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nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website

I know there has to be a topic somewhere but I cannot find it.

What thread do y'all use to sew? Can I use hand quilting thread or shall I use upholstery thread or neither?

Here's the deal...I am on my second hand surgery in less than 6 months and my creativity has floundered. I am just bummed out. Therefore I am going to take a stab at a mohair bear to rejuvinate my spirit. Or maybe it will just frustrate the crap out of me.  It will be a smallish bear, I think around 8 inches. I am planning to get some bargain end pieces at Intercal. I like the sparse ratty looking mohair.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,501

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I like upholstery.  Take a look in the Library . . . right above your post (avatar) on the left side of your screen.  Scroll almost all the way down and you will come to "threads".

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website
SueAnn wrote:

Take a look in the Library . . . right above your post (avatar) on the left side of your screen.  Scroll almost all the way down and you will come to "threads".

Geez   bear_wacko bear_tongue Can you tell how frustrated I am? I even looked there but didn't bother to scroll down. Maybe it's my painkillers.  Thanks Sue Ann.  bear_grin

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,642

Jennifer,
     Is your hand problem Carpal tunnel?  My hands fall asleep all the time and it's annoying.  I also get the "electric shock" symptom occasionally. I'm going to start sewing some of my larger ones on the sewing machine before I can't sew at all.

                                   hugs,

                                   Brenda

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website

Totally unrelated to thread...in case anybody is reading this...

What is the width of the mohair at intercal? Is the bolt size like the fabric store?

I am looking at a bargain piece and it says it's 7". Does that mean it's 7x58?

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website
thumperantiques wrote:

Jennifer,
     Is your hand problem Carpal tunnel?

Brenda,

No, its the result of a mountain biking accident a year ago. (broken hand, torn ligaments and completely blew apart my knuckle). This time around he did nerve and tissue surgery to the area. So I don't have all the feeling back in my left hand. Doctor said it could take 6+ months for the feeling to come back. Swell.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

For hand sewing using Sassy fabric for bears I like silk thread, doubled , and i like it because the thread can be the exact same color, silk is quite strong, and it disappears into the fur and you don't see it.......

I wish i could find more uphostery fabric colors, I think I placed an order with Intercal, but I forget.....but i want to use it for embelishments on quilts,

In short i advocate as much thread in all different weights and colors as you can afford.  For basic sewing try the Atlanta Thread Company on line....maxi lock for 1.99 , instead of JoAnn's sale at 2.99....

OK rayong is nice too but not strong, use it for embelishments.....


hugs
dilu

Dilu Posts: 8,574

PS, on your hand are you rubbing the tissue around the surgical spot to assist in the return of feeling and also keep down the possibility of adhesions?  Thuis really helps, start very slow and very gently.....

I hope you are feeling tip top in no time.....

dilu

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website
Dilu wrote:

PS, on your hand are you rubbing the tissue around the surgical spot to assist in the return of feeling and also keep down the possibility of adhesions?
dilu

Yes and its awful. Had to rub it the day after surgery (ouch). I had 7 months of therapy the first surgery. My scarring was so bad that he cut out the scars this time and only used stitches on one of the incisions. The other one (on the knuckle) he didn't use stitches for fear of it clamping down again. It's looking good though. Nerve surgery is slooooooooow to heal. My hand was a mess after my wreck. Almost had joint replacement.

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349

I baste all of my bears by hand first using Coats and Clarks Upholstery and Button thread.  If I were going to hand sew the entire bear I think I'd use the same.  It's really strong and doesn't seem to tangle as much as the others.  For sewing by machine, which I do all my bears as small as I can go, I use Gutermann.  It's been doing the job for me for 10 years and I love it.  Plus, the color range is amazing!

Shari Nova Scotia,Canada
Posts: 1,712

Sorry to hear about your hand Jennifer bear_sad  Hope it feels better soon  :hug: The piece probably is 7" by 58

Lisa, do you use Guttermann regular or upholstery in your machine? I'm having a hard time getting the bobbin tension right when I try to sew with the upholstery thread in my machine. I would like to baste by hand and then sew on machine as I just don't have time for the many weeks of hand sewing it takes me to finish a bear.

cherylbruinwerks Bruinwerks
Edmonton
Posts: 784
nimbleknot wrote:
Dilu wrote:

PS, on your hand are you rubbing the tissue around the surgical spot to assist in the return of feeling and also keep down the possibility of adhesions?
dilu

Yes and its awful. Had to rub it the day after surgery (ouch). I had 7 months of therapy the first surgery. My scarring was so bad that he cut out the scars this time and only used stitches on one of the incisions. The other one (on the knuckle) he didn't use stitches for fear of it clamping down again. It's looking good though. Nerve surgery is slooooooooow to heal. My hand was a mess after my wreck. Almost had joint replacement.

I suffer from keloid scars and adhesions whenever I have stitches or a bad injury (I'm really klutzy! bear_shocked ). When I had extensive surgeries on one of my knees last year ( my knee cap slipped out to the outside of my leg, which it has done a million times but this time took a piece of femur with it) I had really bad adhesions. My PT advised using Palmers cocoa butter that pregnant women use on stretch marks, and massage it around the incision a couple of times a day. It worked wonders! No adhesions and my scar is very faint. Try it! bear_grin

Cheryl bear_flower

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Lisa, whatever you do I'd recommend you not use quilting threads. All of the ones I'm familiar with are cotton. Even mercerized cotton, it's still cotton, just having a smoother surface(having to do with how it was spun) & it sews 'smoother'.
Cotton will eventually break down and we also have added tensioning to the strands and pressure from stuffing. As a long-term product it doesn't work as well as other fibers.

Cotton-covered polyester has the problem of friction causing the outer cotton to shred & shear off the poly.
Upholstery threads (nylon) are fine, though pretty heavy for hand sewing and miniatures.

Polyester is the best choice in my opinion. Metrosene PLUS is about the strongest, non-shreading; in fact, it often will not even take on a bend-over at the end of the eye, the weakest point in hand-sewing due to the shredding caused by repeated friction.

Gutermann's would be next. If you can find the original Metrosene with the marked spool - Swiss made - those are the top of the line. They're available on eBay. They are now made in Germany and the quality has suffered. Where the original spools glowed like jewels due to the very high twist, they're now duller as they have some fuzzy ends along the strand.

In wool, this would be like Worsted as opposed to Woolen. Worsted is a tight twist of long smooth fibers aligned to each other; Woolen is made up of non-aligned shorter lengths of fiber, which create is obvious when you look at matte-finish, fuzzy looking threads.

Gutermann's used to be Made in Germany but they've moved to Mexico.
In the end, it comes down to $$, less salaries paid out is more in net profit for the companies...... grrrrr....

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349

Thanks Bobbie for the advice!  Luckily, I'm such an incredibly poor hand stitcher that basting is about all I use the cotton thread for anyway.  Then it's picked out after I machine sew with Guterman and while I'm doing all of my seam "picking."  I just found Metrosene PLUS and purchased several spools.  I'd never heard of it before but it's nice to hear from an expert that it's good stuff! 

Thanks again!

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

bear_cry Gutermann is made in Mexico? Aaaaarrrghh.

Still, I use it all the time now. It's the only thread I've tried that doesn't break or snarl. I use it for basting--pulls tight without snapping--and hand sewing, even on 4"-ers. It also works really well in my sewing machine.

For needlesculpting, I use artificial sinew. Sometimes along with wood clamps!

Bobbi's right about quilting thread--I have a lot of it (once and future quilter) but it won't take the stress of tight stitches and stuffing.

Dilu's the expert on sewing machines . . . she might know how to solve the bobbin problem.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Oh Lisa, Sorry SORRY - I don't mean to infer that you did inferior work!! I know tyou and know that uyou know I wouldn't do that (and besides, you've got a sense of whimsey in your work that I Envy!!) Upholstery and Button thread is the thickness/strength of nylon upholstery threads (Conso, Mastex, etc..)

If you can find Metrosene PLUS give it a try, for machining and hand sewing. It doesn't tangle (smooth strands passing each ther rather that fuzzy ones that tend to snag) as well as not forming the bend just past the eye. In fact, that's what took me a while to get used to this style of thread: the bend tended to settle the thread on the needle - w/o that I would find myself pulling the thread out of the needle w/o realizing it was sliding along the length.

I find it such a strong thread that (in my minis) I usually thread up about 25" worth and completely sewed 2 body parts before having to re-thread. Next to Ears, that is my least favorite bit!!!!

Gutermann is made in Mexico? Aaaaarrrghh.

Ppl in Mexico need jobs and families need to eat there, too.
I wouldn't mind where it is produced, Eileen, as long as the quality remained the same. . We know that that's never the case...

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website
cherylbruinwerks wrote:

My PT advised using Palmers cocoa butter that pregnant women use on stretch marks, and massage it around the incision a couple of times a day. It worked wonders! No adhesions and my scar is very faint. Try it! bear_grin

Cheryl bear_flower [/color][/b]

Great stuff, I have used it for years. Plus smells great. I also used that super expensive ($30 a box) scar treatment where you put gel "band-aid" things on the scar. Didn't work for me. My ortho said that my nerves attached themselves to the scar under the skin and caused a snarled mess.

I cannot IMAGINE having my kneecap on the side of my leg. The visual alone is making me cringe. Good grief Cheryl!

Anyway, I like that idea of basting the seams first. I don't like slippage with pins and machine sewing. And yes...Intercal has an amazing choice of threads. On a sidenote, I went to get the hunk of mohair I was eyeing and they emailed me to say they had "just" sold it.  bear_sad

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website
rkr4cds wrote:

whatever you do I'd recommend you not use quilting threads. All of the ones I'm familiar with are cotton.

I have a hand-quilting thread (for my quilts) that is 32% cotton and 68% polyester (Coats & Clark). Smooth and buttery. But definitely breakable.

I think I'll try my upholstery thread for hand-sewing my bear. I'll see how the process goes for me. I don't think I can handle the stress of fighting with bobbin tension right now on a machine. LOL.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

I forgot to say that there are quite short pins available. I find them at Hobby Lobby for one - they are Sequin Pins and are somewhere between 1/2" and 5/8" long

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349
rkr4cds wrote:

Oh Lisa, Sorry SORRY - I don't mean to infer that you did inferior work!! I know tyou and know that uyou know I wouldn't do that (and besides, you've got a sense of whimsey in your work that I Envy!!) Upholstery and Button thread is the thickness/strength of nylon upholstery threads (Conso, Mastex, etc..)


Okay, laughing here.  You know, that's why we all need to be in a room talking as writing can be misunderstood.  Now I know that wasn't implied at all!  I wish I had said "Bobbie it amazes me that you know all this stuff and I wish you lived next to me so I could pick your brain all day for info!"  Anyway, I was happy to know that the Metrosene Plus is such good stuff because like I said I just purchased it two weeks ago and had never seen it before then.

Hey, maybe one day we'll do a show together Bobbie (or you'll teach a class at a show I'm doing!).  That would be great!

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

LOL - next door? I'd be playing with your girls, not talking to you! I find the developing minds of a 3 - 6 yo to be fascinating. Honest, no guile, totally straightforward; at least with those other than the parents! 

I wish I'd been on the TT list when I decided that I really didn't need to keep 500+ spools of this brand in my storage a couple of years ago, as NFing doesn't require it!
I gave it all away to another bear group, when I should have kept it for you all!!!

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Dilu wrote: For hand sewing using Sassy fabric for bears I like silk thread, doubled ,

Dilu: Is silk thread strong? Does it shred when doing hand sewing? I am all ears.....

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Diane, you must have a very light hand sewing with silk. It sgreds for me, just like Michelle.

I do use it for noses occasionally. On sewn bears it would shred after just a layer or 2, but in NFing, I use a heavier-than-sewing size, about like a #18 perle cotton (I'll look up the brands after an appt I'm rushing off to), one layer usually does it, of nicely even tensioned sts done in one pass across.

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349
Shari wrote:

Sorry to hear about your hand Jennifer bear_sad  Hope it feels better soon  :hug: The piece probably is 7" by 58

Lisa, do you use Guttermann regular or upholstery in your machine? I'm having a hard time getting the bobbin tension right when I try to sew with the upholstery thread in my machine. I would like to baste by hand and then sew on machine as I just don't have time for the many weeks of hand sewing it takes me to finish a bear.


Sorry, I missed this when I was reading!  I use the regular Gutermann thread in my machine.  Getting tension right is tricky when you're trying out different weight threads.  Do you still have your manual?  I have mine in a binder for reference because I'm always "testing" my machine.  I recently found that I can safely use the metallic thread in my bobbin without having to change my needle to one specifically made for metallic threads!  I was making a bear dress at the time - not stitching a regular bear.  Anyway, the friction caused by a regular needle going up and down can cause the metallic thread to break.  But I guess there's not as much friction in the bobbin so I learned something new!

P.S.  I really hope your hand gets better soon!  I love your little cupcake bears and really enjoy reading your Blog!

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website
Lisa wrote:

P.S.  I really hope your hand gets better soon!  I love your little cupcake bears and really enjoy reading your Blog![/b]

bear_thumb Thanks!

I just ordered some mohair from intercal! This will be my new adventure. You're right, I do need to make another cupcake bear. I have one half finished sitting here.  bear_whistle My blog is so suffering....

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