307: Heather Purcell

Heather Purcell - It’s All About the Thread

Week 1

Heather Purcell, a.k.a. Mother Superior, joins Jodie to tell us all about threads, specifically Superior Threads which she owns with her husband Bob. She presents a quilt show of quilts she has designed to showcase each of their special threads. In this segment, Heather tells us why the strong core of Superior metallic keeps it from fraying and breaking as other brands do and she adds helpful hints for perfect stitching. Next up, quilts stitched with Rainbow threads showing how effective the 1” color changes are. Then, the ever-useful Superior MonoPoly invisible thread which is made from monofilament polyester rather than the normal nylon making it soft rather than wiry.

  • Superior Threads are available at your local quilt shop – go to their website to view their entire line superiorthreads.com
  • Jamie Whallen, quilt artist – jamiewhallen.com


Week 2

Heather Purcell shows Jodie a lovely red silk quilt that is quilted, naturally, with Superior’s silk thread. The intricate pattern was quilted all free motion on a home sewing machine by Beth Murray. A wool batting by Hobbs makes everything puff up beautifully. Silk thread is not as expensive as you might think and works wonderfully for hand applique and binding as well as quilting. Next up is Omni, a good-for-everything workhorse thread. Heather then shows us the latest from Superior, Magnifico, a 40 weight thread with lots of sheen that comes in 200 colors. And, of course, she shows us quilts showcasing these threads.

  • Superior Threads are available at your local quilt shop – go to their website to view their entire line superiorthreads.com
  • Hobbs Bonded Fibers – available at your local quilt shop – hobbsbondedfibers.com

Short Takes on Longarm Quilting with Vicki Hoth

How do you choose a backing for your quilt? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you don’t want the quilting to show choose a busy pattern or one with little pattern if the quilting is to be featured. Vicki and Jodie examine examples of pieced backings using leftover fabrics from the front and a super soft backing for a baby quilt.

  • Paintbrush Studio – fabrics available at your local quilt shop – fabri-quilt.com
  • Cuddle by Shannon Fabrics – available at your local quilt shop – shannonfabrics.com


Week 3

This segment begins with Jodie at the Handi Quilter longarm machine stitching with Superior Threads easy to use metallic thread. No frays, no breaks. Heather Purcell tells us choosing the right color thread is so important and the error free way is to use thread cards made with the actual thread. She discusses the difference between 40 weight and 50 weight threads and what each accomplishes. Heather gives us another reason to use Hobbs washable wool batting; it doesn’t leave fold lines when the quilt is folded. Her company is all about education and they have established Superior University, a monthly free class you can sign up for online.