Friday, February 12, 2016

Perle Cotton Questions

Maybe perle cotton would be a good choice for quilting the stars quilt.  But before I decide to use it I have a few questions.  Thanks to any of you dear readers who can answer any of them or who have any experience to share about quilting with perle cotton.

Is size 8 the best size to use?  As I looked at the different sizes at the store I thought size 12 just just a step or two larger than quilting thread.

How much perle cotton will I need for a twin size quilt?  Or, how much quilting can one do with a 10 gram ball?  I have four small balls but I doubt any of them would be enough to finish a whole quilt. Can one buy different size balls of perle cotton?

Which brand have you used and like to use?  I know DMC and Valdani both make perle cotton.  Is one better than the other (in your opinion/experience)?

Where do you by perle cotton?  I've checked the local stores (JoAnn, Michael's, Hobby Lobby) but have found limited colors (black, white, red) in the balls.  I've looked online but thought recommendations from friends would be better than ordering blind.

Do you have any tips or recommendations for hand quilting with perle cotton?  Loosely?  I suspect it shrinks more than quilting thread.  Can it be washed and dried in the same way I do with quilts with thread?

What should I know about perle cotton that I didn't ask?

On another note, my sewing machine is lonely and has been calling to me.  It insists I've spent too much time appliqueing.  It's true.  Maybe tomorrow I'll pull out some scraps and sew a few sample blocks to use as hotpads for someone I know who needs them.

Thanks again for any help with my perle cotton questions.



  1. I have used the #8 DMC Perle Cotton to hand quilt two baby/lap size quilts using the "Big Stitch" method. One was a Christmas quilt so I used a dark red perle cotton thread against white fabric. The other was a summer quilt where I used a dark navy blue thread against a white fabric. Both have been washed and did not bleed at all. You'll want to use shorter thread (no more than about 18 inches) when quilting because all the pulling through the fabric and batting will make the perle cotton more frayed looking towards the end if you use longer lengths. I used DMC embroidery needles to quilt with. The package has sizes 1-5 in it and I used the smallest needle. Also, you'll want to practice making your knots and pulling them through your layers on some scrap fabric/batting because if your knot is too big, it will make a big hole through your quilt. It takes some getting used to, but it's faster than hand quilting with regular thread and it makes for a really cute quilt. I have not tried using smaller perle cotton thread, but I'm sure it would be the same. I did try using #5 perle cotton because you can find a bigger range of colors at craft stores in that size, but it's just too big for hand quilting. I found the #8 DMC perle cotton at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's. I'm pretty sure I used about 4 balls for each quilt. I did not do dense quilting on either one - just 1/4 inch on each side of the seams of the pattern. Hope this helps! :)

    1. Thank you for such a detailed comment, Corn and Wine. I fell like you've given me a little tutorial. When I get to the quilting you can be sure I'll reread your recommendations. Thanks so much!


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