>>>>

Monday, March 19, 2018

Thread Matters…

20180319_073831
Thread is one of those things I care about.  I hope you do too.

When putting all of this time and effort to piece quilts, quilt quilts – I give a lot of consideration to the thread that does the job of holding piece to piece, or finishes the quilt either by machine quilting or hand quilting, and binding.

Living in North Carolina, I’ve been interested and fascinated by the long standing textile industry here.

Of course, many (most) of the mills are gone now, but did you know that having been in the thread business for 127 years, American & Efird  is the only thread company still with full scale operations remaining in the US?


A&E began in 1891, on what was known as Dutchman’s Creek.  Charles Egbert Hutchison launched Nims Manufacturing Company with six investors. The company was successful and in 1920 was consolidated, with other textile mills, into a new corporation known as American Yarn and Processing Company. 

In 1947, the company bought controlling interest in the Efird Manufacturing Company, located in Albemarle, NC, and founded by J.S. Efird.

After the completion of the merger between American Yarn Processing and Efird Manufacturing in 1952, the company name changed to American & Efird® Mills, Inc. In 1968, the diversified interests of R. S. Dickson combined to form the Ruddick Corporation, a holding company, which became A&E’s parent company.  Under this affiliation, A&E continued to grow, expanding across the country and world.

Since the days of water wheels in the 1890’s, A&E has greatly expanded its global facilities, maintaining pace through technological improvements. A&E was the first textile company in North Carolina to digitally match colors, automate the doffing system on spinning frames, and computerize dye machines.  

As part of the KPS Capital Partners portfolio, American & Efird LLC stands ready to meet future challenges and continue to serve the needs of the industrial sewing thread, technical textile and embroidery thread markets. [source]

After experiencing repeated trouble with other imported 2 ply threads, and finding that I couldn’t hand piece on my hexie quilt or bind a quilt without the thread breaking (It snaps in the center of the thread, not near the needle) I made the switch to Signature 60 weight, which is 3 ply for strength, 100%  cotton, and still a very fine silky thread – and my problem stopped.


20180319_073937

Signature 60 wt, 3 ply!

Processed in the USA!

You all know the hexie quilt I am currently hand quilting for my son Jason (Each son is going to receive a hand pieced, hand quilted quilt from their mama.) as I have posted about the hand quilting numerous times – I have had to repair many places where the hand stitching of the hexies has come undone.  The 2-ply thread pops…just breaks.

I have a suspicion that this is due to one thickness of thread when hand piecing, versus two threads together, bobbin and top, when machine piecing.  Whatever it is, I no longer use 2 ply thread for my handwork.  There is too much work in this project to have the thread not do its job.


20180318_204217

Signature 60 wt box.

Gütermann hand quilting thread in the tin.


The long respected and well known Gütermann global industrial and consumer thread business was acquired by A&E in 2014.  I am using this hand quilting thread while quilting Jason’s quilt and I’ll be using it on Jeff’s too.

20180319_074148

I have no affiliation with these products, I just know that I have been long arm quilting with  American & Efird Signature 40 wt thread since 1995 and have loved it, and am happy to be doing my part to keep a 127 year old industry alive and well in North Carolina.

20180318_140702

Landing in Atlanta yesterday, stitching hexies all the way!

20180318_193755

Checking to see if hexie border #3 fits!  YAY!

Click to play:


There were only a few fill in places left to do last night, so I threaded up my needle with the Signature 60 wt (I love the flax color) and added the 3 needed hexies to the border length and began to attach the border.  

It will take several evenings of stitching to get it sewn on, one hexie side at a time, but I had no problem with shredding or breaking with this thread.  It glides through the fabric, it is truly wonderful.

20180319_073814

I got THIS far!

You can see where the border is still waiting to be sewn at the far bottom right.  I’ll be back at this tonight.  And yes, some of these fabrics are old old old!  But these are markers on the time line of my life as a quilter.  And it is likely ALL the fabrics in the quilt will be old by the time it is quilted and bound!  This quilt includes many of the fabrics I sewed with while the boys were growing up.  So many memories.

This morning….not moving so fast!  But easing in to this Monday with a week home.

I’m thinking of Quilt-Cam, perhaps mid-week, but I need to get through what I can today to see the light at the end of the tunnel as to when we can do it.  Stay tuned for that announcement.

There are all of the show & share photos from the 3 Illinois guilds to come in tomorrow’s post – much photo editing and video making to do!

First up today?  Now that the Quiltville Store is back up and working, things are coming in and it’s been busy! (Thank you!) I’ll be making sure that all of those orders go out by post office closing time.

IMG_20180319_075012_749000_wm

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Antique wool hexagon quilt found in La Salle, Illinois.

Of all the choices you make today, which ones are you going to make differently? Which will bring a better or different result?

Make this Monday Rock!


37 comments:

  1. Huh, isn't it funny the assumptions one makes? I, too, had assumed Güttermann was made in Germany, and felt just a little guilty that I preferred it. I'm always grateful when you share your experiences with us, especially when it makes this craft easier to accomplish well.

    I'm sharing today's quote with my Sweet Adeline chorus. It's far too easy to sing in "default" mode, never making the choice to apply a new technique or lesson, and thus never making any progress toward improving. Do you miss the chorus singing, Bonnie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES!! I miss choral singing SO MUCH! Especially as we get close to Easter. One of these days I will not be a quilting road warrior and find myself in another choir. In the mean time I'll keep listening because it fills my heart and soul! :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Bonnie: Are you aware that some of Guttermann thread is now made in Mexico? Some shops no longer carry it because of that reason. They have had some of the inferior thread have bad breaking problems, only to find out it had been made in Mexico.

      I too miss Choral singing, but can sing along with the radio.

      Donna
      Kasilof, AK
      Where we have had above normal weather the last week, and Spring melting is beginning. But, we are to return to the normal cold, and lower 30's tomorrow and freezing tomorrow night.

      Delete
  2. Welcome home Bonnie!
    Thoroughly enjoyed your thread information, thank you 😃
    I do have questions regarding the thread:
    -For quilt tops made with home sewing machines, which of the threads do you recommend? JoAnn Fabrics sells Guttermans, would their poly mix and or cotton thread be okay?
    -I'm not familiar with the Signature 60 weight, where do you recommend I'd locate it?
    Thank you for sharing Bonnie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the 100% cotton. For strenth though, when hand sewing a binding down, I like the MaxiLock serger thread (poly) as it is stronger for binding and it doesn't shred or break when doing long lengths of hand sewing.

      Delete
  3. I had no idea that any thread was produced in the USA anymore! I normally do not care what thread I use, unless I have a problem with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was having a real problem with aurifil and english paper piecing. I also can't use it for binding....it just shreds after stitching about 2 inches..

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonnie,
      Keep up the good work you do. I like to see all of your travel pictures. They let me travel from home. Thank you also for all the information you give.

      Delete
  5. I love supporting goods made in the USA, past couple of years no more import threads for me. A&E and Fil-tech both USA manufactured threads .....thanks for the heads up (enabler!) on the 60 weight can't wait to try it....😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will love it. Seriously. I was amazed at how long I could stitch down the length of a seam by hand without breakage. That just didn't happen for me with imported 2 ply thread.

      Delete
    2. I have been using Coats and clarks for hand quilting and binding. It is a little wavy when I take it off the spool so I just run it across the top of Bag Balm and then run my fingers down the tread and have no problem with twisting or breaking. Any access bag balm goes on my fingers when I straighten the tread and feels great as I have very dry skin and naturally handling fabric and thread doesn't help but oh well. Thanks for all the great articles on so many interesting things for the quilting world. You are loved and appreciated.

      Delete
  6. Bonnie, thanks for writing on this. I have had my long arm since 1997 and this is the only thread I have used on it. I also use it for my piecing. Many times I have been asked what thread I use and get “well I only use ————- thread.” This thread has done the job for me so I’ll continue using it. Thank you for all you do and the happiness you bring to so many of us. Mary K. In the liquid sunshine state of Wa.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for validating my use of Gutterman quilting thread when sewing my hexies. I've always used it not only to baste hexie papers but also when sewing them together. I started out thinking I wanted to use up my supply then discovered I really liked it's strength. Still prefer YLI for handquiting. Terry

    ReplyDelete
  8. INteresting!! Modern QUilt Studio talked about this thread today too. I will have to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I learned the hard way about quality thread. Since nearly all of my fabric I work with is thrifted, I was doing the same with thread. NOT a good idea. Sometimes I will piece with the secondhand stuff but quilt with it, nevermore.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have to say thet Fil-Tec threads are made in the USA. They just built a big plant in PA. I buy Glide and Premosoft from them and the threads and customer service are excellent. I use Glide for FMQ on my long arm and domestic. I use Premosoft in the bobbin and for piecing. I just love the company and that they are USA companies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! Glide and magna delights bobbins are awesome!

      Delete
  11. Bonnie, love your quotes many of them have helped so much the last 2 weeks with my sister in icu. I love bottom line for hand piecing. I only live 5 min away from their warehouse

    ReplyDelete
  12. this is the second blog posting today about signature thread.
    I have had it in the past, but not recently. Where do you buy it?
    Red Rock threads is the only on line store I can find with 60 wt.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What thread do you use for piecing on your machines?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Welcome home! Thank you for the thread info. Very interesting. Sadie looks like she needs some one on one time. Not to happy that you were hexing and not playing with her. That is one puppy that misses you so much when you are gone! Have a good day!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello, Bonnie Love of Quilting magazine has an article on Tim Latimer. It is the March/April 2018 issue. Looking forward to Quilt-cam when you can do it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for the information you posted about your thread choice with EPP. After reading your post, I’ve placed an order for a spool of the Signature thread and look forward to trying it for the remainder of my hexie project.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for this post about quilting thread. Nice to know there are still US manufacturers. I look forward to Quilt Cam when it works for you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. The #IGQuiltfest is all about Thread Love today. You are right thinking in this post today. Glad to know what thread works best for EPP. Your Boys are lucky you are making these heirloom quilts for them. SEW on!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I appreciate all you do and Love this blog - my daily treat! So happy for you to have some time with family and friends - Narragansett Bay Quilter Assoc fan :))

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Bonnie! Thanks for the thread post. Where do you purchase the Signature thread? Thanks for all you do and share with the quilting community!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Find Signature 60 wt 3 ply here: https://redrockthreads.com/signature-thread/signature-60S.asp

    ReplyDelete
  22. So good to read your blog. It will be so good for you to get some rest at home too. If we get webcam this week, I'm able to view it real time this week. Yea! Thanks for the thread tip too.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Unfortunately I do not receive your posts until late at night so I miss all your live casts
    I enjoy your reading your blogs any time they finally get here

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am glad to see commenting by others. I honestly do not get the facination with Aurafil thread...I personally feel it's too thin to piece with or use....it breaks! I just don't want to spend beaucoups of money and time on a project I am expecting to last 100 plus years and have it fall apart the first time my grandson pulls it off the bed. Not bashing aurafil, just stating my choice of a bit "thicker" thread.

    ReplyDelete
  25. If anyone finds the “flax” colored Signature 60 wt. Thread, please let the rest of us know. RedRock does not have that color and that’s my go to for almost everything. THANKS,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try quilting-warehouse.com As of this morning, they have the flax color for $6.99, 1100 yard cones.

      Delete
  26. I’m thinking this is an East Coast item as I’ve never heard of it. Is it available in California?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I like Gutterman thread just can't find it here but did find a decent cotton thread at the lqs

    ReplyDelete
  28. Just curious...how are you going to finish your border hexies when it comes to quilting your quilt? If you get my drift...Do you face them rather than bind them?


    ReplyDelete

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you?

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)