Tag Archives: Superior Threads

The Doctor Is In For Thread Advice

One of Road’s most popular $5.00 Lectures is the session with Bob Purcell, President of Superior Threads, where he talks about Thread Therapy. Bob has proclaimed himself a Self-Certified Threadologist, qualified to make diagnoses, give advice, and solve problems regarding thread issues.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Superior Threads began in 1998 as an at-home business by Bob and his wife, Heather, in their garage. Bob says that he needed to start the thread company in order to support Heather’s quilting addiction. Today, the business spans over a 25,000 sq./ft. facility in the red rocks of St. George, Utah.

Photo Courtesy of Superior Threads

The first product Superior Threads produced and carried was their Superior Metallic. They currently produce and sell over 40 different thread lines with more on the way. Superior Threads prides itself on seeking out the highest-quality raw materials and using the latest technology in processing to create threads for all types of sewing.

The most important warning that Dr. Bob gives is “don’t expect stores to know about thread and needles.” A quilter needs to become familiar with all the different thread and needle types in order to create the best projects.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Bob has found that most traditional quilters prefer using cotton thread but he stressed that there are so many other alternatives out there and he encouraged the audience to try new threads with their work.

Metallic thread is very popular but it also can give the “biggest headache.” warned Bob. He shared a way on how to see if a particular metallic thread is good or bad: Cut off a piece about 3 feet long and let it hang down. If it twists, it is a bad thread. Good metallic thread will hang smoothly without tangling.

Needles, Bob said, are the least appreciated and often ignored part of a sewing project. It is counterproductive to spend a lot of money on a sewing machine, fabric, and specialty threads and then use an old, worn, damaged or wrong needle. Bob suggested whenever beginning a new project, start with a new needle. Topstitch needles work best because it has a larger eye and a deeper groove.

Needles have a two-number system: the higher number relates to a European metric system measuring the size of the needle shaft diameter in hundredths of a millimeter. The lower number is a U.S. designation that is an arbitrary number used to indicate relative needle shaft diameter. Either way, the lower the number on a needle, the finer the thread should be used:

#70/10 for finest threads

#80/12 for 50 wt. threads

#90/14 for medium weight threads

#100/16 for heavier threads

Final tips Bob offered when using specialty threads:

  • Use a high-quality thread on both the top and bottom
  • Make sure the machine is threaded correctly
  • Make sure there are no obstructions along the thread path
  • Properly adjust tensions for the desired application
  • Use the correct size and type of needle. Make sure it is inserted correctly
  • Make sure the bobbin case is in good working condition
  • Adjust sewing speed to compensate for other limitations

    Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

     

At Superior Threads, the doctor is always in. Visit their website for helpful video tutorials and other valuable information.

 

 

 

2015 Special Exhibit: The Next Generation of Quilters

Old quilts are reborn with new faces

What could be more satisfying than encouraging young quilters with their quilt making skills? That’s exactly what Road to California and six other sponsors did when they initiated  The Next Generation special exhibit at Road 2015.

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

 

Youth, aged seven to sixteen years old, were invited to participate in this non-competitive exhibit. “It’s important to let our younger generation know that quilting can be experienced in all different aspects and that it isn’t just about making old-fashioned blankets,” remarked Carolyn Reese.

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

 

There were a dozen exhibitors: Crystal Farrand – Lake View Terrace, CA; Paige Graves – Leesburg, VA; Shayla A. Adams – Farmington, UT; Alexus Jekill – Calgary, Canada; Charlotte Upitis – Calgary, Canada;  Amberlin Garcia – Perris, CA; Mickyla E. Wiggins – Albuquerque, NM; Peyton Chaffee – Ventura, CA; Kali Stone – Fullerton, CA; Cambria Lee – Purcellville, VA; Avery Lee – Purcelllville, VA; and Zenden Hutchins – Santee, CA.

Kali Stone is excited about her entry. Photo by Gregory Case Photography

Kali Stone is excited about her entry. Photo by Gregory Case Photography

 

Each young quilter received a special gift package that included:

A participation ribbon

Finger guard set from Guidelines 4 Quilting

$20 gift certificate to Superior Threads

One Year Subscription to Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine

Charm Square packet from Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Gift Set from Quilter’s Rule International

The exhibit was also supported by The Cotton Patch.

During the show, participants were able to invite family and friends to see their work free of charge in the North Lobby of the Ontario Convention Center.

Zenden Hutchins signing out his quilt.

Zenden Hutchins signing out his quilt.

 

 

A Chinese Proverb says, “If you want happiness for a lifetime – help the next generation.” From the looks of this exhibit, the future holds a lot of quilting happiness!!

 

Look for more youth quilting events with Road 2016.

   

How Do You Thread Your Needle?

All threads are not created equal. And who should know this more than Bob Purcell, President of Superior Threads and a Self-Certified Threadologist. Mr. Purcell presented two, $5.00 Lectures at Road 2014 entitled, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob.MasterPiece-Group-Shot-L

How your thread performs depends on Five Thread Criteria:

  1. Quality: The higher the quality of thread, the less special handling is required. Quality thread is worthy of your machine and your project.
  2. Needles: Make sure you are using the right type and size. A topstitich needle works best with most projects because it has a larger eye and deeper groove. Make sure the needle is inserted correctly in your machine and that your machine is threaded correctly.
  3. Tension: Dr. Bob says, “Running your machine always at the same tension setting is like buying a new TV and never changing the channel.” Learn how to make quick and easy adjustments, even if your machine has an auto tensioner.
  4. Delivery System: How is the thread prepared to use on your machine? Is the thread wound on a spool or a cone? Either type is OK but each has a different use. The larger the spool, the greater the savings.
  5. Condition of Sewing Machine: Always keep your machine clean and in good condition. Regular maintenance insures your machine is in the best condition.

Dr. Bob also answered some common questions regarding thread:

How accurate are thread labels? Because different manufacturers use different standards of measurement, labels are not always accurate. Rely more on your sight and touch than the printed label.

What weight of thread should I use? It depends what you want the thread to do. A simple rule, “Heavy to show, thin to blend.”

Should I only use cotton thread in my quilts? Traditional quilters often used all cotton: fabric, batting, and thread. Times have changed and machine quilting has opened a whole new world. Polyester, medium and heavier cotton and even metallic thread can be used to enhance the beauty of a quilt.Banner-Machine_Quilting

Does polyester thread tear the fabric? No. Under normal use, polyester and softer, non-glazed threads will not tear through the fabric and is perfectly fine to use.   

Does the bobbin thread have to match the top thread in type and size? No. The bobbin thread can be a lighter weight than the top thread and still provide sufficient strength. Since bobbin thread does not go through a needle, bobbin threads have fewer problems.Banner-Prewound_Bobbins

Now is a great time to try Superior Threads. From now until July 31, customers can save up to 75% on Try Me Specials. For the first time ever, Try Me Specials are being put on a bigger FREEDOM sale.  These specials are already 30-50% off, but for the rest of July, they are an additional 50% off the already-sale price.  You choose the thread type and Superior threads will choose the colors. Choose from over 50 products.  With prices this low, you can afford to try a thread you have never used before. Just use the Promotional Code tryme at checkout.

Discover what threads work best for you, keeping in mind the Five Thread Criteria and have fun!!!

What is your favorite Superior Threads product?

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Thoughts From Our 2013 Director’s Award Winner

This year’s Director’s Award was given to Macon, North Carolina resident, Cathy Wiggins, for her quilt, Carousel Stampede. Cathy received a $1,500 prize from the award’s sponsor, Superior Threads.

Cathy became interested in quilting after she attended her first guild meeting held in Lake Gaston, North Carolina, in 2002. Up to this point, she had never owned a sewing machine. She went out and bought a $99 machine and used it to make several quilts before upgrading a few years later. After attending her first quilt show in 2003, she knew she was born to make quilts. She bought her longarm in 2006 and has never looked back.

Cathy had been collecting carousel horse images for a while and knew that she would one day make a quilt of them. Once she started painting quilts, the time was right to create her stampede of carousel horses. All of Cathy’s show quilts are a game of some kind and this one is no different. She decided to give each horse a name so the viewers could identify their favorite horse. She tried to include a horse that would appeal to everyone.Carousel Stampede

Approximately 600 hours were spent creating Carousel Stampede. Cathy started with white muslin and spent 250 hours painting it, followed by 300 hours of quilting and another 40+ hours adding the crystals.

When Cathy found out she had won the Director’s Award, she was “thrilled.” Said Cathy, “I love seeing people enjoy my quilts while hanging at shows but when they win a large prize such as this one, it just means that many more people will be able to enjoy something I have created through publications, articles, etc.”

What did she do with her prize money? Cathy purchased an iPad Mini to replace her old, original iPad.

Where does Cathy do next after winning such a prestigious prize? She is going to continue painting her quilts, keeping her tradition of making them in to some sort of puzzle. She loves creating quilts that bring a smile to people’s faces.