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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Can't Sew with Metallic Thread? Yes you can!

Egyptian Poppies 15 x 16 inches
So many of us have problems sewing with metallic threads.  A few years ago I figured this would be the perfect topic for a new workshop, but how could I teach others when I wasn't able to successfully quilt this small sample? I was trying to quilt the background of Egyptian Poppies with green metallic thread, and it would break every few minutes. Nothing seemed to work. Frustrating......  So I worked and worked with the thread on different fabrics etc.  I took notes right on the fabric; set the timer to see if I could sew continuously for 10 minutes before the thread broke.
One of many test samples of quilting with metallic thread
I worked with three different people in the US regarding my issues.  At last my problems were solved! I designed a new workshop, and decided that a booklet on the same subject would be helpful to even more people out there.  So almost 2 years in the works, Mastering Metallics has been born. Jayne Steffens was my proofreader, she did a great job helping me clarify a few problem areas, and made the booklet easier to read.  Sally Miller, the book designer for A Black and White Tale helped me to create the cover with a great photo I took in my studio. I am grateful to both of them for their help.

The cover of Ann's newest booklet
Whatever the issues you might be having, I offer a solution. Now, you may not like my solution, but I offer one anyhow.  Some days sewing with metallics everything goes smoothly, and then there are the other days. The 28 page booklet is divided up into types of problems and their solutions as well as by sewing processes: machine applique, machine embroidery and quilting.  The pages are packed with tips, ideas, photos and charts to help you. Some of the areas are:
  • tension settings
  • thread position
  • fabric choices
  • needle size
  • needle type
  • thread quality
  • types of metallic thread etc.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please check my website for more information.

These threads will always be more challenging than others; but with a little knowledge we can work with them more successfully.  It isn't always your sewing machine!  It is the settings you have on your machine and the fabrics you have chosen which are the largest areas of problems.

Whoever and wherever you are, I wish you luck with sewing with metallic threads. If you have more problems, we can have a discussion right here on the blog.

As the days go by, I will continue to post pictures of my metallic threads and beading of my collage that I discussed in an earlier post.

Ann Fahl

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember taking a workshop from you at IHQS and I was having the same problem with metallics. You recommended using monofilament in the bobbin and the Glitter on the top . After adjusting tensions, I was successful thanks to you....way back when !

annieQ said...

The flat metallics are certainly the biggest challenge. I'm glad monofilament worked for you in the bobbin.

Meg in Albuquerque said...

I was wondering if you would be offering an electronic version of your booklet?

annieQ said...

No e version for awhile.