surprised to see their catalog. It was as big as a phone book. There were hundreds of different needle styles, each offering a variety of sizes. I estimated a total of 4,000 choices. For the past 12 years, we have learned much from professional quilters, embroiderers, general sewists (I like this new word better than sewers), and educators. As far as needles are concerned, many tell us the needle they use in home machines is the Topstitch style needle -- regardless if they are piecing, quilting, constructing, or embroidering. (The only exception to this rule is when sewing on knit fabrics, and then a ballpoint needle is used.) FYI, the least favorite needle of professionals is the Universal needle.
There are three main advantages of a Topstitch needle.
1. The point is sharp, but not razor sharp. It has a very slightly rounded sharp point with allows the needle point to penetrate without cutting the fibers. Many needles have a similar point.
2. Wider and deeper groove. All needles have a groove which runs up the shaft of the needle. The thread lies in the groove rather than along the outside of the needle. The groove on Topstitch needles is wider and deeper than most other needle styles. This is beneficial especially for medium, heavy, decorative, and sensitive threads.
3. The favorite feature of the Topstitch needle is the extra large eye (see photo below). It is twice as large as most other needle styles. The large eye gives much more room for thread as it moves through the needle and greatly reduces stress on thread. (Click on the images to see close up details.)
In our sewing room, we have only four needles:
1. Topstitch #70/10 for very fine threads such as MonoPoly, #100 Kimono Silk, and Bottom Line.
2. Topstitch #80/12 for fine threads (50 wt.) such as MasterPiece cotton and So Fine #50 polyester.
3. Topstitch #90/14 for medium threads (40 wt.) such as King Tut, Rainbows, Art Studio Colors, Highlights, Metallic, and Glitter.
4. Topstitch #100/16 for heavier threads (30 wt. and heavier) such as So Fine #30, Perfect Quilter, and Poly Quilter.
But how about metallic needles? Here is the truth. The best selling brand of home machine needles in the world packages the Topstitch needle in a green Topstitch needle pack and also packages the same Topstitch needle in a gold pack and labels it as Metallic needles. They are the identical needle in two different packs. No wonder those metallic needles work so well! They are Topstitch needles.
How about titanium-coated needles? These needles are very similar to regular chrome needles but have a micro-thin coating of titanium nitride (a ceramic-like substance) applied. This micro-thin coating does not affect the overall strength of the needle, but it does make the needle last longer (5 to 8 times longer than a regular needle) and it costs only 20 cents more. Most factories around the world use titanium-coated needles due to their durability. If you have heard the rumor that titanium-coated needles can damage your machine, don't believe it. They do not create any greater risk than does a regular needle. Professionals and factories would not use them if there were a greater risk of damage. Use them and enjoy them. They really do last a long time. For scientific results of laboratory testing, please view the Organ Needle Company brochure.
Our Topstitch needles, which fit all home machines are titanium-coated.
View Bob's video presentation on needles
See the Specials section below for a special on needles during February.
What is it? Each month, we will send you a carefully designed project including a selected product. You will receive a simple pattern and easy-to-follow instructions to create a small project. Many projects will include a product or technique you may have never tried before. The focus is on learning a skill or technique and not on the finished project. These are simple projects that can be completed in a short time.
How long does it take? 30 to 90 minutes each month. Emphasis is on the technique, not the finished project. Our purpose is to help you increase your knowledge and use of threads and related products which will add more possibilities to your sewing projects.
When does it start? Anytime. Regardless when you enroll, you will start with Course 101 and progress each month. It is an 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.
My Friend started in January. Can I start now but be on the same track as she is? If you request it, you can purchase both January and February's course. Otherwise, you will start Course 101 in the month you enroll. Either way, you will not miss out on anything.
When do you ship? Between the 15th and 20th of each month.
Who is it for? With students ranging from absolute beginners to experienced and skilled sewists, Superior University will offer something for everyone. Of course, some lessons may be easy for some, yet challenging for others, but they will help everyone obtain a skill or improve a technique.
How much does it cost? Only $16.95 per month (including shipping to U.S. addresses) and a one-time Starter Kit fee of $29.95 (including shipping to U.S. addresses). International shipments incur postage fees.
Why? Since our beginning, our focus has been quality and education. Our School of Threadology was developed to teach you everything we know about thread, needles, and tension and how they interact. Superior University is our way to offer our School of Threadology to you, in your home, and on your schedule.
Superior University for Stores. Superior University is also available for stores to teach as a monthly class. Contact Ricci for details.
A Look Inside. Course 101 teaches bobbinwork using Razzle Dazzle decorative thread on a fairly new product called Soft and Stable, which was developed to use in place of batting or other stabilizers in purses, bags, totes, and more. Soft and Stable is lightweight, maintains its shape, gives a professional finish to your project, is the only foam with fabric on both sides, is easy to sew, and is washer and dryer safe. Click here for Annie's video on Soft and Stable
More Video support. Mother Superior (Heather) and University Chancellor Dr. Ricci made a video showing bobbinwork using Razzle Dazzle. Great information for Course 101.
Personal note from Dr. Ricci, Ch., D.A., R. (Chancellor, Director of Admissions, and Registrar)
For those who enrolled before Jan. 18, you should have already received Course 101. For those who enroll after Jan. 19 and before Feb. 14, we will ship Course 101 to you in mid-February and include Dr. Bob's DVD (Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob) as a bonus. Superior University is going to be fun for all including quilters, garment makers, crafters, and thread artists.
Student Feedback. The university just started two weeks ago and some participants have already provided good comments on the first lesson. Click here to view
For more information and enrollment, please visit Superior University
WHAT’S NEW (this month)
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
2. New Thread of the Month Club options. Razzle Dazzle Club, Silk Ribbon Club, and Poly Quilter. See Thread of the Month Club or e-mail Pati, the Club Manager.
3. New video page layout. View over 100 educational videos free of charge.
4. Mother Superior (Heather) and University Chancellor Dr. Ricci recently made a video showing bobbinwork using Razzle Dazzle. Great information for the first lesson of Superior University.
5. The Deal of the Day specials are valid for two weeks from the day they are announced. They must be added to your shopping cart within that time period. The special price will expire two weeks from the original date so make sure you complete the purchase by then or the price will revert back to the original price.
WHAT’S NEW (last month)
1. 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 colors available now and more are in the works.
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.
4. A new Thread of the Month Club is available.
So Fine #40 variegated Club. 1,650 yd. cones. (wholesale and retail clubs)
5. We recently 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
6. 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.
$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 week's winning Consultants have been sent a $30 gift certificate.
1. Alice Hix. How about including a picture of the Deal of the Day item? Also some clarification, please. Does the Deal item have to be ordered and completed for shipment on the same day? Or can the item be added to my thread club order and shipped with it? So if I wanted several of the Deals over the course of the month, could they all be included with my Thread Club shipment?
Bob's Note: Pictures are now included. Programming has been completed to allow you to move Deal of the Day items to your shopping cart and maintain the Deal price for two weeks from the date the Deal was posted.
2. Linda Barron. Just wanted to let you know I've clicked the link for the "Daily Deal" e-mail several times and have no success in receiving the Daily Deal e-mail. Yes, the box is checked. I've tried all combination of "Daily Deal" and "Newsletter" to accomplish a subscription. Yes, I've checked my Spam folder.
Bob's Note: Fixed. There was a temporary glitch. Thank you for telling us.
3. Barbara. I like some of your great Deal of the Day offers. Since the offers come on a daily basis, can you accumulate and hold items and ship say bi-monthly? Adding $3.95 three or four times in this time frame adds quite a bit to the overall cost of the Deal, so doing this sure would cut down on the overall cost and make these items more appealing.
Bob's Note: Done. Programming has been completed to allow you to move Deal of the Day items to your shopping cart and maintain the Deal price for two weeks from the date the Deal was posted.
4. Laurene Gaskins. Would it be possible to save up my deal of the day purchases for, let's say a week, then on the last day, I would place the order?
Bob's Note: Done. We'll give you two weeks.
5. Diane Friedel. I love your deals of the day. However, when it is a thread, all you give is the type, size, and color number. If you would give the name of the color that would be so helpful. Otherwise I have to go to your site and look up the thread number to see what color it is. For example I wanted your Military Gold #9 to replace the one I used up, but you offered #7 and I wasn't sure that it wasn't Military Gold and had to look it up. Thanks for listening.
Bob's Note. Done, starting today.
Thanks to many good ideas, we are learning and improving as we go.
THREAD of the MONTH CLUB
* More than a dozen clubs to choose from. Collect the entire line of your favorite thread, a few spools at a time and enjoy the benefits.
* Free shipping (U.S.A. addresses) or discounted shipping (international) for monthly Club shipments including all add-on thread orders shipped with it.
* 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
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. (The class is full but we have a wait list sign up available.) Contact Ricci to register.
2. June 29-July 1, 2012. Kauai, Hawaii. 3-day Certified Superior Threadologist course offered during Quilt Hawaii. Aloha. Thread classes almost on the beach. Life is good.
3. Most future sessions of our School of Threadology will be offered through our new Superior University program. We provide detailed instruction in your home and on your schedule via our monthly class. It may not be as fun as visiting our campus, but it is less expensive and more convenient for you and we can teach more by offering a new project each month. A live recording of Bob's seminar, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob, will be included as part of Superior University and will be sent in mid-February with the February course.
Bob's February Birthday Specials
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.
Art Studio Colors designed by Ricky Tims.
High-sheen trilobal polyester thread ideal for both quilting and embroidery.
36 colors to choose from.
500 yd. spools.
More than 40% off through the end of February. $3.50 (reg. $5.99). No Limit.
Assortment Pack of Topstitch Needles
Long lasting Titanium-coated Superior Topstitch needles. Includes the following needles:
#70/10 x 1 needle
#80/12 x 1 needle
#90/14 x 2 needles
#100/16 x 1 needle
30% off through February. $4.89 (reg. $6.99). That's less than a dollar a needle. No Limit.
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. Less than half price.
2,500 yd. cones $10 (reg. $29.99). 6 colors remaining. Way less than half price.
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).
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
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.
BOB’S SUPERIOR JOKE OF THE MONTH
I don't know why I didn't figure this out sooner. I use shampoo in the shower and when I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body. Well, printed very clearly on the shampoo label is this warning, “For Extra Volume and Body.” No wonder I have been gaining weight!
I have gotten rid of that shampoo and I am going to start showering with Dawn dish soap instead. That label reads, “Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove.”
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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
Superior no ka oi
Copyright © 2012 Superior Threads. All Rights Reserved. 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, www.superiorthreads.com