Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

Sew4Home recently shared a great sewing patches tote tutorial on their blog, which we HAD to share with you guys!  They created two custom machine embroidery patch designs using Sulky 30 Wt. Cotton Thread.  Most people don’t think of cotton when they think of machine embroidery, but, as you’ll see on their tutorial, cotton creates a wonderful matte finish and rich density that you just can’t quite get with polyester or rayon.

Below are the awesome patches:

Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

We are honored to have sponsored this project and are in love with how it turned out! Both embroidery patch designs are offered in two sizes as FREE downloads in the six major machine embroidery formats.


Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

The best part is, you can add these patches virtually anywhere! Such as: a jacket, backpack, t-shirt, hat or beanie, sewing machine cover, caddy organizer, and “sew” much more!

On their blog you can get the free instructions for how to make the bag, plus a pattern. The patches would also make a great gift for a sewist you know!

Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

What are you waiting for? Go check out the full tutorial on the Sew4Home website. 

If you do make the bag or the patches, show us your pictures! Be sure to tag us @sulkythreads and use the hashtag #SewBetterwithSulky

Fashion Flip: Turn A $3 Denim Skirt Into A $50 Skirt!

Fashion Flip:

Turn a $3 Denim Skirt into a $50 Denim Skirt

Here is another great Fashion Flip! This time we are taking this denim skirt that I got for $3 at a thrift store and using some great thread and decorative stitches to make it into a skirt that could easily sell for $50! Denim and embroidery is all the rage this fall too, so cheers to us sewists who can create these awesome pieces at a fraction of the cost AND ours will be like no one else’s clothes. I just love being unique, don’t you?

If you have read my blog for any length of time then you know I am a huge Florida State Seminoles fan, so it will come at no surprise to you that I wanted a skirt to wear to an FSU party.

I just love my adorable PINK cutting mat from Havel’s Sewing!

Here is the skirt before I did any stitching. Unlike the Fashion Flip Jeans, I am not cutting any part of this skirt off, so I will have to do my test stitching on a different piece of denim.

I used a scrap from another denim project, but tried to match the texture and color as closely as possible. Not all denim is made alike. This particular skirt is fairly thin and has a decent amount of spandex in it so it is stretchy. I took that into account when I was choosing my stitches.

Stitches look different depending on the stitch width and length so when I found the one I liked, I wrote it in permanent marker on my test piece.

I used a topstitch needle and 50 wt. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky in the bobbin and Sulky 30 wt. Cotton solid color threads for the decorative stitching.

Because this denim is thin, I used one layer of Sulky Tear Easy Stabilizer under the stitching as well. This kept every stitch nice and even and the skirt moving evenly through the machine.

After I did the three rows of decorative stitching, I felt like it wasn’t quite finished so I added the rows of white stitching.


It proved to be the perfect finishing touch!

I love my new skirt, it’s perfect for my upcoming party and I love that I have seen similar skirts for $50 in high-end stores.

Happy Sewing!

Fashion Flip: Turn $6 Jeans into $100 Jeans

Fashion Flip: Turn $6 Jeans into $100 Jeans

Like most women, I love to shop. I also love keeping up on the latest fashion trends. If nothing else, it gives me something to talk about with my two middle-school-aged daughters! The problem is my taste in fashion far outweighs my clothing budget, so when I saw these jeans for almost $100 on one of my favorite websites, I got really excited.

Why you ask? Because I knew that I could make jeans with that look! You know all those fancy-dancy decorative stitches on your machine that you look at, love them, but have know idea when or how to use them? These jeans are the perfect place to let your decorative stitches be the star of the show.

The first thing I did was head over to Goodwill® to find the perfect pair of jeans for the project (my kids and I call it Goodwill hunting).

Check out my adorable pink cutting mat from Havel’s Sewing!

These jeans were a good fit, soft and a nice color of denim. The best part, however, is they were $6 bucks! Score! So, I brought them home so I could do a Fashion Flip on them.

After washing them, I cut off the bottom seam.

I compared the picture of the jeans I was copying to determine how and where to do my stitching. I estimated that I needed to cut the bottom of the jeans off at an angle to make these sit a few inches above my ankles.

I kept the part I cut off to use for my stitch auditions. If you counted up all the decorative stitches I have on all the machines in my sewing studio, I probably have no less than 3,500 (OK – That might be an exaggeration, but it’s a lot, believe me). So auditioning is a must. What is even better is I can audition directly on the denim that is my final project.

So I picked out some beautiful threads for the stitching. I decided to go will Sulky 30 wt. Solid Color Cottons for all the stitching. 30 wt. is my go-to thread weight because it is thick enough that it stands out nicely, whether I am using it for decorative stitching or quilting; but it’s not so thick that it steals the show. Because I am almost always using 30 wt. thread, my machine is already set up with a topstitch needle.  You’ll need at least a 90/14 Topstitch needle for this project.

I proceeded to test several stitches that I thought would work, in several of the thread colors, until I was confident that I could stitch enough lines on the jeans for the project. Now let’s prepare the jeans.

I measured up the inseam about 11″ and marked with a white chalk pencil. Then, I measured the outside seam about 5″ and marked.

Next, I drew a diagonal line connecting the two marks. This is my guide for the first line of stitching. Now let’s pull out the seam ripper! For this project, it’s best to use a seam ripper with the little red ball on the short end.

You are going to need to rip up the outside seam a few inches above where your white line ends at the inseam, so the jeans can lay flat for stitching. You can do that from the inside, like the picture above, or….

From the outside. I recommend doing it from the outside. Put the little red ball in the seam, hold the two sides of the seam taunt and rip up away from you. If you have a nice sharp ripper, you should be able to do the whole seam in one or two swipes. Once you rip open the first seam, do the same thing with the serger seam. If you do all of this from the outside of the jeans, the serger threads will all stay together and you don’t have a bunch of little cut thread pieces to clean up. By keeping the little red ball inside the seam, you won’t accidentally cut your fabric, just the thread.  (Did you know that is what that little ball is for?)

Once the seams are ripped open, iron the two legs flat. (NOTE: This is why I used the chalk pencil and not a FriXion pen.)

Now it’s time to start stitching. I used 50 wt. Cotton + Steel® Thread by Sulky in the bobbin that matched the color of the jeans so I only had to change my top thread as I stitched the lines of decorative stitching. Start with a locking stitch, and then just stitch your rows!

I used the original picture as a guide for my stitches and color changes, but mostly I just kept stitching rows and switching colors as I liked. I stitched both legs exactly the same.

When the decorative stitching was finished, I used the same 50 wt. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky that was in the bobbin to stitch a line about 1/2″ from the bottom where I cut the jeans off, and then sewed the jeans legs back up. If you want, you can then serge the inside seam as well.

fashion flip jean embroidery

That’s it! They are done! What do you think? I might be biased but I like mine better than the pricey version, especially the $6 price tag.

You can check out another great Fashion Flip here, where I transform a $3 skirt into a $50 skirt with machine embroidery.

Happy sewing!

4th of July DIY Using Sulky Blendables in a Serger

pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

DIY: 4th of July Napkins and Place Mats

Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger


4th of july napkins and place mats using sulky blendables thread

The 4th of July is all about outdoor gatherings, fireworks, and celebrating our country’s independence! These explosions of color are sure to inspire creativity!  So, this is the perfect time to explore the wide variety of Sulky® Threads and using them in applications other than our regular intentions.


Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger

Let’s look at Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread .  These exciting, multicolor threads are a masterful blend of different colors within the same range of tone and intensity, with random, subtle color changes every 2-1/2 to 5 inches, which come in two weights: 12 wt. and 30 wt.  Originally brought into the Sulky Thread family knowing that it was perfect for free-motion and decorative machine stitching, it became apparent that this wonderful thread was also applicable to many machine embroidery designs.

Appreciating that Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread performs well in so many applications, my curiosity got the better of me and I began to wonder how this thread would perform in a Serger.

Fully aware that Sulky only produces quality products, I was not terribly surprised that this thread stitched flawlessly in the Serger. But what was truly amazing was the effect it produced!

My 1st attempt was using a 4-thread overlock stitch with 12 wt. Cotton Blendables Thread (not even the same color) in both upper and lower loopers. And two solid-colored 30 wt. Sulky Cotton Threads, picking up colors in the upper looper blend, for the top needles.

Sulky Metallic Thread in a Serger

With the interest Sulky Blendables created in Serger stitching, I added a Sulky Holoshimmer™ Metallic Thread to one of the top needles (O2). Loving the process, I began to experiment!

Adjusting stitch length on a Serger translates into “how compact” the over-edge stitches are.  On my sample fabric – a loosely woven polyester/linen fabric – I wasn’t thrilled with all the loose threads that appeared along the edge, so, I tried a folded-edge finish.  I then added a Metallic Thread in one of the upper needles and it did bring a bit of sparkle!

So, now I’m dying to see the results of using a metallic thread in the upper looper, which is the decorative over-edge stitch that shows on the top-side as the fabric is fed into the Serger.  One quick word of advice, Holoshimmer Metallic Thread could not be “air-threaded” in my Evolution. I simply threaded a cotton thread through the looper, tied it to the metallic thread and pulled it through. Sulky Holoshimmer #6046 stitched beautifully and provided a lot of sparkle!

Can you begin to see how fun this is??  Can you also agree that it is important to first experiment before attempting a project?  Although I love the effect with the metallic thread in the upper looper, if I was ready to incorporate “glitter at its best”  (which already has me thinking of Christmas), I would try another sample changing out the outside top thread (O1) to a Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread matching the fabric in use.  I’d then check out how Sulky Invisible Thread stitches as the second top thread (O2), plus use Sulky Metallic Thread in both upper and lower loopers and not necessarily the same color.  I’ll go from there!

It is helpful to establish a “sampler cheat-sheet” for your Serger! In a small notebook, staple the stitched sample to a page documenting stitch selection, widths, lengths, thread type and threading location.  This documentation will be a very valuable resource for future projects.

After seeing and loving the effect of using Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger, my thoughts turned to practical applications:

The obvious application is to provide a decorative finish to any edge.  Why not edge tucks on a garment?

Why not add an additional row to create a lacy or crotchet effect and edge a fleece blanket?

Edge a strip of bias binding for finishing a garment.

So far, only one stitch has been explored, so I questioned if Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread provide artistic appeal with different Serger stitches, such as a Rolled Hem.  The answer was overwhelmingly, yes!

In stitching a rolled hem sample, it became apparent that this stitch can stand on its own and be used as a decorative “braid”…

which offers many applications, including couching.

Seriously, endless possibilities!!

Here is one quick, easy project to start with, and just in time for the 4th of July!  Make a set of place-mats and napkins using Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread #4105.



Sizes of napkins vary, but the considered standard is 16”-18” luncheon size, while 20”-22” is for dinner. Therefore, a yard of cotton fabric will yield four 18” napkins.



Pre-wash, dry, and press all fabrics prior to using


  • Cut cotton fabric into 18” squares on grain
  • Thread the Serger for a 3-Thread Overlock-Narrow Hem. On my Baby Lock Evolution:  stitch length 1, width 3.0.
  • Stitch two opposite sides first

  • Stitch top and bottom leaving long tails at the beginning and ends cutting off any tails on the two already stitched sides.

  • Turn the napkin to the wrong side and weave a blunt needle into the stitches.

I used a dental floss carrier since it is plastic with a blunt end, but more importantly, a very large eye which makes it easy to thread the wide Serged thread through.
  • Pull the thread into the back side of the napkin in each corner, cutting excess thread not under stitches.

There are other techniques for finishing off.  Thread Check is a glue product many people use to “seal” Serger ends.  Others will “Serge off” ends.  Napkins will be repeatedly washed, so make sure whatever method you choose will provide a pleasing look and remain intact.

Another Serger stitch often used for napkins is a rolled edge and it provides almost a ridge edging because the stitches are more compact, not to mention the machine rolled the raw edge to the top of the fabric.

It’s also exciting to experiment with different Cotton Blendables Thread shades such as #4108, another perfect choice for celebrating the 4th!

Two layers of fabric can be Serged together making a heavier napkin. This method will also provide a “finished” backing to a fabric printed on one side, plus present more options with table settings.

Make sure you check out the Internet to find interesting ways of folding napkins.  That’s where I learned to make the pinwheel for my table setting!!

Place Mats

Supplies for 4 place mats:


  • Cut Drill cloth into 15 ½” x 20” rectangles
  • Designate center placement for embroidery design with hand basting

  • On the left-hand side, baste a line ½” in from edges marking off “a margin for error”. This will also ensure ample space between the embroidery design and the decorative over-edge stitch.
  • Fold the 15 ½” side in half to determine horizontal center of the embroidery design
  • Measure in 3 ¾” from the left edge to determine the vertical center
  • Securely hoop Sulky Soft ’n Sheer™ Stabilizer.  This stabilizer will need to have the excess cut away, but it is easily done plus any remaining sheer stabilizer in almost invisible.


 Fabri-Solvy is another great choice.  Although water-soluble, it behaves like a fabric stabilizer and can be securely hooped directly in the embroidery frame.
  • Lay the hoop on a grid mat, matching the hoop center marking to heavy lines on the grid. Roll back the fabric on center and lay on vertical center, matching hand basting horizontal lines to proper grid line.

  • Download design and transfer it to your machine
  • Attach the hoop, line the machine’s needle placement for design, and center up with fabric center

  • Once satisfied, machine baste a box around the design area to secure the fabric to the stabilizer using an 80/12 Topstitch needle.  This is a function found on most embroidery machines.  If your machine does not have this function, lightly spray the back of the fabric with Sulky KK 2000 and firmly press onto the stabilizer.
  • Change the needle to a 90/14 Topstitch or Metallic needle.  Embroider the design in Sulky Sliver™ Metallic.

  • When completed, remove from the machine and hoop, evaluating design placement. Use the basting box around the design to re-square the fabric if necessary, removing only the barest amount needed.  Trim excess stabilizer and any jump threads.

As you can see (or I should say “not see”), even though most of the stabilizer has been removed, Sulky Soft ’n Sheer remains inside the butterfly outlines.

  • In each corner, measure 4 ½” in towards center, as well as 4 ½” down/up.

  • Use a straight edge to connect each corner mark and cut a diagonal line (red line).
  • Set up the Serger for a 4-Thread over-lock stitch.  On my Baby Lock Evolution:  stitch length 2.25, width 6.5
  • Serge the diagonal cuts first.  Serge the straight sides next, leaving long tails of thread both at the beginning and end, cutting any tails on the diagonal edges.
  • Finish ends as shown in Napkins

Now that you see how easy it is to make place mats and napkins, in addition to how much fun it is to experiment with the wonderful world of Sulky Threads, I’m sure your imagination is brimming with other ideas. Not only for holiday place mats, but many other beautiful items!  Enjoy!

Is Cotton Thread a Good Choice for Machine Embroidery?

pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!


Cotton Thread and Machine Embroidery

Rumor has it that synthetic threads are the best threads to use for machine embroidery.  They flow through the machine’s mechanics effortlessly, plus they reflect light and shine just like an angel’s halo!  I must admit; this rumor is all true.  These threads ARE perfect for machine embroidery!

However, there is also a rumor floating around that you should stay away from cotton thread because it will only bring embroidery heartache. And well, this rumor is so NOT TRUE! Sulky® Cotton threads are often the “preferred” thread for many embroidered projects, and for several reasons:

Sulky® Cotton thread is available in over 130 colors (AND 126 Blendables), allowing subtle transitions within design elements. Cotton thread in general adds visibility and additional depth to any stitching pattern. These threads are available in 30 wt., which is ¹/³ thicker than 40 wt. thread and even a heavier 12 wt. filament.

Sulky’s Embroidery Club Design #1090 – Heartscroll – Free Dowload

Sulky® Cotton thread is also available in several variegated or multi-colored themes.  This thread blends color themes or shades, adding a new level of interest to any embroidered element.

Embroidery Library’s Collection: Vintage Jacobean Wings ‘n Things – Large File # 537275 Available on their website at:

Sulky® Cotton thread provides more of a hand-stitched effect than its rayon or polyester colleagues if, for no other reason, than most hand embroidered designs are stitched in a cotton floss.  However, the thicker cotton filament appears to “sink” into natural fabrics giving the appearance of thread fibers intertwining with fabric fibers.

Sabrina Design Set by Janet Sansom – Available at:

Napped fabrics, especially suede cloth, provide a wonderful canvas to showcase designs stitched in cotton thread.

Sulky’s Embroidery Club Design #875 – Dogwood – Available at:


Rumor also has it that Cotton Thread breaks during machine embroidering……oh, I hate when that happens!! Another false rumor once a proven, quality thread is used.

Sulky® only uses longer cotton staple fibers to twist into their quality cotton thread.  Those longer twisted filaments offer less “break points”.


Take the time to read and compare information provided on spool caps.  Just like the mandated information found on fabric bolt ends, thread companies must disclose content, care and, if proud of filament length, they will state “long staple”.  It does make a difference!

In all fairness, the most common reason that any thread breaks is due to friction! Between the speed of the machine and the frequency that a needle must penetrate into the fabric, often in the same area, heat is produced, creating weak points on any thread.  Synthetic threads are man-made and can withstand higher friction, or heat, before breaking. However, this is not to say that the natural cotton thread cannot be successfully incorporated for machine embroidery.

After insuring that a quality, Sulky® Cotton thread is threaded into the machine, my next suggestion, even if you do nothing else, is to simply turn the speed of the embroidery machine down- at least by half -to reduce friction!

A Top-stitch needle is often the best choice when embroidering designs in cotton thread. Top-stitch needles have the large eye necessary for thicker thread to easily pass through…

Plus, it is available in larger gauges than regular embroidery needles.  Larger needle gauges are often helpful when embroidering in cotton thread on heavier fabrics such as denim or duck-cloth.

Most rumors are based on a bit of truth, but by the time the rumor is re-told, usually the “negatives” are spun out of control. A negative truth about Cotton thread is that it does produce lint during the stitching process.  However, personally, the machine-embroidered final project stitched in cotton thread far outweighs any slight inconvenience of the lint by-product.

The “extra steps” I take when stitching with cotton is simply to clean the lint off the presser foot during thread color changes.

Keep a small piece of painter’s tape handy to pick up any small pieces of lint that might have fallen onto the fabric surface.

Once a cotton stitched design has been completed, it is always a good idea to clean out the bobbin casing of the machine.

(For purposes of being able to see the lint in the photo, I have gathered the lint into a ball and left it in the general area the fuzzy particles were found.)


When I stated that often the “negatives” are spun out of control, this is a prime example.  Yes, the machine casing area should be cleaned, however, another truth is that we all should probably be cleaning our machines more often than we actual do, regardless of the thread type!

Do keep in mind that machine embroidery designs are normally digitized to accept a 40 wt. thread.  This is not to say that the 30 wt. cotton thread cannot be substituted.

Bouquet of Flowers Collection by Graceful Embroidery – Available at:

The thicker filament will make the design heavier and more dense. Some details will be less evident.

In comparing the two stitch-outs, the 40 wt. on the left allows a hint of the foundation fabric to show in the centers of the white flowers, the thinner white petals Also, there is a bit more detail in the outline of the top yellow petals and the stamen.

Remember, if wanting the embroidery to be in a silky contrast to the fabric, choosing Rayon or Polyester thread makes sense.  However, if the desired outcome is to mimic more of a “hand stitched” appeal, then Sulky® Cotton thread is your only choice!


Machine Embroidery Series – Heavy Woven Cottons

Machine Embroidery header

pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

Heavy Woven Cottons

What do Denim, Duck-Cloth and Canvas all have in common?  All three are considered “utility fabrics” because they are sturdy, heavier-weight, woven, cotton fabrics.  Denim and duck-cloth are often used for slacks or jackets while all three are great for many home-dec projects and just perfect for tote bags!!

Although woven fabrics can be secured directly in an embroidery hoop, often times the weight of a utility fabric precludes this from being a viable option.  Over the next three posts, we will explore a couple of alternate methods to successfully embroider on these materials; however, they all begin with pre-washing and drying the fabric prior to usage.


A successful end product also includes choosing an embroidery design appropriate to the background it is to be featured on.  Filled designs or appliques, both solid in nature, hold their own against a seemingly textured background and both are equally appropriate for these fabrics.  Line designs will work, although they tend to look a bit washed out against the dense foundation, unless additional definition is provided to the outline by stitching in a heavier Sulky® 12 wt. or 30 wt. Cotton  or Cotton Blendables® Thread.


Canvas is the stiffer and usually the heaviest of the three fabrics.  Hoop only the stabilizer – choosing from Sulky® Sticky +™, Tear-Easy™ or Cut-Away Plus™.  With its heavier weight, it is a good idea to incorporate at least two methods of securing the fabric to the stabilizer:

pin baste in hoopSecurely pin the fabric to the stabilizer, placing pins close to the inside of the hoop’s frame to keep them out of the path of stitching.

fixMachine baste or “fix” the fabric to the stabilizer which is a feature found on many embroidery machines.

canvas with kk and hoopUse Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive to lightly spray the other stabilizers and then smooth smooth the fabric to the sticky surface.  (Hint:  Both surfaces can be sprayed when super adhesion is needed.)

Denim and duck-cloth are available in different weights.  The above method suggested for canvas is certainly a viable option for both of these fabrics as well.  However, in addition, for the lighter versions of both fabrics, hooping the material along with the stabilizer is also acceptable.

duck hooped

Direct hooping eliminates the need for a second method of securing.

There are always other factors, besides using the “correct” stabilizer and choosing an appropriate design, which need to be addressed to ensure successful machine embroidery.  When the medium is a “heavy, utility fabric” incorporate these additional suggestions:

Use a Topstitch needle for embroidering the project.  They can be found in larger gauges than regular embroidery needles yet still offer a large “eye” which helps reduce friction on thread (causing less thread breakage).  A 14/90 Topstitch Needle would be minimum for stitching with Sulky 30 wt. Thread; and for 12 wt., you probably will need a 16/100 Jeans Needle.
eye comparisonSlow the speed of the machine down by at least half to further reduce friction.  “Friction” caused by the needle repeatedly penetrating produces heat which can cause thread breakage.  If a heavier cotton thread is being used, it would be best to embroider at the slowest speed possible. Always begin a project with a sharp new needle.

In the next post, we will continue with heavy woven cottons with a photo essay of machine embroidery on canvas.

Machine Embroidery on

Tips for Using All Sulky Threads on Longarm Machines

Tips For Quilting

By Sue Moats and Evelyn Byler

These tips are from two professional Long Arm Quilters who are graciously allowing us to learn from their vast experience. Do you have any tips or tricks for Long Arm Quilting? If so, please leave them in the comments.


While all Sulky threads can be used on longarm machines, some may need special handling. Some of the most important things are: Sew more slowly; use a soft, smooth thread in the bobbin; and use a needle with a larger eye, even when the thread seems very thin, like Sulky Original, Sliver™ and Holoshimmer™ Metallic Threads. It is not unusual to need to adjust the top tension on LA Quilting Machines when using decorative threads.


Needle numbers for longarm machines are usually given as 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, (smaller to larger eye). Adjusting tension is more challenging on LA machines than Domestic Sewing Machines since there are often no numbers or notches on LA machines. To simplify it, keep a log of how much you have turned the top tension either up or down (1/8, ¼, 1/3, etc.) so you can find your way back to the setting you prefer when using what is your normal sewing thread.

Position and use Sulky Jumbo Cones in the normal way. However, if you are using small or king-size spools of Sulky threads, use the small spool holder on your machine. The thread should come from the back of the spool, over the top, forward to the tension area.  (Hold spool vertically to bring either Sliver or Holoshimmer off the back of the spool and then put it on the horizontal spool holder on your LA machine).  I find that chilling the spool in the refrigerator sometimes helps too! Lengthen stitch size and sew more slowly.  


Sulky PolyLite™:
Sulky PolyLite 60 wt. thread adds numerous creative possibilities. In addition to being a breeze to work with, there are a range of solid colors, and tantalizing variegated and multi-colors.  Your choice can blend into the background, or sing its own solo, adding further interest to your design composition.  These fine, strong threads work well at high speed, are lint free, require a 3.0 or 3.5 needle and tension is easily adjusted. Very few problems with the “pokie” blues here, even running threads with contrasting colors, top and bottom.

This is the ultimate thread for micro-stippling!

This is the ultimate thread for micro-stippling!

Sulky Thread pic
Sulky Rayon:

Sulky 40 wt. Rayon is available in 333 Solid Colors and 55 Variegated and Multi-Colors. You can use Sulky 40 wt. in the bobbin when you use Sulky Metallic, Sliver or Holoshimmer thread on the top. You may also use Sulky 40 wt. Rayon in the needle along with Sliver or Holoshimmer to help them work better.  Or, you can run Sulky Polyester Invisible along with any of these threads, too.

Washing restrictions for Rayon: While rayon threads are colorfast in warm or cold water, do not use bleach or detergents with whiteners or optical brighteners. (Sulky PolyDeco™ 40 wt. thread is good for quilts that will need frequent washing or bleaching.)
Sulky 40 wt. PolyDeco:
Available in 138 Solid Colors. Works extremely well on long arm machines in both the needle and bobbin. If you are having trouble with metallic threads, etc. in the needle, try PolyDeco in the bobbin.  PolyDeco is excellent in both the needle and bobbin because it is smooth and strong. Use needle size: 3.5-4.0.

invisible clearinvisible smoke

Sulky Invisible: Works well in either the needle or bobbin, or both. Sulky Invisible is a very fine .004 continuous filament thread. Many quilting teachers have recommended Sulky Invisible for years because of its excellent runability. You may need to lower either needle and/or bobbin tension. Wind bobbin very SLOWLY and NOT completely full. Use Needle size: 3.5-4.0

Metallic threads

Sulky Metallic Threads

I usually use a 4.0 needle with Sulky Metallic Threads. Lower the top tension and sew slowly. I like to put metallic threads in the refrigerator for a while before using them.  Lengthen the stitch. Sew for a shorter amount of time. Avoid quick motions and designs that cross over.

Original Metallic – Available in 36 sparkling colors. While I have used this in the needle by itself, I usually combine it with Sulky Invisible, Rayon, Poly Deco, etc. to lower the possibility of breakage. It is possible to use Sulky Original Metallic threads in the bobbin.
Sliver™ Metallic – Available in 24 shimmering colors. I usually run Sulky Invisible, Rayon, Holoshimmer, or PolyDeco along with Sliver through the needle. Some LA Quilters use Sulky Sliver in the bobbin.
Holoshimmer Metallic – Available in 24 brilliant colors. Works extremely well on LA machines. Run Sulky Holoshimmer by itself or in combination with any Sulky threads. Put a soft/smooth Sulky thread in the bobbin. Since both Sliver and Holoshimmer are flat threads, it is important that their thread come off the spool so the thread stays flat, without twisting. This means turning the spool on its side so it turns while the thread pulls off.

thread new colors 4

Sulky Cottons:

Both 30 wt. and the heavier 12 wt. are available in 66 beautiful Solid Colors and 126 fabulous Multi-colored Blendables.

Quilted with Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread

Quilted with Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables Thread

30 wt. Cotton Thread – works well in either the needle or bobbin, or both together.

Quilted with Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Blendables thread

Quilted with Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Blendables thread

12 wt. Cotton Thread – also works well in either the needle or bobbin, but not well in both needle and bobbin at the same time. I usually have 30 wt. running in the bobbin with 12 wt. on top. The heavier 12 wt. is great for bobbin work (with 30 wt. in the needle).

laq circles

Use at least a 4.0 needle with 30 wt. and 12 wt. Sulky Cottons. If you experience any thread breakage in the needle when using 12 wt. on the top, try changing to a 4.5 or 5.0 needle.
Lengthen the stitch, especially for the 12 wt. and use it for smooth quilting designs with few points so that there is no issue with thread build-up at the points. Clean the bobbin area frequently when using the 30 wt. or 12 wt. cottons. All cotton thread “fuzzes”, even the most high quality cotton threadsAlso, it may help to lower your machine speed a little if needed.

laq yellow and blue

General Comments:

  1. Loosen your needle tension and check the bobbin tension as well. Both should be looser since these are heavier threads than you might normally use.
  2. If using a small or king-size spool, put the spool on the small spool holder in top middle of machine. Mount the spool so that the thread comes from the back, over the top of spool, toward the front of the machine. If you have the new threading mechanism, I suggest that you just come straight forward to the 3 hole guide and not go backwards into the new tensioner.
  3. With some of the Sulky threads, I just make one pass across the quilt, then tie off and go back to the beginning for the next row or section of free-motion.
  4. Avoid pantographs that have a lot of sharp points where the thread can build up. Try for smooth easy movement of the machine.
  5. Try putting the thread in the refrigerator or freezer for a while. Any threads like to be cool and moist.
  6. Do not quilt for too long a time, especially if you are having problems. Take a break and have your favorite beverage; put your feet up; let the machine, needle and most importantly YOU, cool off before trying again.
  7. The Sulky Blendables have 126 great short-run color combinations, changing colors mostly every 2 ½” to 5″, so they blend in or accent your quilts beautifully, and are very forgiving.

Stabilizers without book

Sulky Stabilizers:

  1. Use Tear-Easy™ to make quilting designs to stitch over instead of marking the quilt.  Or print them onto Sticky Fabri-Solvy, if you’re okay with wetting the quilt afterwards.
  2. Totally Stable™ may be used the same way. These quilting designs can be “attached” to the quilt with either Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive or pins.  You want an even, controlled medium length stitch with these stabilizers.  A very tiny stitch length may grab fibers.
  3. Regular Solvy® is good for designs to see through to quilt. Solvy and Super Solvy generally pull away without any residue.  Any bits remaining can be released with a damp Q-Tip.
  4. Ultra Solvy™ is great for stitching lace, appliqués, constructing faux “designer” fabric for garments and scarves, etc.
  5. Fabri-Solvy™ – This NEWEST water-soluble Sulky stabilizer has the firmness and feel of fabric, but it washes away.  And now there’s a sticky version (mentioned above).
  6. Soft ‘n Sheer™ Cut-Away – I have enjoyed using Soft ‘n Sheer as an inner layer in several of my quilted garments.
  7. Sticky+™ can be used to make templates of designs to stitch around by layering several pieces together.

For answers to other questions about Sulky products, check out our FAQ page on

Tips For Quilting on LA