Stitching Fiber for Stitchery Crossover in Color

Are we having fun yet?

Choosing the stitching fibers may be my favorite part of the the process. I've always been a bit of a thread-snob. That's not a bad thing, but I do love thread. With so many options available, it's hard narrow the selection.

I've chosen a few of my favorite threads along with some pros and cons with resource information.

Decide early on if you want to use a 6-stranded embroidery floss or a perle cotton. Test some options if you're uncertain.

Consider how your stitchery thread color will coordinate with your quilt and stitchery fabric selections. Love your choice! The stitching for this project is so joyful, that you don't want a disappointing experience with your stitchery fiber choice.

Variegated vs Solid Color? Quite often, stitching with color is an exercise in creating detailed images with paint-by-number precision. The blackwork designs featured in this course are a wonderful opportunity to explore variegated threads with subtle changes of color from stitch to stitch.

It's just as important to choose a stitching fiber you love and will continue to love over the course of this project as it was to make the right quilt fabric selection as discussed in the previous topic.

There are tons and tons of fiber options. I am highlighting a few of my absolute favorites here. Web resources are not affiliate links.


ArtFabrik 12-wt perle cotton

This is far and away my favorite thread for just about anything, but especially for the Stitchery Crossover in Color project.


  • Beautiful, vibrant colors with gentle color transitions. Joyful to stitch.
  • 12 wt. is slightly more substantial than a single strand of DMC. That means you'll have better coverage with 28 count evenweave stitchery fabric (one stitch over two threads). The thread weight may be to heavy for higher thread count fabrics. I use it on 32 count evenweave, but be prepared to lose a little bit of definition in your stitches.
  • Tons of color options
  • In my experience, colors are color fast; test darker colors
  • Dye lots are consistent between batches.


  • Some variegated color changes may be too severe, choose a color with a gentle color transition of color for the best results.
  • Pricey, but each hank has about 130 yards. Four hanks are needed to stitch 12 Stitchery Crossover in Color blocks on 28 or 32 count evenweave (one stitch over 2 threads)
  • Thread twist may cause tension knots, so keep thread length to no more than 18-24" and pull fibers through stitchery fabric slowly and mindfully
  • Only available online or at shows where ArtFabrik is vending

Where to Buy:


Note that the perle cottons also come in 5-weight and 8-weight sizes. These are much thicker than would work for this project, but they're lovely for surface embroidery projects where bold color is in order.


DMC. Six-stranded; separate strands and use one (maybe two) strands. Test on your stitchery fabric to see if you like the double thickness.


  • Color fast
  • Broadly available at independent stitchery stores and big-box merchants
  • Tons of colors (about 500 solids), including variegated colors.


  • Variegated options have a broad range from light to dark with the skein. That means lighter color transitions may disappear on lighter stitchery fabrics
  • One strand is slightly too thin, two strands are slightly too thick for lower thread count stitchery fabrics.

Where to Buy:

Independent embroidery shops, big box stores such as Joann's and Michaels.

Online at


Threadworx, six strand. Separate stands and use 1 strand (or 2) (test)


  • Color fast. Be sure to test darker colors.
  • Available online or at independent embroidery shops
  • Beautiful variegated colors with gentle color transitions; modern color combinations


  • Pre-cut. At least, this is a con for me because I like to determine the thread length I want to use, and the pre-cut strands take that option away. The pre-cut lengths mean I'm motivated to use the Thread Nest Thread Bobbins a little more creatively!
  • One strand can be slightly too thin, two strands slightly too thick, depending on the stitchery fabric stitch count. Test the thread on your fabric before committing to your project

Where to Buy:

Independent embroidery shops.

Search for a store location online at



For one of the samples you'll see repeatedly through out the course series, I've chosen three different colors of ArtFabrik Thread that coordinate with my floral, watercolor print.

In the background, you can see the light green 28-count (14 stitches per inch) evenweave stitchery fabric selection.

For this version of my Stitchery Crossover in Color sample, I want to play a bit with color. More importantly, you can see that each of the three thread options I've chosen coordinate with the quilt fabric and the stitchery fabric.


For the second sample that will appear throughout the demo photos in the Stitchery Crossover in Color modules, I've chosen ArtFabrik 12 weight thread in the Japanese Iris color.

I chose this color because it adds a blue-ish element to the purples and greens of the quilt fabric print I selected in the last lesson.

This project will have a more delicate feel.


I can't wait to get stitching!