January 27, 2010

At the Road to California show earlier this month, I was directly across the aisle from the Superior Threads booth. What a fantastic location!

I was on the lookout for The Thread Guy and Mother Superior, aka Bob and Heather Purcell. I was sure I would recognize them from their appearances on The Quilt Show.

When the opportunity presented itself, I approached Bob and said, “Mr. Bob Purcell?”

He looked at me with a little bit of that “deer in the headlights” look (like is this someone I’ve met and I can’t remember her?) but I quickly explained how his fame as The Thread Guy had preceded him. I told him about what an appliqué enthusiast I am (gesturing toward my booth as evidence) and that I had been using DMC 50-weight 2-ply cotton for years. I asked him whether Superior’s MasterPiece would be like an equivalent.

The answer was yes, and it’s long-staple Egyptian-grown cotton, which makes it, well, superior! I told him of my appliqué blog and how I liked to supply information to other appliqué enthusiasts, and he generously presented me with a fantastic goody! A rainbow of MasterPiece threads in a collection of prewound bobbins! Yippee! A little bit of 36 colors!

Later in the show, Heather came over and said, “I know you like Bob better.”

“Well,” I replied, “he gave me thread.”

“But I want you to try this,” she said, and handed me a rainbow of polyester threads in a collection of prewound bobbins. Wow!

“Now I know that you’ve only used cotton,” she went on. “But just try this poly thread and you will never go back. And then, you will like me better.”

superior-bobbinsCotton on the left and poly on the right. The “Frosted” part of the cotton name came about because Superior did a collection of threads for the Piece o’ Cake gals, and donut, kinda self-explanatory. I can only conjecture about how they came up with Holy SuperBobs.

What a thread windfall for an appliquér. All those luscious colors at my fingertips… I can’t wait to try out each kind, for hand and machine appliqué, and file a report!

thread-compThe cotton MasterPiece thread feels and looks very comparable to the DMC. The poly thread is even finer than the two cottons.


The Purcells are super-nice, down-to-earth people. I like ’em both. They care passionately about their product and they are very tuned-in to the needs and wants of the quilter. Just check the Education tab of the Superior website for gobs of information about the world of thread.

I also met quilter, designer, author, and sweetheart Cindy Needham, who was hanging out in the Superior booth helping shoppers with their questions about thread. I think I persuaded her to go a guest post for us about appliqué and her fabulous work with wholecloth linen quilts. Stay tuned!

More later,
By Kay Mackenzie


8 Responses to “Superior windfall”

  1. bea k on January 28th, 2010 5:37 am

    I have seen these pre wound bobbins & can you just `die’ are they expensive? They look so yummy all in 1 place – so organized.

  2. kate l on January 29th, 2010 12:27 am

    I so look forward to reading your site. What fun looking at these products. I dont think I could handle it. Like a kid in a cookie store, I would EXLODE and loose my mind. DO you go away with your mind reeling with ideas or making lists of things that you want? I cant wait to see what you have to say about the 2 products.

  3. Mary on Lake Pulaski on January 29th, 2010 7:56 pm

    Looking forward to reading what you think of the different threads.

  4. Marcella Peek on January 31st, 2010 10:07 pm

    I’m looking forward to hearing how you like the threads. I love MasterPiece for machine piecing. I have that adorable doughnut in blue but haven’t opened it yet. It’s too cute to spoil :-) Not sure what to think about mixing poly thread with cotton though, won’t that put you in quilters jail?

  5. Superior report : All About Applique on February 10th, 2010 9:31 am

    […] Yesterday I had the chance to try out the Superior windfall. […]

  6. Lois Tidey on February 11th, 2010 7:14 am

    I too am holding my breath to hear comments about the “polyester” thread. Where is the quilter’s jail?

  7. Lois Tidey on February 11th, 2010 7:16 am

    No time to wait – no cotton – polyester!!! Where is the quilter’s jail.

  8. Size doesn’t matter… but strength does : All About Applique on April 9th, 2010 3:23 pm

    […] I wrote about the Superior windfall back in January, Marcella asked, “Not sure what to think about mixing poly thread with […]