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Thread color when appliquéing

My silk thread stash for applique

My silk thread stash for applique

How do you know what color thread to use when you are appliqueing something on your quilt?

I'm making a table runner that has a white background and I'm working with watermelons that are of course pink, green and have black seeds.


I'm assuming that you're talking about hand appliqueing...(something I wish I had MORE time to do!)

If at all possible, I try to match the thread color to the shape I am stitching. My thread of choice is YLI's 100 weight silk thread on the 200m spools. The silk just disappears into the fabric.

But it's pricey!

Currently, a spool of this fabulous thead will set you back by about $6. That's my applique thread box in the photo above. If you count all the spools, there's over $240 worth of thread in there.

Many appliquers choose to limit their thread stash by matching the value of the thread color to the value of the fabric color. That way you'd only need to have a good selection of neutral threads (shown below).

Because I don't have every color in my stash, I frequently need to use this technique. Between the values being so close and the fine-ness of the silk, there isn't a problem with my applique stitches showing.

I hope this has helped.

Readers, what thread do you use for your hand applique projects? Thanks for sharing!


Julie Baird

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