A few years ago I made a Sunbonnet Sue quilt with raw edge appliqué in 30’s feedsack prints. I used a light pink super-shiny synthetic thread for all the appliqué. It is a sweet quilt and I don’t mind the use of one color thread throughout, but these days I think of thread a little differently.
I do a LOT of machine appliqué and whether it is invisible appliqué or raw edge appliqué with a decorative stitch I find that a slightly thinner 100% cotton thread in a well matched color does the trick the best. If you want to make you stitches less visible, seek to match the fabric exactly, or go just a smudge darker than the main color of your fabric. Alternately, you can also pick a thread color that is slightly more or less vibrant than your fabric color, depending on which effect you want out of it. If your fabric isn’t as bright and vibrant as you wish, sewing with a slightly brighter thread can liven up the whole quilt.
For my latest quilt I used Aurifil Mako 50 for all my button hole machine appliqué. I like buttonhole and satin stitches for a lot of my quilts because I feel like they add an element of sturdiness to a quilt that may get some heavy use and lots of washing. This is a consideration when you have three young kids in the house.
I love using Aurifil Mako 50 for machine appliqué because the stitches lie flat, the thread practically never breaks in the machine, and there are gazillions of colors to choose from. I tried to match the thread to the fabric as closely as possible in this quilt and I always try out several close shades to find the one I really want to use in the end.
How do you decide color for your appliqué thread?