We offered a summer giveaway of thread this month to 3 lucky people………sample packs of Wonderfil thread and we asked that each entrant share her best Hint or Tip about thread. THANK YOU!! There were some real gems. I decided I would compile a list for you all, rather than you miss these gems tucked away in an endless list of comments – Believe me, my cell phone pinged the entire day on Canada Day and beyond……with your hints & tips coming in thick & fast! More below on these valuable tips for happy times with thread.
I know you are dying to know who won the thread. Possibly some people did not read the janomelife giveaway invitation properly? Some people wrote something like “I would love to win this thread” or ” I like Wonderfil thread”. Sorry, but we did ask you to share your best hint or tip on using thread so…..fair is fair……only entries with a thread tip were considered for this giveaway.
And the winners are:
- Carol Kennedy
2. Joan Stephenson.
3. Bonnie Bucholtz
Congratulations! …..we will contact the 3 of you shortly by email to get your postal address to ship your thread to you.
Here is a list of some of the great tips you shared – in no particular order. Thank you everyone for being so forthcoming with your advice, suggestions, hints and tips:
- Must say that I was amazed at how many people gave tips on how to thread the needle. I have no clue when I last threaded a needle on a sewing machine without using our fabulous Janome built-in needle threaders…… Seriously, if you are still struggling to thread sewing machine needles, you probably need to ask your local Janome dealer to show you a sewing machine with a built-in needle threader! Janome only has a couple of models which don’t have this. Do yourself a huge favour and invest in a Janome with a built-in needle threader! Many people gave the tip of cutting the thread at a slight angle as that makes it easier to insert into the needle eye. I will admit I use that tip for hand sewing needles.
- Another popular tip was to store your thread in a covered box or container of some sort to keep it dust free and away from light which fades the colours. Many people mentioned storing them in the dark – ie in a closet or drawer. Some people like the fishing or craft boxes to store their thread, others like drawers or cabinets. I have mine mounted on the wall on multiple thread racks…… Yes, very colourful wall art! So I am guilty about the dust free part but all my thread racks were well placed away from windows and bright light so I think I squeaked in on that one.
3. Quite a few people mentioned they wrap things around their thread spools to keep them tidy and prevent a rat’s nest of thread forming in their box or drawer. Some suggested those little pony tail elastics, others use that magic clear plastic tape to keep the thread from unravelling. This wrap would also protect from dust. One lady suggested cutting sections of pantihose for large spools & cones – rather like a thread net. Clearly I don’t follow this advice: this jumble is what one of my thread boxes looks like! Seriously, I just shot a pic as I know well what awaits me in these boxes – What can I say?……. too many threads, not enough time!
4. Another tip that quite a few people mentioned was to store the thread together with a bobbin wound with the same thread. In fact many people feel that we should use the same thread in the needle and bobbin as the sewing results are much easier and hassle free. Well, I don’t actually agree entirely with that one as it is much too limiting for me ………but more about that another time……. maybe a future post on “Glad you asked that”?
One viewer winds a bobbin and puts this onto the pin on her thread rack & then the spool of thread on top of it so she always knows what goes with what. Good idea.
One real gem from another janomelife viewer which I had not heard before or thought about: put your wound bobbin onto a golf tee and stick this into the hole on the spool of thread – this way your bobbin and thread are kept tidily together. You will find items in sewing & quilting stores which do a similar thing to this but I had not heard of the golf tee and it sounds pretty clever. Not being a golfer, I would have no idea of the cost of one of those little tee’s to compare this to equivalent sewing store items but I guess some hubbies may soon be wondering where all their tee’s have disappeared to?!
5. I was encouraged to see that quite a few people recommend using only good quality thread. Hooray!! I bought 6 extra large cones of top quality cotton and poly threads recently and nearly choked when I handed over my credit card to pay almost $170! Quality does cost more but, at the end of the day, it will save you so much in terms of frustration and disappointment as your sewing experience will be worlds better.
I have also stopped buying what I call cheap and nasty fabric as I see no point in spending multiple hours on a special garment only to find it pills, fades, colours run, it stretches out or virtually falls apart in the laundry. Buying good quality fabric and thread may seem like a luxury, but I am still ahead of the game as I would be paying more $$ to buy quality clothing and I am doing what I love! I just finished making a Jalie City Coat and it cost me far less than if I had purchased a similar one in a store. In fact it looks so sharp in cream & dark grey fabric with red piping & buttons that hubby unwisely wondered aloud when I would ever wear it. He was lucky I was in a good mood when he said that!6. Another good tip was to use the appropriate weight thread for the project being made. And, of course, to use the correct needle for thread and fabric type. For example, using a delicate silk thread on a thick winter coat fabric would probably be silly as would a 12wt thread on sheer silk fabric. One janomelife viewer suggested learning about the different types and weights of threads. Do you know the difference between 12 wt and 100wt? Maybe that could be another “Glad you asked that” post?
7. A few people mentioned paying attention to how the spool is wound and therefore how the thread comes off the spool. Yes, this is important if you lay the spool horizontally in your machine. However, if you use our Janome vertical spool stands, you can forget this tip as our specially well designed spool stand deals with any spools or cones you care to throw at it and gives great thread delivery to the tension discs of your sewing or embroidery machine. Therefore …….avoids hassles all round. We cannot recommend our spool stand enough. Please resist the temptation to use a coffee mug next to the machine. Really not a good idea as it creates too much tension on the thread which leads to all sorts of drama. I wish I had a $ for every time a sewer complained to me about how poorly her machine stitching was …….and after asking her questions……you guessed: she had her thread in a mug to the right of the machine! Bingo – problem discovered.
8. One customer obviously makes stand alone lace embroidered designs – she suggested trying Wonderfil’s Invisifil (100wt) or Deco bob (80wt) for embroidered lace instead of 40wt thread. The results are much finer and more pleasing.
9. Wind more bobbins when winding for a project & then you won’t have to stop to rewind bobbins part way through when you are “on a roll” creating your project. I know this irritates me – it may do the same to you – so good advice.
10. If you do machine embroidery, one janomelife viewer tells us there is no need to match the bobbin thread colour to the top thread so she has a good stock of black, white & beige pre-wound bobbins ready. Janome sells blister packs of black & white pre-wound bobbins. These are 60wt strong poly thread, save time and give good results. Available at all our authorized Janome dealers in North America.
11.Quite a number of folk have obviously had issues with old thread as they were advising not to use it. It has a shelf life, does get old, dries out and gets brittle. This sets you up for frustration so their advice is to toss out your old thread and use new thread. Another janomelife viewer writes the date of purchase on the top of the spool and this way she always knows how old her thread is. Good point.
12. One janomelife viewer suggested trying different combinations of thread tones in your embroidery. She says you will be surprised at the difference it makes to your project. Another encouraged us to not always match or blend your thread colours but to go bold with contrasts which can be stunning and fun. And someone else suggested trying random thread colours for interesting and fun results.
13. Some people suggested using a drop of Ease-a-Thread lubricant or Sewer’s Aid which lubricates troublesome thread. I have done this in a pinch or to finish a project with a pesky thread. Most times changing the needle or getting rid of old, brittle threads (as in #11 above) does the trick.
14. A tip I had not considered: after sewing /embroidering, let the thread totally untwist before you wind it back onto the spool. Makes sense.
15. One person really likes the Janome pink & blue bobbins as she winds embroidery bobbin thread onto the clear bobbins, cotton thread onto pink bobbins and poly thread on blue bobbins. Sure takes the guesswork out of knowing what thread is on your bobbins. These sets of bobbins are available from your local authorized Janome dealer.
16. One sewer suggested that if you don’t have the right colour, you could use grey thread as it blends well with almost everything.
17. Storing thread with like thread types & weights is a good idea as it takes the guesswork out of trying to work out what thread is what at a later stage.
18. Here’s a good tip: “Even though I piece with cotton thread, I hand sew my bindings with poly as it doesn’t weaken and shred or break like cotton does after being pulled through the fabric multiple times.”
19. Use thin/fine embroidery thread when embroidering small size fonts for words.
20. Check your seam allowances as different thread types & weights can be slightly different. Even small differences mount up by the time you have pieced a whole quilt. Always pays to check first and adjust your seam width at the beginning if necessary.
21. Change to a needle with a larger eye if it shreds. Try our Janome blue & red tips which have larger eyes for this purpose. Available at Janome dealers. See our many blog posts about Janome needles.
22. Use variegated thread for adding pop to sewing projects.
23. When threading invisible thread, touch the end with a black Sharpie marker and this makes threading a whole lot easier.
24. Thread breakage? Check you have your needle in correctly and all the way up. And are you using the Janome spool stand?
25. Quite a few people suggested using beeswax for hand sewing. It coats and tames the thread wonderfully.
So many wonderful tips, don’t you agree? Thank you everyone for your great input. And congrats to the winners.