Day 10…Needful things for quilters…

10 daysI hope these posts are informative for you…that is what they are meant for…information.  This countdown is not meant to be a” hard” sell to you my loyal customers/friends/shop owners/and fellow designers…I just want  you all to enjoy quilting and stitching as much as I do…and what better way than to inform you on what I use and why…

Day 10…50wt. Aurifil thread…I have a couple of reasons why this thread is my favorite…First, it is 50wt. but is fine…so it takes up less space in my seam…50/2 means 50 weight thread and it is made using two strands of cotton to make the thread stronger…most 50wt. threads are made up of 3 strands of cotton…so only using 2 strands makes it skinnier!!! …Thicker threads take up room…but this thread is also nice and clean running in my machine.  Not a bunch of fuzz in the bobbin area and no felt pad wadding up under my throat plate…

Now I am even picky about what color I use…I use color # 1140- 95% of the time…it is a nice taupe thread that blends nicely with my colored and light prints.  One of my biggest peaves is seeing light thread in piecing.  I tried to duplicate it here…but my thread is not the 50/3 or something like the big spools of the Star threads that were very popular at one time…

IMG_8262but you see the 50wt is fine so it is not that noticeable…But sometimes I see this beautifully pieced quilt…all those points are matching and the colors are fabulous and then I see it!!! LIGHT thread used in the piecing…drive me crazy!!! The fabulous quilter used a poor choice in her piecing thread…one, it is too thick…another too light!  Do you use too light of


Your piecing should look like this…no visible thread showing in your piecing.  I also stitch with a little lower stitch length than what is usually taught.  A few other pros for the Aurifil 50wt thread…Because this thread is finer, your bobbins seem to last a LOT longer…Then there is this…If you buy the regular spools they have 1300 meters on them…if you buy the big cones they have 5,900 meters on them…I think we figured out that you get an extra small spool in the large cone for the price of the large one…so like 5 little spools with the price of 4. This thread is also good for machine quilting my little quilts.  It comes in a lot of colors to blend with my little quilts and it is fine so it does not jump out at you!  I do not have a small spool of my favorite color but I have the black, here is what they look like…I think we carry the large spools in 3 or 4 colors(shown in the last picture)on our site…but we have lots of colors in the

securedownload-7smaller spools Click here to see the Aurifil Thread…they will be on-sale after Christmas…at 25% off…but only what we have in stock at the time…just a heads up on this one…

My favorite thread color 1140 on my machine...
My favorite thread color 1140 on my machine…

The winner of Day 11 is….comment # 16 …Nick picked #16 it was his baseball number in school/college….Susan G.December 14, 2012 at 10:38 am  I see those in the fabric shops and just walk by. I guess I didn’t really know what to use those for. Well now I know. Thanks Lisa.

Susan G…you have WON a precut- 100 piece Thimbles pack…we just finished cutting these…So I quickly stitched something up using them…I used 90 out of the 100 light/dark thimbles for this cute 10×12 mini quilt.  So much fun…we will get them on our site soon!!!

Please email me your address so we can send this cute Thimble pack out to you!!!


Didn’t win, but want this precut thimble kit anyway??? Click Here:  Thimble Kit, to purchase one for yourself!


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I live on a lake in beautiful Butte Des Morts, WI. I have three sons: Lance (forever 29), Luke 33, Jake 32, and two grand-babies, Little Man and O-Bug. I've been married to the love of my life Nick, since 1998 when we started our crazy adventure together! I am a quilter, rugger, and gardener. I also love to cook when I get the chance. Thanks for visiting and supporting Primitive Gathering Quilt Shop where I try to bring you the best Moda fabrics and wool projects anywhere!

163 thoughts on “Day 10…Needful things for quilters…

  1. Aurifil is just amazing thread. I had a friend gift me with a spool & when I used it on a binding I was in awe, it sews so smooth & clean.
    Now my dream is to get one of their big sampler cases. Wheeee.

  2. Thanks for this tip. I was wondering which was the best color of Auriful for neutral and now I know. Yay!

  3. I have heard about aurifil, but never so many details of why it is better. Now I am convinced. Thank you!

  4. Lisa…love your 12 days of Chrustmas tips. Some are new ideas and some confirm old ideas that I’ve picked up in classes and/or retreats! Keep ’em coming!

  5. Lisa, these aren’t hard sale pitches, sharing your knowledge and helpful hints are what I see! Thanks for the thread info!

  6. I so appreciate all the time you are spending sharing your insights with us. I love my Aurifil….my friends called me an “Aurifil snob”….well until they tried it and fell in love too. Kristy in Ohio

  7. Love this thread. It does not “ball up” in the needle and lets the seam lay flatter. Great choice for something you can,t live without in the quilting world! Anne

  8. Like you, Lisa, I do like using Aurifil 1140. Most of the fabrics I use are also dark and I hate it when my thread shows. Thanks for the info.

  9. This thread truly is nice. After I had been using it, i grabbed an old spool of something else, and it felt like twine compared to Aurifil, not smooth like Aurifil!

  10. I have always used Gutternan thread because its what is available here…will certainly try Aurifil. Thanks for all the advice.

  11. When I first got serious about quilting and learning the RIGHT way to do things I was amazed at what a great quality thread would do for the quilt and the machine. I love this thread! Thanks Lisa, I will be watching for the sale!!

  12. I have not tried that thread yet. But after reading all these post I think I will have to buy some. Thanks. Diane

  13. I have been quilting a long time and have never used Aurifil. I’ve never heard anything bad about it. Guess I better jump on the bandwagon and try it.

  14. I use Aurfil thread for piecing as well and agree that it is the just right thread for the job. I use a soft grey and find that it blends nicely with most fabrics. I just learned about using the smaller stitch … What a difference it makes. Wished I had been using it all the years I have been quilting.

  15. I love aurilfil thread and the one color for piecing is a great idea. I too dislike o see light stitching on dark fabric..
    I am enjoying your 12 days before Christmas and the many ideas. I appreciate all your ideas and love your

  16. Aurifil is a thread that I use often, but I didn’t know the differences.
    Thanks for all of your great information!

  17. I haven’t tried the Aurifili thread yet…..I’m going to give it a whirl (in my sewing machine)!

  18. I love that thread, the bobbin holds much more length so doesn’t need to be refilled as often when machine quilting. I think it’s one of the best things ever.


  20. I feel like I am student of thread and have wondered why I have heard certain quilters…like Edyta Sitar…say they only use Aurifil…now I know! Love these posts, Lisa!!!

  21. I also use Aurifil. When I use dark & light fabrics for piecing I use a dark thread in bobbin and light thread on top (or the other way around), these seem to blend very well.

  22. I am glad you addressed the subject of thread. My friend and I were just talking about that Wednesday. She asked me what color thread to use when she was sewing a dark color to a light color. I told her I would use the darker color, but in her case it really didn’t matter. You ask why not? Her needle was fine, her thread was fine and most important her tension on her machine was perfect. She was pressing her seams open and we could not see her thread at all from the right side. Great post.

  23. Well…..after reading about this great product……I reallly wish I would have used the Aurafil coupon in the 2012 coupon book!!!!!!

  24. I find this information very useful maybe after the 12 days you should keep doing it..Will take a look at the thread at my next visit to the quilt shop

  25. Thanks for all the great information! I never know what color thread to use when piecing. I’ve never tried Aurifil, but I plan to try it soon.

  26. I usually use light thread because I took a class a while back and that’s what the instructor said to use, They then said if the thread shows, to use a matching Micron and color over it. Your post makes me think WHY am I using light thread when I can use a matching color???? Thanx for the advise. L

  27. I usually use this thread, but now I’m going to shorten my stitch length and buy myself a large spool for Christmas! Thank you.

  28. My Bernina loves Aurifil thread, and so do I….Much less lint in the bobbin area and it does seem to last a long time. My local quilt shop does not carry Aurifil, so I have to find it on road trips or online. I did buy 2 small spools from you in July with the coupon book. I always used #2325, but maybe I need to try your number.
    Thanks for all the great tips. Love the falling snow…

  29. Oooooh! Lucky Susan!

    As for the Aurifil… you sold me on it when you said “it makes the bobbin last longer”!!! lol! Changing the bobbin doesn’t really take all that long… but, it usually runs out “at the wrong time”… lol! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks with us!

  30. I also love the Aurafill thread. Haven’t used it for piecing yet though. Will try it. Love all these tips.

  31. OK, I’m sold. Guess I will have to try it. And, I’m liking the thimble packs as well. Anxious to see them on the web site.

  32. I love these posts you’re doing, they are helpful. I have yet to try Aurifil, but I really want to now. And I even know what color to try first…1140.

  33. I’m finding these posts very informative. I also don’t like seeing light thread being shown in the piecing. I try to match the colours as close as possible.

  34. I have also been using Aurifil thread for years. Love all the color selection but use a taupe-y shade for most piecing (unless it is on a bright white).

    Am enjoying your 12 Days of Christmas tips post and also the holiday snow (we are only seeing some much-needed rain here in Phoenix). Happy Holidays!!

  35. I have been using Aurifil thread for a few years now and love it. Thanks for some extra tips and your favorite thread color. I will have to try that one. I have never bought the big cones, maybe I will have to now.

  36. thank you so much for the information on Aurifil thread. It’s time for a change in my thread collection! I have been so busy sewing for Christmas…have to clean my machine well after every project with the “fuzzy” thread I am using! It can’t be a good thing for your machine!!!!! have a new customer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Truly the only thread to use! I have been using it for so long that it seems like forever! I have tossed or given away my other spools. I use the same colors you do and it is true that you do not have to refill the bobbins as often!

  38. Aurifil is always my favorite. But sometimes it is hard to find in the LQS so now I know a great place to order from. Thanks!!!!

  39. Thanks for the information. I will have to try this thread and color. I usually use a medium grey to piece but am not always happy with the results.

  40. When I am making an old fashioned “prairie” traditional sort of quilt, I like the old fashioned look of the white thread in the seams. It reminds me of my mother sitting and sewing all our quilts by hand.
    More modern quilts, I like to match the colors.

  41. I have heard about Aurifil, but never so many details of why it is better. Now I am convinced, the worst is that I have some but never gave it try.

  42. I love Aurifil, I have so many colors of the thread. And your favorite is actually my favorite to piece with also!!!

  43. I have been using Aurifil thread for some time, for all the reasons you mentioned. Nice to see a sale! Carolyn

    1. I am really enjoying your sewing tips. Since I do all my own quilting I am always excited for new tips. I will definitely be ordering the hera marker.

  44. It is just the best thread I use the funky green color for hand applique and it blends with most colors.

  45. I too love the Aurifil thread. It is the only thread that I buy. You are also correct about the bobbins lasting longer. It is nice not to have to stop as often to refill. Thank you for sharing your tips with all of us. It is much appreciated.

    Linda W.

  46. I only stitch with Aurifil thread in piecing, as well. I do a lot of small piecing, and everyone comments on how precise it is. A lot of that is because of Aurifil thread. It really makes a big difference.

  47. Wow! I had no idea….thanks for all of this useful information Lisa. I’m definately going to try it and thanks for the chance to win something too!!

  48. I love Aurifil thread and wish I had it all of its darder colors then I could give away my other brands.

  49. Thanks for the info on the Aurifil. I think I am going to try it. I have had people tell me they love it, but no one has explained why!! Thank you for telling me why!
    And by the way, your posts are informative and I certainly don’t feel like you are trying to “sell”.

  50. Thanks for giving more info on the mysteries of thread choices. I think many of us grew up with coats and clark, or whatever our moms had in the basket for sewing on buttons! I hate fuzzy threads and have been really unhappy with some of my previous thread choices. Everytime I take a class with you I learn so much, and with this series, I don’t have to drive 3.5 hours!

  51. Thanks for the thread info. I will be ordering some and will make sure I order a darker color. I have been guilty in using the lighter colored thread. Poor choice on my part.

  52. LOVE using fine thread for piecing and the good quality is less linty so my machine loves it too. 🙂 I also use it in the bobbin when using thicker threads on top when I machine quilt.

  53. this happens to me more than I care to admit. Never knew it was the thread, I always thought it was my machine with the tension. I will try changing my thread now. Thanks Lisa. I appreciate any tips I can get.

  54. I will have to try the Aurifil thread. I have seen it at my quilt shop and love all the colors. Now I know what my first color will be. Thanks for the info.

  55. LOVE Aurifil thread, Never tried the large spools or your favorite color. Sound like a great deal. Thanks Lisa, I look forward to reading your post each day.

  56. I love this thread for piecing. I hadn’t thought about using it to quilt small quilts. I will now. And I will invest in some new colors for that. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  57. Great post! Threads do confuse me! I’m using a older machine and not sure I can get those bigger spools to work though. But I do get those fuzzies with my bobbin and I am starting to see some shredding of the thread in my needle. So I am going to have to try this thinner thread and see if this helps.

  58. I love Aurifil I have been using it for years and have many different colors to work from. Thanks for the tips and ideas.

  59. THank you so much for your information! It is really nice to know your secrets of how you get your items to look so great. I like your suggestion of the color because that is a problem so now I know what the pros use lol.
    Happy Holidays

  60. I use Auratfil thread now and I like it very much. I also purchase a pair of snips and you are right they are very handy too have!! Thank you for all the tips you give us..
    May God Be With The Town Of Newtown, Ct.


  61. Love Aurafil. I am amazed how a gold often times is a great color. I buy the big spools. Those precut thimbles fabrics are too cute. I see one of those in my future.

  62. I have used Aurafil for years, and I agree with all that you said. I even use the same color, and like you, find it blends with just about every fabric.

  63. Aurafil is excellent thread! I did a ‘test’ block with 3 different popular threads and Aurafil beat the others for many reasons. I sold all my other thread stash and now use Aurafil for everything!

  64. Love your tips and this thread. I’m going to write this number down where I can keep track of it.
    Having trouble getting in the holiday spirit here in Iowa, where the grass is green, and it is raining!

  65. I’ve never had a good explanation as to what was different between one brand and another, I currently use Signature but I’m going to try the Aurafil brand because I might like it better. Thanks for the tips.

  66. Your information has been very helpful to me. I haven’t tried Aurifil, yet, but after reading your post, I plan on trying some soon. I wasn’t aware that it was thinner, thus making a better seam in smaller piecing. I have to admit, I use a thread that is often too light – so I will follow your suggestion of using a more neutral color that will blends with many fabrics. Now I need some help with what are the best needles for my machine.

  67. I have used the Aurifil thread for several years. I love that you don’t get all the ‘fuzz” on the machine. I use several shades of grey – mostly medium to dark. I also use the black on dark things.

  68. I recently took a machine quilting class with Sue Nickels and Aurifil is one of her favorites. At her suggestion I gave it a try, and now it’s my fave too!

  69. I have to try this thread. I have been sewing a lot lately and the thread I have been using makes a lot of lint.

  70. I have never used Aurifil and wasn’t aware there is a 2 ply at 50 wt. I enjoyed reading about this. I could use a non-fuzzy thread. Thanks for the info.

  71. I love the Aurifil thread also. I am really enjoying all your great hints. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with us.

  72. I’ve never used Aurifil, but I’m sure going to give it a try. I love the little thimble quilt. Thanks for all the information you share, there’s always something new to learn.

  73. I have used Aurifil and really liked it–tried it initially based on the recommendation of the Carol during one of your shop’s quilting classes. Keep the great tips coming, very appreciated.

  74. My friend and I were just chatting on the phone today about Aurifil threads, and she informed me that she just ordered some and is so looking forward to trying it. We had heard rave reviews and your post just enforces them. Guess it will be on my list of things to get soon also.

  75. I started to use Aurifil thread this year and am very happy with it. I bought 2310 which Wendy of Ivory Spring blog recommended. Needing a darker shade for the reason you stated I just received Edyta Sitar’s recommendation of 2370. Now I am wonder what 1140 looks like. It would help to have a quilt shop nearby selling it, but am grateful it can arrive in the post.

  76. Lisa, Thanks for all the wonderful information it is great to get pointers from an expert like yourself, keep the tips coming. Love reading all your posts

  77. I’m intrigued by this thread and anxious to try it. I see a road trip in my future after the holidays.

  78. Always interested in learning more about thread. There seems to be a big difference, and I must admit that I have not tried this brand, but definately will. Thanks again!

  79. I also use the Auriful thread. I recently purchased one of the cones…don’t plan on changing my top thread for a while. And, I usually wind five bobbins with it as well, makes for more sewing. Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to tomorrows Teri

  80. Great information about the thread! I usually just grab some and really didn’t think much about it – Big Mistake!!

  81. I’m a bit new to quilting and love learning all I can about it. I’m using my sister’s thread that I inherited and I think I need to try out that 50# Aurafil before I go much farther. Love your blog and all the info you impart…thank you!

  82. I use the aurifil thread in my sewing and i love it. This information was good to know since I have often wondered if this was a good thread since I have not met anyone in the area that uses this type of thread.

  83. You put the reasons why we should do something to make our treasure better. I know this but then slide back to my old ways making me unhappy. I.need to always listen to you….you make me happy with my quilts. Thanks Lisa!

  84. I always enjoy hearing tips from fellow quilters. You are never too old to learn something new that could improve your skills. Thank you.

  85. I started using Aurifil after hearing about if from you at Primitives of the Midwest a couple of summers ago. Then was glad to find it at my local quilt shop….it had been there, I just wasn’t aware of the difference. The other day, I needed a different color and threaded my machine with some older thread I had….someone earlier said it felt like sewing with twine! I felt the same way. Thanks so much!

  86. thank you for sharing this info with us. i haven’t used auriful thread yet but do plan to after your explanation of its benefits.

  87. Thank you for the great information. It is important to use quality thread, love Aurifil!


  88. Lisa thank you for solving one of the great mysteries of machine piecing. I have so often wondered how such flat seams are achieved. Aussie Leanne.

  89. I love getting your blog. Seems like I always learn something, like today about the thread. It’s great how you support the local quilt shops. Thanks for a great on line store. We don’t have anything like it in Alaska, but do have some great quilt shops.

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