As with most creative projects, our fave motto applies here: You do you. If you like a thread color for your quilt top, you should 100 percent go for it. Buuuut if you’re craving some extra guidance, Angela Walters of the Midnight Quilt Show totally has your back. These are her tricks to making sure your selection is perfect every single time.
Steal Angela’s Secrets
Choose a Method to Your Madness
Before you even get to comparing hues, there's another decision to make: Are you going to use the same color over your entire top, or quilt each piece differently? The thread (or threads!) you choose totally depends on that answer, and while you can go either way, the truth is that using one color is easier. Something to think about as you start to find that perfect match (which, pinky promise, isn't as hard as you might think).
Unravel the Spool
Regardless of how many different colors you want to use, the next (and admittedly obvious) thing to do is take out some thread and see how it looks against your quilt. But don't hold one tiny piece next to your project — the key is to actually unravel a strand and lay it across your fabric. The color of thread looks way more vibrant when it’s all wound up, so unraveling provides a much more accurate picture.
Don’t Be Too Matchy, Matchy
If a subtle look is what you're after, it’s more important to match your thread and fabric values than the actual color itself. So if you're working with a medium gray fabric, you might use a medium blue thread. Doing so will help the quilting show up, but won't take away from the beauty of your piecing. On the flip side, less subtlety warrants thread with a totally different value — like a very dark blue thread on that same medium gray fabric — to really highlight your quilting design.
Hold a Thread Audition
If you truly have no idea what color you're most into, raid your stash for five options: three safe bets, and two wild cards. Unravel a strand of each and place them over the different colors of your quilt. How do they look? Most quilters end up choosing something that has a little pop on all the colors without overwhelming the whole design.
Break That Tie
Even when you've narrowed down your options to, say, two colors, it can be tough to choose one that will contrast slightly with everything on your quilt. When that happens, the lighter shade is typically your safer bet. Go with that one and you won't be sorry!