We are thrilled today to welcome Aurifil Artisan Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl to Auribuzz to share some of her thoughts about and experiences with our Forty3 (40wt, 3ply) thread versus our regular 40wt (2ply). Thank you, Yvonne!
In 2018, I set a goal to make a few bed quilts for my husband and I. One of the quilts I plan to make is a wholecloth quilt depicting two playful foxes, because our last name (Fuchs) is German for fox. After doing some initial planning with my husband in July, I stalled out on making the quilt due to other deadlines taking priority. Taking stock of my goals prior to the end of the year, I have decided to take a methodical approach to creating the quilt to help it become a reality.
The first step, for me, was to formulate the “how am I going to quilt it” plan. Looking at the initial planning, there are going to be large background spaces to fill and then fine detail to create. In my studio, I have an APQS Millennium longarm with a 10-foot frame and a Juki TL-2200 QVP mini domestic machine. I plan to quilt the background of the quilt and outline the fox silhouettes using my APQS Millennium and then I will transition to the fine detail quilting within the fox silhouettes using my Juki.
I plan to use predominantly Aurifil Forty3 for the quilting. When I read the Auribuzz blog posts by Kate about Forty3 Thread and How is Thread Weighted, I learned that Forty3 (40-weight 3-ply thread) is thicker than the typical 40-weight 2-ply. What I needed to understand to help me plan for my wholecloth quilt is how that difference in thickness translates in my bobbins and visually.
Visually, a strand of Forty3 and 40wt are different. The 3-ply Forty3 thread seems to have a tighter twist than the 2-ply 40-weight. It’s a subtle difference, but in the photo above the Forty3 is on top and the 2-ply 40-weight is on the bottom and there is a slight thickness difference that can be perceived visually.
Mini Quilt Experiment
I decided to create a quick quilted experiment. Using a red and green fat quarter as the top and bottom of a quilt sandwich, I fully wound one of my Juki’s bobbins using 2-ply 40-weight thread and a second bobbin using the 3-ply Forty3 thread.
Following the circles in the red print, I began in the center of the fat quarter and quilted 14 columns of circles using the 2-ply 40-weight thread on top and in the bobbin. I still had thread remaining in the bobbin, so I went back and added 3 columns of swirls within the quilted circles.
After using up the bobbin of 2-ply 40-weight thread, I switched to a full bobbin of Forty3 and quilted from the center of the fat quarter toward the edge. Knowing that I was comparing to quilting that included filled circles, I quilted the swirls inside the circles as I went using the Forty3. I ran out of bobbin thread a little over 2 ½ columns from the end, and I was also missing one column of swirls. So, while the Forty3 thread might be a bit thicker, it completed about 80% of the quilting that one bobbin of 2-ply 40-weight, which I found to be pretty impressive. I wound a second bobbin with Forty3 and finished the quilting to complete the mini quilt.
Is there a Visual Difference?
So, in the end, is there a visual difference between the Forty3 and 2-ply 40-weight thread? I believe the answer is yes.
Zooming in to look at a close up of the quilting on the top (red) side of the mini quilt in the center, there is a definite difference in the thickness of the single line of quilting thread.
And the same difference can be observed on the bobbin (green) side of the mini quilt as well.
Armed with this knowledge, I am excited to dive into quilting my wholecloth quilt using Forty3 thread. Plus, now I have a fun Christmas placemat or hot pad for my table to use this year!
Thank you so much, Yvonne! It’s so great to have such a gorgeous visual representation of the difference between the two weights. Have you tried Aurifil’s Forty3 thread? Would you like to?
We are giving away 1 Cone of Forty3 thread each to 2 lucky winners. Click here or on the image above to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You don’t have to complete all entries, but the more that you complete, the greater chance you’ll have of winning! Giveaway runs from today through 11:59pm on Sunday, December 9. Winners will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, December 10. This giveaway is open to all of our friends, worldwide! Good luck:).
I appreciate posts like this. I just started using Aurifil last year post like this really help. Thank you so much.
Thanks Yvonne for sharing the differences. I would love to give the 3 ply a go.
Love Aurifil thread! Would be interesting to try the 3 ply.
Thanks for the review and sharing your photos.
Thank you for your research! Now I want to use the Forty-3 for some of my quilting. there was a definite difference in your photos. I love threads, and they are as important as fabric in a quilt. Thank you again!
Thanks for differenc. I want to try it with buttonhoe stitch applique!
I thoroughly enjoy following Yvonne. This post was PHENOMENAL!!! I think she just saved me a ton of time on experimenting with ply differences and results. Thank you Yvonne- Thank you Aurifil = WINNING COMBINATION!!!
Really interesting, I wasn’t even aware of the Forty3 thread until just now. The pictures show a clear difference and now I’d really like to use it for my next quilt.
Great post explaining the differences in the two threads. I can’t wait to see the Fox quilt!
I love my Aurifil threads but have never tried this type… as a hand quilter I use the 12wt for my hand quilting, but have been told to try pearl cotton. That’s my next step but these threads look nice and thick which is what I like!
This was very interesting to see – thanks Yvonne!