How to Use Contrasting Thread Colors in Your Quilt

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Contrasting colors can help add additional design elements to a quilt. Heather Thomas shows you how to add contrasting thread to a quilt in ways that complement the overall design.

Quilting Colors

When it comes to quilting, more often than not, the thread color used will match the main background color of a quilt. This is done because quilting is intended to hold the layers of fabric together and help showcase the quilt design. However, Heather shows you that contrasting thread colors can be used to tie a piece together. She shows you several examples and explains how contrasting thread can be used to balance a quilt if the color of thread being used matches a color of fabric used somewhere in the design. She also shows how multiple different colors of contrasting thread can be used in the same design to help a certain section of a quilt stand out. Contrasting colors can be added with thread as well as with fabric. Heather shares great tips on how to choose quilt colors when planning a design.

Quilting Shapes

An element of design to keep in mind when using contrasting thread is the shapes being quilted. Heather explains how quilting a shape that isn’t included anywhere in a quilt in a contrasting color may make a piece look unbalanced. However, quilting a shape that is found somewhere in the quilt in a contrasting color can help unify a piece, as Heather shows with an example quilt.

Multiple Colors

As Heather explains, multiple different thread colors can be used when quilting, especially when the main fabric colors of a quilt are neutral. A fun way to add many different colors to a piece without having the continually change thread is with variegated thread quilting. Variegated threads come in a variety of color combinations. When using variegated thread it’s important to test stitch with it first as the thread will look different stitched on a quilt than it does on the thread spool.

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Discussion
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3 Responses to “How to Use Contrasting Thread Colors in Your Quilt”
  1. carrie dique

    Does anyone know how to make a quilt from OLD BLANKETS? If so can i please see a design or an example of one that is completed?

    Reply
    • National Quilters Circle

      Hi Carrie. I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are going to spend the time and energy, you should use quality fabrics. The only thing I could see utilizing blankets for would possibly be batting, but I don’t recommend it

      Reply

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