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Quilting with Glitter

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I want to talk about the glitter thread . This is another one of those blingy threads that adds all kinds of sparkle and charm to your quilts.

When I teach my thread bar, a lot of my students hate using the flat, hologram thread. They have nothing but trouble with it in their machines. They say it breaks. They're not happy with it, and they're afraid to use it, but they haven't used Superior's Glitter Thread. So, I'm going to give you some easy tips on how to use this thread in your machine. It's actually become a favorite of the Open Thread Bar, because everybody loves it so much, I've had to double stock it, because everybody's using it for their threading, for the thread painting.

First tip, most important tip, is you absolutely have to deliver this thread from this side. Glitter thread has a memory. If you pull it from the top and deliver it through your machine, it keeps winding it tighter, and tighter and tighter. By the time it makes it to your needle, it's ready to sing a song, and it snaps and breaks.

If you deliver this thread horizontally, off the spool, that takes the spin out of it. You want a low top tension. Remember to drop your top tension down to one, sometimes lower. You want a smooth polyester thread in your bobbin. Bottom line, or a Trilobal polyester. You also want to use the top stitch 90/14 needle in the top. That will help protect that thread, and keep it from shredding.

I also want to talk about the difference between the metallic thread and the glitter thread. Your metallic thread is a spun metallic. It still has a very nice shine, but it's a softer shine. The glitter is a flat, hologram thread, and so it really catches the light. You're going to get a lot more sparkle with this thread than you will the metallic. I'm going to show you two samples, showing you the difference between the two threads in my quilts.

This particular sample, I've used both metallic and glitter, side by side. I started in the middle with my glitter. I went to the metallic. I went to the glitter. See how much more this is shining than this metallic silver here. I've also used glitter for my rope, and I've used a variegated metallic in the border. It's a very subtle difference, but it's definitely a difference. So, if you want a brighter pop to the thread, use glitter. If you want it a little bit softer, then use the metallic. Let me show you one more example.

In this particular sample, I chose to use glitter for my stitching in the ditch. This is a good example, showing how durable this thread is. I have a mariner's compass points, and I did my stitching in the ditch, all the way through with my glitter thread . I chose to do that because I was trying to add sparkle to the star in the middle. I also chose to use the glitter to continue my border design all the way across, just to catch the sparkle. So I've got a little bit of sparkle in the middle of my quilt. The sparkle is carried through to the border.

I'm going to show the glitter thread, using the same quilting motif that I have in the past, with the bananas, and the little wispies. I'm going to come up and make my banana, just like we have before. I’m going to bring it all the way back down. With the banana, we're going to come back down.

I'm stacking my thread, just as I have before, even the glitter thread stacks up pretty. Again, it adds more detail to your piece. It hides any boo boos that you may have, that you want to hide. So I'm going to travel all the way back down, and I'm simply coming back up, making my little wispy, and going back down to the bottom of my feather, coming all the way back up. See how that thread sparkles. It's almost like it's plugged into a socket or something. I just love it.

This shows that you can quilt some difficult patterns with an otherwise fussy thread, if you follow the little tips that I gave you, and that's delivering the thread from the side. You drop your top tension to one or lower. You may need to skip the thread guide. I didn't mention that before, but if you have several thread guides, you may want to skip one, just to keep it a little looser.

Use your top stitch, 90/14 needle, and a smooth polyester thread in your bobbin, such as bottom line, a Trilobal polyester such as highlights. All those work in the bobbin. So have fun with the glitter.

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