This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation

Thread choice for invisible machine applique

by Lani
(Livermore, CA)


Hi Julie,

One more question, if I may :)

Why would you choose monofilament over using a matching cotton thread such as DMC or Masterpiece or a matching silk?

Happy Quilting!


For economy and for invisibility...

Economy most you'd need just two spools of monofilament—clear and smoke. As I think I mentioned, I'm not a fan of the Superior Thread's smoke color because it looks much to dark to me, more like a regular solid thread.


Since you use a sewing machine to make these stitches, the stitch itself is going to lay on top of the fabric.

That means it's going to show. No way around that!

Hand applique stitches, on the other hand, take a bite out of the fold and then the thread travels on the backside of the background fabric. The only part of the stitch that shows is the 'bite'.

Can you use a more conventional thread?

Absolutely! It's your quilt.

But I think if you do a bit of comparison stitching on a sample as you determine the tension settings you'll need, that you'll like the results from the monofilament better. The stitches will be, well, invisible from a viewing distance. That's the main selling point for me.

If I did choose to use one of the threads you mentioned, I'd choose the finest one, the 100 wt silk, to help camouflage the stitches.

Another potential thread choice

There's a thread out on the market called Invisafil that intrigues me for this technique.

Invisafil is a 2 ply, 100 wt polyester with a matte finish made by a Canadian company. It's a colored, not clear. I've got several spools of it to test this winter. My testing results will be posted on the website when they're ready.

Thank you for your question! I hope you find this information helpful.


Julie Baird

Comments for Thread choice for invisible machine applique

Click here to add your own comments

by: KT in MI

I've been using this thread for a while now on my Viking 875Q for free motion quilting. At first I had a lot of trouble with tension, breaking threads, etc. But I finally figured out to reduce the tension by 2 whole numbers, and use an 80 sharp needle. I really like the results. The "color" of the thread hardly shows at all but "sinks" into the fabric so that you can see the indent of the quilting but not have to worry about color changes, etc. I also use it for ditch stitching. Used to use the monofilament but now Invisifil gives much more satisfying results, AND I don't have to worry about winding the plastic bobbins and stretching the monofilament to a point where the bobbin won't come off the spool --- a hefty repair price! Ask me how I know this (twice).

New Smoke MonoPoly
by: Ricci

We now have a new Smoke MonoPoly. It's lighter than our previous smoke, has more brown in it. If you have a chance, please give it a try.

Superior Threads

Superior thread
by: Annie

I also have Superior thread in Smoke. I really hate the product. It ended up being very difficult to work with. I abandoned it in the middle of a king-sized quilt which, of course, meant un-sewing. As a disclaimer, I am no professional but I have been sewing for 60 years and I have been quilting for 12, so no neophyte either.

Click here to add your own comments

Click here to return to Machine Applique Questions...Answered!.

This article was printed from

Print Article

Follow Us