Using your Stash


Do you have a stash? Wait, what? Of course you do! Really. You can admit it, you’re among friends here. If you are a quilter, you have a stash. I mean, who can resist? The beautiful colors, they are our palette for creating. And the fibers: cotton, silk, polyester, metallic, Mylar! Wait, what? OH! You thought I was talking about Fabric. Well, that’s a whole ‘nuther subject. But, I’m referring to thread.

If you are a quilter, according to you are: “one who stitches together two pieces of cloth and a soft interlining, usually in an ornamental pattern”. To a quilter; as opposed to a piece-er, applique-er, or topper; thread is like candy.

Here is the hard question: Are you using your stash to it’s fullest potential? Quilters will tend to match the thread to the project they are quilting, in an attempt to keep the quilting subdued. Hey!We work hard choosing quilting designs and patterns and applying them to the quilt. Why not let them show? And carefully chosen thread can do so much more to enhance a quilt.

At the AQS show in Paducah this quilt caught my eye.

Kaboom by Suzy Webster, Apple Valley, MN. Suzy’s use of thread color added a interesting dimension to this quilt. (My apologies for the angle of the photo, the ropes protecting the quilts prevented a straight-on photo.)


I began to see fascinating use of thread to create color and images in many of quilts that were hanging at the show.

In Woven Journey by Claudia Pfeil, Krefeld, Germany, the words you see in the background are created solely with thread and quilting. The words are not quilted, the background is densely quilted with tiny pebbles.

The back of some quilts are equally as spectacular as the fronts. An example is Ewe are My Sunshine, by Janet Stone, Overland Park, Kansas. The quilting is amazing and the different color threads create another feast for the eyes.

Sometimes just a subtly different color thread can really make the quilting shine. An Exercise in Patience by Donna Karolus, Cleveland, WI uses slightly darker thread to make the beautiful quilting really stand out.

You can create the look of piecing where there is none. Happiness by Ann T. Pigneri, Louisville, KY is a nice example of this technique.

Laurie Rott, Fargo, ND seemingly changed the color of the background in certain areas of Midnight Stars by quilting densely with a light colored thread. She also used a blue quilting thread on the solid black background to help the quilting show.


Check out this amazing quilting on Midnight Dreams by Lorilynn King and Friends, Loveland, CO.

Wonderful use of color to make the motifs sparkle.

Infused Plaid by Cassandra Ireland Beaver, Urbana, OH is simply delightful.

Another example where thread is a major player is Damn Quilt by Rebecca Everett, Delta, AL

The winner of the Best Wall Movable Machine Workmanship Award, sponsored by Handi Quilter, The Navigator’s Star by Aline Bugarin and Natasha Bugarin, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, used a darker thread to create interest in the center of the quilt. Fantastic!

So much inspiration can be found at a quilt show. It makes me want to go home and play with my threads. Oh look….the Superior Threads booth. Yum! I might be a little late…..


By | 2017-05-05T10:27:30+00:00 May 5th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

About the Author:

Mary Beth Krapil


  1. Edna June 1, 2017 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Great inspiration!

  2. Stevie Romano October 12, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Stunning!!! What kind of batting is used?

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