Have you tried quilting with nylon thread? I finally gave it a go and I’m sharing my top 3 tips when quilting with nylon thread!
Thread is a common topic around here. It surprises me as much as it probably does you. Who knew there would be so much thread knowledge to share with you!
But the more I explore my quilt journey the more I realize what an integral part thread plays.
And since I entirely discounted thread as just, well, thread, I didn’t give it much thought. And that’s a shame since thread offers you so much opportunity to play.
Think of it, thread is not only what holds your projects together, but the stitches are also a very visible part of your project. And whenever something can be seen in a quilt it equates to another opportunity for you to sneak in design consideration.
Today, I want to share a little more on one thread that may or may not even be on your quilty radar: 100% nylon thread.
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
WHY I LOVE THREAD
Over the years, thread has evolved to play a greater part in the design elements I consider. What I mean by that is thread is another detail I can either draw attention to or pull away from.
I can go bold and bright with a vibrant thread option, or I could match the largest colour featured in the patchwork, so the thread blends seamlessly.
It’s a quilty detail I love playing with and spending time thinking through my options before committing to a thread choice.
Not only do you have a plethora of thread colours to choose from, but then you get to think about the thread weight and how chunky monkey you want to go. So fun!
I’ve shared lots of those thread explorations with you, which you can see more of in these posts:
- Why I love Aurifil
- Fave Thread Weight
- Quilty Texture Through Thread Play
- Sunshine on a Saturday Morning Mini Quilt
- Summer Solstice Mini Quilts
- Which Way Up Quilt
But suffice to say, I’m doing a deep dive on all things quilting thread.
WHAT IS NYLON THREAD?
My latest exploration has me exploring *100% nylon thread. Aka monofilament or invisible thread as many quilters like to call it.
I’d heard about this thread in our quilting community, but it wasn’t really on my radar to play with. This clear thread first entered my thread stash as part of my 2019 Aurifil Artisan Collection. I was curious about what this clear thread could mean for my quilty practice, but I had so many other projects already queued up, it kinda fell to the wayside.
It wasn’t until I was working on my Quilted Colour Wheel that I thought of using nylon thread for its unique features.
BEST FEATURE OF NYLON THREAD?
And what are those features exactly?
By far the biggest benefit of stitching with invisible thread is no visible stitches!
I tried it out for both needle turn appliqué and machine quilting and it worked like a charm on both fronts.
This clear thread comes in two colourways – *Clear and *Smoke so that you can camouflage any stitches against either a light or dark fabric background. It works just like any other cotton thread and can be used for outlining, echo quilting, stitching in the ditch, needle turn appliqué, and English paper piecing.
Essentially, if you need to hide and camouflage your quilting stitches, nylon thread is your winner!
NEEDLE TURN APPLIQUÉ USING NYLON THREAD
When tacking my patchwork colour wheel to the backing fabric, I could have gone with a rainbow of colours to match each colour spoke. But that would have meant switching my threads every few stitches and I wasn’t really loving that idea 😉 I then thought of my invisible thread, and I was instantly curious to see what effect that would have.
As you can see in this close-up shot, you really have to strain to catch sight of any visible stitches.
Overall, I didn’t have any issues. But I will say, it took a minute to get used to hand sewing with nylon thread as the extra slip of the thread can make it tricky to keep your needle threaded.
On the flip side, it glides seamlessly through your fabric and makes for a lovely stitching session free of snags and pulls. I didn’t encounter any knotting or tangling issues either.
Really it was just making sure the thread stayed on the needle that was my biggest hand stitching challenge 😉
MACHINE QUILTING WITH NYLON THREAD
To really put the thread to the test, I decided to stitch in the ditch throughout the entire colour wheel section on my *sewing machine. The best part was, that I didn’t run into any tension issues. My threads didn’t even break – woot woot!
I kept it straightforward with a universal needle and the same thread on the top and bobbin.
And that combo seemed to work like a charm. Honestly, it was easier than I thought it was going to be!
And the results were exactly what I was after. A clean seamless quilting finish that put the focus on my colourful patchwork.
This colourful quilted mini has all the quilty texture I love without the focus being on the thread.
TOP 3 TIPS WHEN QUILTING WITH NYLON THREAD
Hopefully, I’ve tempted you to dive in and give *invisible thread a try! And to make sure I send you off on the right quilty foot here’s my top 3 tips when quilting with nylon thread:
- Go long! Whether machine or hand quilting, give yourself a little extra slack and leave longer thread tails. This will help prevent the thread from slipping out of your needle eye.
- Skip the thread gloss. Nylon thread is slippery enough, you don’t need the extra slip thread gloss offers.
- Matchy-matchy! To keep a truly seamless look, use the invisible thread in both the top and bobbin!
For more quilty inspiration, check out:
- How to hang a mini quilt.
- Orphan Quilt Blocks Find a New Home
- Sustainable Quilting through the Art of Improv
I’d love to know if you’ve stitched with nylon thread and what your experience was like? Share in the comments below!
PS if you need help finding Aurifil Thread, check out the Ultimate Aurifil Thread Shopping Guide.
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