(Apologies to my non-quilting/sewing readers…you may be excused from this post if you so choose…)


When I first started quilting, I didn’t really know anything about thread, and what was important to look for.  I pieced with Gutermann (100% polyester), until I was told that I should only be using cotton.  I was a cotton purist when I first started as a longarm quilter (more than 6 years ago!), but after learning more about thread from Bob Purcell at Superior Threads, I use a lot of different kinds of threads.  However, I am careful to match the kind and weight of thread to the purpose, and I try to use the thread in the way in which it was intended.  I do not profess to be an expert about this topic, but wanted to share a few thoughts about some things I’ve learned.

These days, my thread of choice for piecing is a cotton thread (matching the fiber content of the thread to the fabric).  For the last several months I have been using Masterpiece Thread by Superior Threads.  It’s extra-long staple Egyptian cotton and is extremely smooth.  It’s a 2-ply  50 weight thread, which means it is fairly thin.  I never thought much about the impact of the thread weight on the accuracy of my piecing until I tried this thread, and let me tell you:  I can tell a difference in the seams using this thinner thread.  And you can tell from the picture above that I’ve used a lot of it.  I think this might be my 3rd finished cone of Masterpiece.  That’s 3000 yards per cone….

Masterpiece Thread comes in a gob of colors, but honestly:  I almost exclusively use neutral colors for piecing.  The cone you see above has served me well for quite a few of the quilts I’ve pieced recently.  I also like to use gray, and I do also use a white if the pieces I’m sewing together are both white.

There are other nice piecing threads on the market from other companies.  This just happens to be my choice.  And other than being a satisfied customer, I am not affiliated with Superior Threads.

I have tried using this thread on my longarm, and it did not work well for that purpose.  But!  It wasn’t intended to be used on a high-speed longarm quilting machine.  I read a lot about people who are trying to use super-thin threads on their longarms and being frustrated when they don’t work well.  Do you know how many times a section of thread passes through the eye of the needle before it actually gets formed into a stitch?  (Well, I don’t know the number, but I do know that it is a lot…)  Between that and the stress placed on the thread at every point it touches metal along the thread path:  it’s no surprise that delicate threads can be frustrating to use on a longarm.  Oh sure, there are lots of tricks you can use to baby a thread along, and some people are quite successful at doing so:  but my life is too short to use thread that causes me grief.  I prefer to stick with the threads that I know behave well on my machine.

These days, that list includes a wide variety of threads:  Sew Fine (by Superior), Arc Poly (from MelcoMart), Signature cotton (by A&E), King Tut (Superior), plus more.  Discussion of threads kinds and colors and their usage on a longarm could go on for days…so I’ll leave it at that for the time being.

I would highly encourage readers who want to know more about thread to visit Superior Threads website.  If you click on the button labeled EDUCATION, you will be taken to a list of topics about thread.  There is more there than you probably want to know.

I need to go eat some lunch and then get some more things checked off of my have-to-do-before-I-leave list, so:



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  1. Vicki W says:

    I agree. I have a sample that I did for a class that shows the difference that the thread makes in the seam allownace. it’s pretty amazing. I also love Masterpiece for piecing but I can also run it on my longarm really easily. In the testing that I’ve done it holds up well on quilted pieces. But I have heard others that have not had such good experiences.

  2. Jan says:

    I love Masterpiece for piecing, but I also run it on the longarm with no issues most of the time. I like it for the less thready look if I’m going for heavy quilting. But I agree, the difference in the bulk of the seams is amazing!! Have fun in California!!

  3. Suzanne says:

    So naturally, the first TWO people to comment are people that can run Masterpiece on their longarms. LOL

    I wonder if the cone I had was bad?

    When I want something thin, I usually reach for Sew Fine, so it doesn’t really bother me not to use the MasterPiece.

  4. Tina Chamberlain says:

    Add me to the list of those who use it on the longarm! I find it is very similar to Aurifil 50 wt. thread, which I love. But it is spendy. I really need to do a cost analysis on these two threads because I use them almost 98% of the time, both piecing and quilting. I may switch to 40 wt. Aurifil to get that slightly heavier thread. I have nothing but good things to say about both of them. Try another and see if you like the Masterpiece.

  5. Dawn says:

    I”ve heard that is a good thread for piecing. I’ve been loving Aurofil and DMC’s cotton thread. I’ll have to check the masterpiece out!

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