Inspiration,  Quilting,  Sewing Tips

Big Stitch Quilting with Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Thread

I have to be honest, I had always looked at beautifully hand-quilted quilts and thought, “Well, that’s just crazy.” Although I loved the look feel and texture that hand quilting added to a project, I never saw myself doing such intricate work.

Quilt by Victoria Gertenbach. Quilted with Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton thread

The funny thing is, I love hand embroidery. Ah, the slow pace, the relaxation of having a project to work on at all times (I always have a hand embroidery project in my purse); and the satisfaction of finishing something that only required a simple needle and thread.

Quilt by Victoria Gertenbach. Quilted with Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton thread

I don’t know why it took my so long to realize that hand quilting is just one big hand embroidery project and usually using just one stitch, the running stitch!

Detail of I Know the Stars are There Beyond the Clouds, 2 by Heidi Parkes

Hand quilting, especially in the modern quilting movement, has made a big resurgence in the last few years. Many quilters have discovered the beauty and added texture this simple stitch can add to a project.

Click on the picture for a great tutorial from Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World

My personal favorite is big stitch quilting.

Pinnacle Table Runner by The Crafty Gemini

This isn’t the hand quilting you would see on a traditional Hawaiian quilt or a hand quilted whole cloth quilt. Those quilts are normally done with a thinner thread and very small stitches so the quilted pattern shows through, not the thread. This style also takes exponentially longer to finish.

With big stitch quilting, the thread really is the star, and that is why I like to do my big stitch quilting with Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Threads.

Sulky 12 wt. Cotton is equal to about 2 strands of embroidery floss, so it will stand out nicely on the project, and the colors are luscious!

Whether I am just doing several lines of big stitch quilting on some white fabric,

Quilt by Victoria Gertenbach. Quilted with Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton thread

Or quilting a pieced quilt top,

Quilt by Victoria Gertenbach. Quilted with Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton thread

This thread really changes an ordinary project into an extraordinary piece.

The beauty of this is I am just doing a standard running stitch! Are you looking to try something new? Then join me in the Slow Stitch Movement. Check out all of Sulky’s 12 Wt. Cotton thread here and let’s start stitching!

Happy Sewing.

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  • Teresa

    Love this big stitch quilting with Sulky 12 wt. One of my quilting students is working on her first quilt doing big stitch in pale peach and pink colors. I have made three baby quilts using Sulky 12 wt for the embroidery on a bluework, pinkwork, and redwork quilt each. Sold them all!

  • Bunny

    I sell machines and embroidery units. With a top stitch needle size 80/12 to 100/16 either weight 12 or 30 thread looks great with outline embroidery deigns. Multi colors really rock designs, try it you’ll love it!!!

  • Jean W.

    I have taken my very small aluminum crochet hooks and crocheted fine delicate borders using sulky 12 at. on appliqués that I a plan on putting on a quilted wallhanging. It drapes beautifully when finished. I think I used a hook 11 or 12.

  • Siobhan

    I LOVE hand quilting using the big stitch and 12 weight thread! I know the Cotton and Steel sets come in 50 weight thread. Is there any way of finding out what colors are used so I could buy them in 12 weight? The colors are luscious and I’d love to use them in a quilt I’m making.

    • Kelly Nagel

      It is perfect for quilts that will be used and washed. All Sulky cotton threads are colorfast and the solid color cottons are even bleachable! They are very sturdy threads as well so you don’t have to worry about them breaking.