I have been quilting since I was about 7 years old. Here is my first quilt that was made from my old clothes (I think that green in there is from my Girl Scout uniform!). From the very beginning I had been told that quilting had very strict rules that must be followed: You must always use a scant quarter inch seam, you must quilt with a walking foot and you MUST use cotton fabric and cotton thread only. Polyester was the devil’s thread as far as my quilt teachers were concerned and must be kept as far away as possible from our precious cotton quilts.
Fast forward a few years and at this point in my quilting career (over 30 years in now!), I have broken all of these rules. Instead of a scant quarter inch, I use PPM (Personal Private Measurement that is approximately a quarter inch), I often free-motion quilt instead of using my walking foot, I have used just about every type of fabric known to man, and I often use Sulky PolyLite to piece and quilt my quilts; yes, it is polyester.
Wait! Don’t leave just yet. Let me explain. I was skeptical too! When Sulky first approached me to try PolyLite in my piecing and quilting I said no. Then they said the magic words, “It won’t damage your fabric, it’s a very thin thread, 60 wt., and it’s strong.” Why would that catch my ear you say? Because I happen to know, the thinner the thread, the more accurate my piecing will be and if it’s not going to damage my fabric, why wouldn’t I try it! So I did. I started using the Sulky PolyLite #1082 Ecru for my piecing and guess what? I am more accurate! Because the thread is so thin, I don’t have to adjust my piecing for the thread width. I happen to love paper piecing and this is great for that. I can sew right on the line and when I fold the paper and fabric back, it is perfect. I also like the fact that I know the thread will be strong enough to handle the tugging when I start pulling off the paper (although I usually use Paper Solvy. I will write a post about wonders of paper piecing with Paper Solvy soon).
If you aren’t convinced yet, then maybe this will convince you. Lots of Professional Long-Arm quilters use PolyLite to quilt! Designer and long-arm quilter, Evelyn Byler says, “This fine thread allows detailed patterns to maintain their definition, even when densely quilted. It has wonderful tone-on-tone for textured background fills. Even the brightest PolyLite multi-color thread can add a spark of contrast without overpowering the other elements of a quilt.
And…I was surprised that it is perfect for piecing, and it doesn’t pull out like some other 60 wt. threads I’ve tried. Using this fine thread in the seam, means much more accurate piecing.”
So take the challenge that I took and try some PolyLite today, then let me know what you think! You can find PolyLite at your local sewing or quilting store, including JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts Stores. You can tell it’s PolyLite because the writing on the end of the spool is purple. Use it to stitch in the ditch, for micro-stippling, detailed quilting or more accurate piecing. Did I mention that it is colorfast and bleachable? If you are sewing or doing some embroidery on anything that may spend some time outside in the sun, this is the perfect thread for you.