A Quilter's Alphabet

A Quilter's Alphabet: T Terms



Tension is the stress or force on the top (needle) thread and the bobbin thread.  Perfect tension is a balance between the two threads, with neither being dominant.  So many factors can affect tension: proper needle size and type, appropriate weight and type of thread for the project, stitch length in conjunction with fabric type and/or thickness, and of course the condition of the sewing machine (when did you last have YOUR machine serviced?).



Thread is so much more than just a color.  Weight is an important factor, and matching the correct thread weight to the correct needle size AND project will yield the best results.  With thread, the larger the number, the finer the thread.

80wt is a very fine thread and favored by hand stitchers for English Paper Piecing and applique.  50wt is most commonly used for piecing, but can be used for quilting as well.  40wt is slightly heavier and is a go-to weight for machine quilting.  28wt is heavier, and makes a terrific quilting thread or for machine or hand embellishment.  12wt is a heavy thread, but can still be used on the machine and works wonderfully for hand or machine quilting or embellishment.


Thread Count

Thread count refers to the number of threads used in the weave (warp and weft) of a particular fabric.  The lower the thread count, the looser the weave.  The higher the thread count, the more dense the weave of the fabric.



Trimming is...well, trimming down or removing the excess on a quilt block or a quilt.  One approach popular with many quilters is to make a block slightly oversized and then to trim, or cut it down, to the proper size.


Head over to Kate's blog to get her insights on more "T" quilting terms!

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