Lesson 108 from Superior University featured MasterPiece™, a 50-weight Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton thread. Designed specifically for piecing, it can also be used for appliqué, detail quilting, bobbin thread, and lacework. Our assignment was to make a pieced block and finish it as a hot pad. I wanted to test the thread for appliqué as well, so I added some patches to a traditional pinwheel block.
Originally, MasterPiece was a 2-ply thread. After reports of many newer-model machines causing it to break, Superior Threads decided to strengthen the thread by making it 3-ply. I was concerned that the thread would be heavy, and it is. Nevertheless, I was able to piece and appliqué successfully with this thread.
For many years now, Aurifil 50-weight 2-ply cotton Mako has been my preferred thread for piecing and appliqué. It never broke on my 13-year-old Bernina 170 but I haven’t tried it on my brand-new Baby Lock Crescendo. After completing this assignment, would I consider switching from Aurifil to MasterPiece? I’m afraid not.
There is one caveat. MasterPiece is available in sets of pre-wound bobbins called “Donuts” and I think this is a great option for hand appliqué. Although the spool and cones have been converted to 3-ply, the bobbins have remained as 2-ply. The smaller size and handy container make them portable and ideal for hand projects.
MasterPiece is a very smooth thread that claims to be virtually lint-free. I feel the same way about lint as I do about fusible web sticking to sewing machine needles. So what? Wipe it off. But a lot of lint can certainly affect our sewing machines, especially if we don’t clean them frequently. Owen’s Olivia has some fascinating photos of different threads under a microscope. Aurifil 50-weight cotton is the first image; there is also an image for “Superior 100% Egyptian Cotton” thread, but it doesn’t say if it is MasterPiece or whether it is 2- or 3-ply. You can definitely see the difference between all the different photos!
When it comes to thread, you really have to try it for yourself to discover your own preferences. Feel free to add to the conversation by leaving your comments below. What is your favorite cotton thread and why?
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