This Holiday Season With My Brother, Literally

Hello Everyone,             Now that the trip is over with, my bags have been unpacked, the laundry done, and things are settling back into the humdrum everyday life, I had to make some decisions about this next year and what I will be doing. First... [More]

June from Brother - Brother at the Houston Quilt Market and Festival

  Everyone is busy on so many counts at this time of year.  Some of you are changing over the house to have that warmer cozy look, others are visiting family members and still others are involved in a wide variety of political activities.  Whatever it is, it is keeping everyone busy ... [More]

An Anniversary and a New Journey

Today wraps up AnnTheGran.com’s 12th year “on the air.” With all the excitement about our new digital scrapbooking area, and all the time I was spending getting my own products ready for the store, I completely forgot until I looked at the date. It’s been a long journey and m... [More]

Piggyback Hooping

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

The last Minute-Addendum

As you can see, I found the gaggle of travel drives and software security devices that I THOUGHT I had inadvertently left at home when I flew to Kentucky last week. Of course, as soon as I get home, the first place I went was to the computer bag from which I had transferred my laptop for travel. I f... [More]

Off The Beaten Path

Hi Everyone, I hope you all enjoyed the writings about thread, I do realize that it was a little intense. So I decided to keep it light this time and give you some fun things to ponder. I know some or most of you know that I was a bit "out of touch" these past days. I suddenly realized th... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilting-Quarter Inches to Heirlooms.

To begin this time, I want to relate a very “telling” experience.  This experience told me that you very well can become a really good quilter if only you practice, practice, practice.  My husband and I went to my daughter’s house last weekend to attend our grand daughter... [More]

June from Brother - Tone-on-Tone Designs & Hole-Punching on the Quattro

Not sure where the last two weeks have gone but it seems like it is time to check in with you all,  again.  I have recently been to Des Moines, Iowa for two reasons.  The first was so I could film a video for a new feature on www.allpeoplequilt.com (part of Better Homes and Gardens) a... [More]

If it weren’t for the last minute I’d never get anything done.

Well, this is a first for me. I’ve frequently thought that if I didn’t get something finished before leaving on a trip I could do it in the airport or on the plane, but I’ve never actually done it. Until today.  As we were leaving for the airport I turned to Bill and said, &ld... [More]

The Spool Mini-Series Part 2, The Condensed Edition!

    Hello Happy Stitcher's!   I am going to cut right to the chase here today, as I have been wading through 35 pages of information on thread!  Yes 35 pages!  I understand, Wow! So I am going to give you some things you will likely want to print out and ... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts, More on fabrics and color

As I start this out today, there are so many things Zinging around in my head, it’s hard to tell which way this edition of LaRueSews will go. I’ve heard writers say that sometimes they start out with just an idea and then just let it roll. I think I’ll tell you a bit about the qui... [More]

Gift-Giving Journey #2 - Something For the Neighbor

I have had it in my head for weeks what I wanted to do this week on the blog.  But, as many of you can probably relate, I backed myself into a corner with my schedule and wasn’t able to create the vision I had in my head.  I’m right in the middle of two of my busiest weeks of t... [More]

Next on Your Safari - Gorgeous Giraffes

TALL , GRACEFUL AND ELEGANT- GIRAFFES The Giraffe, the tallest animal in Africa is both elegant and graceful. Its height allows it to keep in contact with other giraffes over large distances as well as spotting predators from afar. It is not uncommon to see other animals following a giraffe using i... [More]

June from Brother - More Quattro Magic

Hello there folks…. I am sitting here in my sewing room, yes I do have one and just so you feel better I can tell you that it is total disaster area at the moment.  I am actually sitting with my laptop on my ironing board and writing to you as my Quattro is humming along.  You migh... [More]

Crash Course Cathy - Locations of AnnTheGran Users Worldwide!

  HELLO HELLO WORLD ME’ers!!!!! Here it is…HOT OFF THE PRESS….drum roll please……AnnTheGran MAP – Level 1 In a nutshell I’ve heard from ME’ers from 39 US states, 1 territory and 16 foreign countries so far. THANKS again for your input!!!... [More]

Create special Christmas Treasures with our 9 Santas Quik Quilt Book and CD!

We have found that by making our cross stitch designs the centerpiece of a quick-to-quilt piece, a lovely finished result is achieved. Many embroiderers also love to quilt, so combining the two “media” seemed like a natural! Cross Stitch designs, especially the small ones, can be use... [More]

My First Christmas Project - Stylish Cocktail Napkins

Hello everyone! I’m Susan from AllAboutBlanks.com and we work with the folks here at AnnTheGran.com to offer you some of our best-selling embroidery blanks right here on Ann's website.  What a nice surprise it was to be asked to participate in the world of blogging here at AnnThe... [More]

A Fall From Grace

  Here it is, the second day of Fall, and it’s already cold in the mornings here in Orlando. By “cold” I mean 68° (20° C) which, for me here in Florida, is sweater weather.  It doesn’t usually cool off until the middle of November, so this is quite a treat ... [More]

The Spool Mini-Series

         Hello all of you Happy Stitcher's! Wow, can you believe it? This is the 5th edition of this blog! It is hard for me to imagine that I have written 5 already! It sure doesn't seem like it at all. I guess that must mean I enjoy what I do and sharing this ... [More]

LaRueSew-Quilting-Design, You Can Do It!

Sometimes we quilters and ME's want to do what we want to do. We buy books with patterns made by somebody whose tastes are similar to ours, but we want to do it our way. How can I arrange my favorite quilt blocks in a new and different way without taking hours with graph paper, a ruler and color... [More]

MONKEYS AND OTHER ANIMALS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE ON SAFARI

Do you have your binoculars ready, camera and  hat? Remember, keep your hands inside the jeep. While on this visual African Safari  remember the animals are not in cages, do not pat or feed them and most importantly remember you are a guest in thier environment!   You can expect to ... [More]

Calling All Experts! - Help Us Expand the Magic Bookshelf

Everyone is an expert at something. This is something I have always believed, and continue to believe. Sometimes that expertise extends to a broad subject, like embroidery or cars or lawn bowling, and sometimes it's very specific, like telling "Knock-knock" jokes, or knowing how ... [More]

June From Brother - One other thing...

Not sure where someone got the idea that we are already making an upgrade for the new Quattro....not true!  Trust me, I would know.....I still reeling from what it took to get this one done.  Nite all!

June From Brother - This and That

Well ladies, there certainiy has been lots of discussion about what to pay for a machine.  I have to say once Brother sells the product to the dealer, it is up to the dealer to set a reasonable price. They do that based on many things.  The most important thing for all of you to remember w... [More]

The Thrill of Digitry and the Agony of the Foot

    It seems like I’ve been away for a long time, even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since I’ve written. So, so much has happened. First of all, July-August is our family’s big birthday season. We have a couple of stragglers, the twins in October and t... [More]
Taming Metallic Threads

Taming Metallic Threads

 Metallic Snowflake Star Embroidery

Metallic embroidery threads adds a touch of class to any project—if you can stand to use them that long! Here are some tips for avoiding pitfalls typically associated with metallic threads.

Rayon Snowflake Star

 

Although this design is beautiful stitched in rayon, the metallic snowflake is exquisite (the photo does it no justice).Two things are certain when discussing metallic embroidery threads. First, they are gorgeous. Second, they are terrifying for embroiderers of all skill levels.

 

With some minor adjustments, you may find that embroidering with metallic thread is not as painful as many might have you think!

Metallic and Rayon Snowflakes

Metallic, rayon, metallic.

 

Thread

This is one area where you do get what you pay for. Better threads contain several protective layers, making them perform better. The quality also affects how the thread kinks and twists, which creates problems with thread breakage in the machine.

 

Some metallic thread fibers are round. Others are flat. Obviously, flat fibers have edges that drag more than those of their round counterparts and create more of a challenge.

 

Depending on the way certain metallics twist, standing the thread pin up instead of having it extend horizontally, can sometimes eliminate problems.

 

Dropping the thread below the level of the machine can also help. Place it in a cup or small jar on the floor beside the machine. Many recommend using a thread stand. Either way, the trick is to give the thread enough space to relax between the spool and machine.

 

Needle

A larger, elongated eye (as in a 90/14 needle) helps eliminate thread fraying and breaking. Some embroiderers like to use metallic needles. Others prefer topstitch needles.

 

The type of needle also plays a part. Titanium-coated needles are specifically created to reduce friction and last longer.

 

Tension

The upper tension needs reduced when sewing with metallic threads. Some manufacturers recommend specific tension settings for their threads (I’ve seen top tensions as low as 1 recommended). Others suggest adjusting the bobbin tension, which can lead to problems all their own.

 

Stitching Speed

Reduce the stitching speed to avoid thread breakage. I usually cut mine down to about half-speed.

 

Design

Designs with high stitch counts are going to be challenging when using metallic threads. So are designs with heavy satin stitching.

 

I’ve found that, because the top tension is reduced more than normal, the width of designs will be larger (and thicker) when using metallic thread, so that has to be taken into consideration as well.

 

Stabilizer

The lightest stabilizer for the job will alleviate drag when the thread is stitched through layers. That is particularly true when quilting with metallic thread.

 

Fabric Weight

Metallic threads work better on cotton fabrics than on organza. That's not to say you shouldn't try light-weight fabrics, but know they may need special attention when embroidering with metallic threads.

 

These tips are only suggestions. Results are going to vary according to machine, thread type, stabilizer type, fabric, and, often, planet alignments.

 

Always test designs and record the settings/needles/threads that work best so you can easily recreate the project (or one like it) at a later date!

 

Debbie SewBlest

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