Mid-April 2012 Newsletter

Mid-April 2012

Wise words from Mother Superior
Superior University
What's New (This Month)
What's New (Last Month)

Thread of the Month Clubs
$30 Ideas
Upcoming Events
Bob's Superior Joke


  When we introduced OMNI Thread a year ago, we spent a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect name for this new thread line.  OMNI is
 * an all-purpose machine quilting thread
 * the perfect serger thread
 * a fantastic apparel/garment construction thread
The word omni comes from Latin and means ALL. That is the exact description we were searching for to describe this thread so this name was chosen. If you are a longarm quilter and use a thread called Perma Core, this is an official invitation to try OMNI, a thread we guarantee you and your machine will like much better. In every category of thread testing, OMNI surpasses other brands of same-type thread.  OMNI is cleaner (less lint) and stronger.  You and your machine will love it. 172 beautiful colors.
OMNI Thread is on sale through the end of the month.  See Specials section below.        

This article does not pertain specifically to sewing thread, but I think you will enjoy learning about thread count and how it affects quality.

Thread count is a numerical value used to measure how many strands of thread are woven into a fabric.  A higher number usually indicates a denser weave and therefore a higher quality, but there are exceptions and deceptions. The thread count does not distinguish between the thickness of the individual thread strands or the quality of those fibers.

Thread count is measured by counting the number of threads contained in one square inch of fabric, including both the length (warp) and width (weft) threads. The thread count is the number of threads counted along two sides (one horizontal and one vertical) of one square inch, added together. It is most commonly used in regard to cotton linens such as bed sheets.

Thread count is often advertised as a measure of fabric quality.  Common thread counts in sheets are around 150.  Higher quality sheets are in the 200 range and may be labeled as percale. Percale pertains to the weave, not the fabric type, and may be used in describing cotton, polyester, or a combination of fibers.  Percale is a closely woven fabric with a thread count of 200 or higher.  

I recently saw a set of reasonably priced bed sheets prominently labeled “Egyptian 600.” The sheets were not cotton and were definitely not what I would expect a 600 thread count sheet to be.  After examining the label more carefully, I realized the label did not claim the sheets were Egyptian cotton and did not use the term “thread count” in relation to the number 600.  The brand name was merely Egyptian 600, misleading me to think they were something other than what they really were.  

A quick search on the Internet shows bed sheets with thread counts of 300, 600, and even 1,500.  An extremely high thread count may be misleading due to creative and deceptive ways of counting the individual strands or plies in a twisted thread.  Cotton threads are made by twisting multiple strands together.  For example, our King Thread is a #40 (medium size) 3-ply thread.  Finer cotton threads are #50, #60, and even #100.  When woven into a sheet, one thread should be counted as one thread count.  However, to inflate the thread count numbers, some companies will count the individual plies and therefore count three or more rather than one. Some may use a larger area than one square inch.  Such counting methods are rejected by the National Textile Association (NTA) but we know that crafty marketers ignore the rules and guidelines.  Some sheets may be woven with single-ply threads (rather than multi-ply twisted threads) which results in a higher count, but not necessarily higher quality.

So what do we learn from this?  Labels are often designed to mislead us.  Whether it is thread, sheets, or other products, don’t be too quick to believe what a label or advertising says. Buyer beware.

  Become a Thread Expert by Joining Superior University!Expand your quilting, sewing, embroidery, piecing, and general thread knowledge.  For only $16.95 per month, you will learn new skills and try a variety of products in as little as 30-90 minutes.  The University courses ship free to U.S. addresses.
Course 104 will teach a wonderful fusible thread technique.  Learn a fantastic applique' technique without using stiff fusible webbing.  Course supplies include a spool of our MonoPoly invisible thread ($7.99 value), a spool of Charlotte's fusible Web ($5.99), and a complete pattern to make either a wall hanging or a quilt ($9.00).  This is a total value of $22.98 before shipping.  Your cost is only $16.95 and includes free shipping (U.S. addresses).
Seven instructional videos showing this technique are also available to view free of charge.

Those who started in January will receive Course 104 this month. If you started after April, this will be your 4th month course.
Detailed information about Superior University
Superior University is also popular with stores and guilds.  One guild uses Superior University as a monthly workshop and over 65 participants learn together.
Questions?  Please contact us for details.
  1. All 134 colors of So Fine #50 on 550 yd. spools are now available.  

2.  The Deal of the Day items are now programmed to show the expiration date even after you add them to your shopping cart.  Prices are valid for two weeks from the date announced.  Choose the items you want, add them to your Shopping Cart, and see the dates for each item.  
  1. So Fine #40 (variegated) Color Card
This is the first of our new standard size color cards (8.5 x 11 with 3-hole punch).
Made with the actual thread and sold at our production cost of $3.00. 
35 colors.
Other color cards and color books are available for most thread lines.

2. Coming within a month. MonoPoly on 10,000 yd. cones and on 
Class 15 (A-style) bobbins.

3. Coming next month. MonoPoly invisible thread on Class 15 (A-style) prewound bobbins. L-style MonoPoly prewounds will be next.

4. Magnifico.  A thread like no other.  Magnifico is a high-sheen, smooth, and strong new line of high tenacity, high sheen (trilobal), lint-free polyester.  200 colors. 3,000 yd. cones. Magnifico will be introduced this month at International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati and at MQX in Providence, RI.

5. Most longarm machine companies recommend a specific needle style for their machines and oftentimes the recommended needles differ from brand to brand.  We stock most of the recommended needles and made available an assortment sampler set (includes the recommend needle style in an assortment of sizes).  These sets are now available for A1 machinesAPQSHandi Quilter, and most other machines.

6. Patterns.  We have almost 100 different patterns on our website, including 72 patterns by Annie Unrein and 24 patterns by Leesa Chandler.  The images have been upgraded making the patterns easier to view.  See Specials below for sales on many patterns.
  Join the Thread of the Month Club and start your Collection!If you would like to gradually collect all colors in a favorite Superior Threads thread line, the Thread of the Month Club may be the perfect solution. You pay only for the thread, but get many other benefits including
 * Free shipping on Club order (including add-on items)  
 * Club Members-only specials
 (Click on the logo to learn more)
    $30 IDEAS
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.
  1. Susan Hanson.  Many Baby Lock and Brother machines now use Class 15 (A-style) bobbins.  Yes, they are compatible with the L bobbins but you must use an adapter in the bobbin case.  The  Class 15 (A-style) bobbins are the ones that come with the machines and are the recommended  bobbins for the machine.  Your bright, shiny new chart is wrong.
Bob’s Note: Thank you Susan.  We made the correction on our Bobbin Compatibility List.  Kenmore machines also use Class 15 (A-style) bobbins.  Our first product on prewound Class 15 bobbins will be our MonoPoly invisible monofilament thread. Coming later this month.

2. Katrina Branting.  I really like the idea of a printed Thread Inventory that I can use when I stop by the Superior Thread booth at Quilt Shows.  It helps me remember what I need and what I already have.  But I found that the Inventory file on the Superior website doesn't print out well.  So... I reformatted it.  Now I can keep track of my thread stash!  And when the left and right margins are both set at 0.5", I can easily print the pages I want to bring with me to the Quilt Show.  All my inventory is there, in a large font, so I can see what I have.  And there's room for me to mark down what I buy. I thought other quilters might want to do the same thing, so I'm sending you the file.
Bob's Note:  Thank you Katrina.  You helped us improve. The new and improved Inventory Lists may be accessed via our Reference Guide button or via this link. They may be viewed in both pdf format and xls formats.

3. Alice Hix.  I need to know the expiration date for the Deal of the Day.  Show the dates when I add Deal items to my shopping cart.
Bob’s Note: So many requested this feature, I’d go broke if we awarded everyone a $30 gift certificate for this idea so the fairest way was to award it to the person who first suggested it.  It took a few weeks to program this but now the two-week expiration date appears on Deal of the Day items when added to your shopping cart.

4. Tiana McGowan.  On the Inventory Lists, indicate the revision date. This will allow customers to notice when the Inventory List they are tracking has been updated.
Bob’s Note: We will list this on the Inventory List webpage and also on each printed page of the “full file xls Version.” You will see this: Download full file in XLS  (Revised April 2012).



OMNI Thread is on sale through the end of the month.
OMNI is polyester and ideal for machine quilting, serging, and clothing construction.
6,000 yd. cones
40 wt. (Tex 30) polyester
172 solid colors
$12 through the end of this month (reg. $15.40). No limit.

50% off Art Studio Colors 2,000 yd. cones

High-sheen trilobal poly for embroidery and quilting.
We are discontinuing the 2,000 yd. cones to make room for new products. 36 colors. $6.95 (reg. $13.90) 50% offNo limit.

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.

40% off Poly Quilter thread.  Poly Quilter is a #30/3-ply spun poly jeans-weight thread. It is available in 36 variegated colors.
Ideal for quilting when you want the thread to be visible.
2,000 yd. cones
$13.15 this month (reg. $21.95). 40% offNo limit.
Recommended needle for longarms: #19, 20, or 21 (MR 4.5 or 5.0)
Recommended needle for home machines: Topstitch #100/16

33% off Selected Patterns.  Many of the patterns featured on our website are created by Heather (Mother Superior) and Annie Unrein.  The non-quilt patterns are created by Annie.  Many of the patterns use Texture Magic in creative ways.  The following patters are only $6 this month (reg. $9.00).
Around the Block
From My Heart to Yours
Cafe Vienna
Easy Ruffles Apron
Easter Egg Table Runner
Feeling Patriotic
Happily Ever After
Kyle the Crocodile

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). 24 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 for silk ribbon embroidery.
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 SamplerSampler 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

1. June 29-July 1, 2012. Kauai, Hawaii. 3-day Certified Superior Threadologist course offered during Quilt Hawaii.  Aloha.  Thread classes almost on the beach.  Limited to 30 participants.

2.  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 DVD of a live recording of Bob's seminar, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob, will be included free of charge ($24.95 value) as part of Superior University and will be sent with the first project.
   A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph’s Hospital, and timidly asked, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”
The operator said, “I'll be glad to help, Dear.  What's the name and room number of the patient?”
“The grandmother, in her weak, tremulous voice said, Norma Findlay, Room 302.”
The operator replied;  "Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse’s station for that room.”
After a minute, the operator returned to the phone and said, “I have good news.  Her nurse just told me tests came back normal and her doctor has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”
The grandmother said, “Thank you. That's wonderful. I was so worried. God Bless you for the good news.”
The operator replied, “You’re more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?”
The grandmother said, “No. I’m Norma Findlay in Room 302.  No one tells me anything.”