The April Aurifil Artisan Challenge is to share our favorite thread weight. I debated which thread weight to choose because I genuinely love them all for different reasons. I do all of my piecing with 50 weight thread. I find that it is thick and strong enough to hold everything together, but fine enough that it is typically not visible in my projects. I use 50 weight, 40 weight, and 28 weight threads for domestic machine quilting, depending on how visible I want the thread and quilting design to be. I use 28 weight and 12 weight thread for hand quilting and top stitching on bags and other sewing projects. I’ve used 80 weight thread in my English Paper Piecing projects, and I’ve heard it is wonderful for quilting and Foundation Paper Piecing. I love Aurifloss for hand quilting, as well as embroidery and cross stitch projects, which I have recently re-discovered.
The thread I chose is one that is relatively new on the Aurifil scene. Forty3 is a 40 weight thread that is three ply instead of the usual two. Aurifil designed Forty3 to stand up to the rigors of longarm machine quilting, but it performs wonderfully in domestic machines as well.
I recently used White #2024 Forty3 thread to quilt my mini Cross Lake Quilt. On a recent-ish trip from Southern California to Northern California, I stopped in at Birch Fabrics and saw a mini quilt on display behind the register. I loved the soft colors of the organic linen fabrics and the simple design of the piece. I bought the fabrics (a few months later, from their booth, at a quilt show) and pattern I needed (which I finally hunted down a few months after that) and got to work.
The Forty3 thread has a textured appearance that I just love. The twist in the thread stands out a bit more than its two ply counterpart, making it great for projects that you want to highlight with more visible quilting.
I used the same linen fabrics and colors as in the sample I saw at the shop, which was made by Donna at XOXSEW. The Forty3 thread I used for the quilting stood out just enough to add texture to the mini quilt, but also blended well with the linen texture of the fabrics. I love what the quilting added to this project, and I’m happy to finally have it displayed in my home.
What is your favorite thread weight? If you have any questions about thread, let me know in the comments. I’d love to answer them if I can, or point you in the right direction.