Bubbles, AP # 38

Random Order

I’ve been meandering through my inventory of finished, original art pieces choosing and revealing them in random order. I’m normally a very organized, methodical person so this flies against my normal behavior. Perhaps it’s my way of stretching my boundaries.

Let’s get started with today’s reveal.

Another One Is Finished!

Throughout the adventure of creating blocks for my Mystery QAL art piece I created 40 different units.

  • Thirty-two of them found a home in my largest original art piece Neighbors, AP # 37,
  • Six of them make up Disjointed, AP # 36
  • One was used in At An Angle, AP # 34 and the remaining block has been called
  • Bubbles, AP # 38

Let’s Take A Look

Bubbles, AP # 38
Bubbles, AP # 38

Measuring 13 1/4” x 13 3/4” this piece is fairly small in size. I chose to single it out to be used as an individual art piece because I thought it had enough character to stand on its own. The angular lines of the center section contrast nicely with the circular movement in many of the other fabrics.

The center of the wonky log cabin block was a leftover scrap from one of my earlier art pieces. I’m glad that I saved the remnant because it makes a great addition to this one. While you wouldn’t be as familiar with the other fabrics as I am, I can identify many other connections. In a way this tiny original art piece takes me on a trip down memory lane.

Making the original art piece much larger are the surrounding two borders. The first is a shade of magenta and the second is one of the Grunge Basics fabrics named Faded Denim. I’m a big fan of the Grunge fabric line. Their mottled appearance adds so much texture to everything its added to.

The Name

I bet you can figure out why I named this piece Bubbles. That’s right; you guessed it! The circles repeated throughout many of the fabrics were the inspiration for the name. They were the first identifying trait that drew my attention.

The little bubbles brought back memories of the summers I spent with my children. I could visualize them actively blowing soap bubbles through those little plastic wands so many of us are familiar with. I know it’s probably a cheesy name but it’s the first thing that popped into my head and typically that’s usually the name I go with. There is no sense in spending too much time over-thinking it.

The Back Side

Bubbles, AP # 38 Backing
Bubbles, AP # 38 Backing

To wrap this tour up let me share a few final details. This original art piece was quilted with a straight-line motif using a variegated King Tut thread. The edges of my art piece are protected by facings fashioned from the same fabric as the backing. Also attached is a hanging sleeve and a label.

Thank YOU!

We made it through another successful original art piece reveal. I hope that you enjoyed reading the history behind Bubbles! I certainly appreciated your attention and your willingness to stick with me until the end. Thank YOU for sharing in this experience. I look forward to our next visit. 🙂

Talk with you soon!


Friday Favorites: Long Arm Quilting Thread

Friday FavoritesWelcome to Friday Favorites!

Thread for a long arm quilter is as important as her machine. With 100’s of available colors and fibers there’s certain to be something to satisfy your need.


Where to Purchase

I prefer to buy my thread locally. There is nothing like being able to take your project to a vendor’s location and pulling cones from their shelves to match with your item. If you don’t have thread available locally, then the Internet is a wonderful resource. There are numerous websites offering threads of every kind.

What Brands Do I Use

The brand that currently occupies the largest space in my inventory is Perma Core. I have more of this thread because it’s the primary brand my long arm dealer sells. Perma Core has been a reliable product. Omni holds second place. Of the two, I prefer Omni. I find it to be a much cleaner thread producing far less lint.

Among the other brands and/or other types of thread I have used are variegated King Tuts, and Magnifico metallics. Variegated threads like other specialty fibers are fun to work with. Stitching with them is like painting with a paint brush. Each stroke or stitch adds a varied rainbow of colors. Metallic fibers are the most interesting of all to use. Their shiny nature adds sparkle to anything they touch. Both variegated and metallic threads can be a bit pricey so keep that in mind if budget is an issue. Using metallics takes a little extra care when adjusting the thread tension and selecting the proper needle size but once you have that figured out the possibilities are endless.

Deciding Which Color/Type of Thread to Use

As I mentioned earlier long arm thread is available from a variety of resources. Many of those vendors have thread charts available for purchase. While they can’t match the ease of being able to hold cones of thread next to your fabrics in person, they are the next best thing. I have several of them in my own inventory.

Superior Threads Color CardsPersonal preference and/or a products intended use are the biggest deciding factors when choosing thread. When selecting your thread, always make sure the thread was designed to be used on a long arm quilt machine. Thread used on a long arm machine needs to be able to survive the stress and heat imparted by the rapid movement of the needle.

Next decide whether you want the thread to fade into the background or make a statement. If blending-in is your goal then choose either an invisible polyester or a neutral colored thread. If you want high visibility you might lean toward bright or variegated colors and if pizzazz or a bold statement are in order choose metallics. No matter what direction you go the thread choice you make will either make or break your quilts overall appearance so choose wisely.

One Other Thing

Each type of thread has its own preferred tension setting as well as needle type/size. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for best results. Some threads need a net or some sort of cover placed over the cone to keep the thread from slipping down in an unwanted manner. The cone nets can often be purchased through your favorite vendor in person or online. If you cannot find the nets or do not want to purchase them you can make your own out of a women’s nylon stocking. Here’s a video showing how the nets work.

Superior Threads Handy Nets

A Thread Mishap

Of all the thread I have ever owned there is only one cone that has every sent me over a cliff. The brand of cone is Omni. The color is # 3024 Medium Gray.

Omni #3024 Medium Gray

This cone has always tested my patience. The only reason why it has remained in my inventory is because of its popularity with my customers.

I was recently reminded of the thread’s problems when a repeat customer chose it for her project. Hoping that this particular cone was somehow not the one that has given me fits I agreed to use it. Not long into the session I was reminded of its awful habit. No matter how many times I replaced my needle, un-threaded and re-threaded my machine, uninstalled and reinstalled the bobbin the thread breaks…..frequently.

This is the only cone that has ever caused this problem. I’ve been plagued by this issue numerous times on all sorts of quilts. After finally finishing the latest quilt I made certain the cone of thread was removed from my inventory. Never again will I use it in my machine. While the cone is no longer a part of my inventory I haven’t decided if I will toss it in the trash or contact the manufacturer to discuss its fate.


I’ve enjoyed sharing with you my limited knowledge of long arm quilting thread. While the information was not presented in great detail I hope you find it a great place to start. If you have any questions about my experience feel free to leave a comment.


The content contained within this post, aside from the attached links, is my own. I do not in any way receive compensation, reduced or free product, nor endorsement from any thread manufacturer or supplier. The experiences and shared opinions are my own.

Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting