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Quilting thread for a Bernina 830LE

by Doris
(Monkton, MD)

What type (Aurifil, Superior, Isacord, etc.) thread should I be using to quilt with, what weight, and should the same thread be in the bobbin.

I am using Bernina's quilt frame, with the 830LE machine. When "testing," I used Isacord, but want to confirm the best choice.

Thank you,



Hi Doris!

As to what work's best in a Bernina 830LE (Congrats on the machine, I hear it's terrific!), I'm putting this out for other Bernina users to comment on from their own experience.

Regarding which thread is best for quilting, well, then it depends.

It depends on the look you are after.

Do you want the quilting to show and dazzle the eye, or is it's function simply to hold the layers together? How you answer those questions will determine which thread to use.

Stitching incognito...

If you want the stitches to 'disappear' so that only the texture shows, then I'd suggest one of the quality monofilament threads...Superior, YLI (who I understand has acquired SewArt), and Sulky all make good brands. The thread should be .004 weight and when pulled between your hands, should break quite easily.

Matching thread will also camouflage your stitches. A nice 50wt 100% cotton is perfect for the job...again Superior, Aurifil, Prescencia all make good threads that I personally use and recommend.

If it's dazzle you're after...

...the sky's the limit.

Rayons, polyesters and all kinds of metallics are out in the marketplace to tempt you. Again, buy quality, buy known names. Stay away from the cheap's really not worth your time. You've got some real quilting to do!

(A quick aside about's a real princess thread...looks fabulous but not used to doing any will look great in your quilting stitches, but it's not strong enough to hold the layers together on it's own. I recommend using something else to do your stabilizing stitching with.)

Then there's 100 wt 100% silk thread. It's really, really fine, but a wonderful choice for quilting feathers. You can backtrack over the same line of quilting more than once and not get any noticeable thread buildup. Plus it's got such a nice luster to it. It stitches up quite elegantly.

Bobbin thread choices

You do not need to use the same thread in the needle and the bobbin. If I'm using a 50 wt cotton, then I use it in both. But that's about it.

I tend to use a lot of either the 50 wt cotton or Superior Thread's 60wt polyester called Bottom that stuff.

What you need is a thread that balances nicely with the needle thread. Having a fine thread that you can wind a lot of onto the bobbin so you don't have to change it so often is nice, too.

Just remember that if you're using different threads, you'll need to spend some time adjusting the tension. Stitch a bit on a practice sandwich. Evaluate the stitches and then adjust again if needed. Once you get used to it, you won't think twice about using different threads.

Doris, I hope this is enough to get you started. You're going to have SO MUCH FUN!!!!

Readers...especially my Bernina quilters...what do you recommend for quilting on a Bernina 830LE...any known problems to watch out for or is it all clear sailing? Please post your thoughts using the 'comments' link below. Thank you!


Julie Baird

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