I love doing redwork (well all kinds of embroidery really)  I am just now starting to include it in my quilts.  I have several patterns waiting for me!  I would love to know what threads people use for their redwork.  I wonder what holds up best in a quilt that will be washed.  I have never done a redwork piece that will be washed!  Even more important how color fast are your choices?  I have used DMC floss (2 strands) for finer work and Aurifil 50wt when I want very strong/bold lines.

Looking forward to benefit from everyone's experience!

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Icdoba lot of redwork and use only pearl cotton, depending on the design I use either size 8 or 12 . I like the way it lays much better than floss and have just started using both sizes in the same design and really like the way it is turning out. It washes up very nice and have never had the color run.

hi all - i follow the comments in this group once in a while. the most recent discussions you have going here has been really really interesting and instructive. i haven't done redwork in years, drifted in to other forms of embroidery. still have my old patterns and redwork books. i always used 2 strands of floss, but am finding the comments about using pearl very interesting. think i will order some and do a few little blocks. can incorporated them into quilts in future. i bought the winter pattern last fall because i am loving all the quilts made with it here locally. but been toying w # of strands as well as color. i want the blues/blacks/blue grays of winter as i know them. but not seeing the exact blend of colors in varigated floss available here locally. pearl is becoming more readily found here tho, and after reading all your comments i understand why. i too like the heavier line, use back stitch to achieve it. short stitches, but like someone here said, it sounds like the pearl would lay flatter and be more attractive.

thanks all for some great informative reading last week + !!

Hi Queen,

So happy to hear our banter may have inspired you to pick up your needle again! I haven't used the pearl cotton and will be soon. I teach it and want to be able to show and give my students every opportunity to use what is available and in vogue. I honestly didn't know people were using it until I showed up here and heard Judy talking about it. It's exciting to me! I also use 2 strands of floss, most of the time. But there are times when I use only one strand, to give the feeling of a motif being lighter. Like seeds, or tiny, feathery stitches on a flower. One piece I did all in one strand because it was a dense design and seemed to me to need to be more delicate. 

I do use DMC floss but have been using a lot of Sulky 12 weight thread and am finding that to be very sturdy. I have only found it in 12 and 30 weights. But the colors, ohhhh, the colors! The only thing I have found as a negative was a dark, green/blue variegated that ran. It wasn't noticeable except around some very dense stitching I had done for some flower centers. And I got most of it out. I find it a comfortable thread to use but like the versatility of using DMC too. I also don't dry my quilts by machine. They get a gentle wash and spin, and then laid flat to dry on an unused bed. This really helps my quilts to last much longer.

I have been wanting to try the newsulky thread but no one in my area carries it, in fact even the quilt shops that have asked have not even heard of it. I have only seen it as an ad in my quilt magazines. I was very surprised when the quilt stores did not know what I was talking about as I thought it was a new quilting thread. I am always looking for some new threads to try.

Hmmmm, I've been using it for years so it's not really new. I'm sure you can get it online. Try searching Sulky threads. We'll find this for you!

Which of the sulky threads do you use? The one I am trying to find locally is their new one that is called blendables and came out this past fall.  What weight do you use, as I mentioned in a previous postvi like to think out of the box and try new types of thread.

Oh yes, I use the blendables. But again, have been using them for years. What came out in the fall may have been new colors? I think these can also be found in online stores. Are you looking for any particular color? I have a few and can get just about anything in my local quilt shops. I'll look for you if you'd like. The weight I use is 12. It's about equal to two strands of floss. Hope this helps.

Diana,  Are you using the Sulky Petite Cotton Blendables? http://www.sulky.com/thread/thread_petites.php

These are the threads I have seen advertised so heavily over the past year or so.  I also thought that these were new.  I have not seen them anywhere in the shops yet either but I am looking forward to trying them!  It does look like they just repackaged them.... the Sulky page says "the same you have known and loved now on a petite snap end spool'.  The spool looks like a really nice way to keep them... all my DMC is hand wound on to cardboard bobbins and that takes some time to do!!!

Hi Birdie,

It is a repackaging. I buy them on a regular spool, with the snap ends, of 330 yards. The petites are 50 I think. I use so much of it in several different applications that the 50 yard probably wouldn't be feasible for me. I used to put all my DMC on cards too and still have most of them that way. But I don't bother anymore. I've learned how to pull out what I need without tangles and storage is easy so I just keep them as I bought them. It's just what works for me.

Diana, Do you do hand or machine embroidery?  i checked Joann's for the sulky 12 and 30 weight thread and it seems a little thin for hand stitching. I also found a few of the blendables in the sewing machine store section at Joanns and they also seem a little thin for hand stitching.

I only hand stitch. And I use the 12 weight. I find that it looks like using 2 threads of floss. When using floss I most often use 2 threads, one if I want a delicate look. I also use the stem stitch. I can only suggest that you try it and see if it is a thread that you like or not. 

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