Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

Quiltmaker is happy to partner with Sulky for the second in a five-part thread giveaway. (Part 1 winners are listed at the end of this post.)

logo Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two


You’ll learn more about thread and have many chances to win a great 3-pack of Sulky Blendables.

 Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

Win a three-pack of Sulky Blendables!

Here’s a short thread lesson to make your quilting life easier.

You may have noticed that thread comes loaded onto spools in two different fashions. Viewed from the side, if the threads run horizontally and lie right next to each other, the thread is stacked. The Sulky Blendables shown above are stacked.

If the thread runs diagonally and crosses itself, the spool is crosswound. In the photo below, the thread on the right is crosswound. You can see that it’s different from the stacked spool on the left.


threads1 Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two
Stacked (left) vs. Crosswound thread

Why does this matter? Because you want the thread to feed differently from the spool depending on how it is wound.

Watch a short video here.

Stacked thread is intended to feed off the side of the spool. For the best results, use a vertical spoolpin (points upward) for stacked threads. The spool should rotate freely on the spoolpin.

disc Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

Small piece of felt fits over spoolpin, sits underneath spool and helps spool to rotate freely as thread unwinds

The small piece of wool or flannel that slips over the spoolpin and sits beneath the thread helps to accomplish this.

machine1 Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

Crosswound thread should feed from the top of the spool as shown.

Crosswound thread is intended to feed off the top of the spool. A horizontal spoolpin (spool on its side) works well for crosswound threads. The thread slips off the top of the spool; there is generally no “pull” involved and the spool is stationary (it does not rotate).

43199 Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

Thread stand

A thread stand next to the machine also works for crosswound threads. In this setup, the thread unwinds from the top of the spool and feeds upward into the machine. Your dealer can suggest a stand that works well.

productimage picture horizontal spool pin 23 Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

A spoolpin attachment, this one from Handi Quilter

If your machine has only one spoolpin, check with your dealer to see if an attachment exists to give you the other orientation. The dealer may have other suggestions as well. (They’re a wealth of information and we don’t use them enough!)

*     *     *     *     *


 Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

Sulky Blendables

For a chance to win some luscious Sulky threads, leave a comment below by midnight  Friday, April 20 answering this question: How is your spoolpin oriented? Did you learn anything new from this post?

Winners in the first round are Sallie Whiteside in Texas, Kay Lee in Colorado, Diane Hicks in Ontario, Canada and Donna Gross in Alberta, Canada.

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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546 Responses to Sulky Thread Giveaway: Round Two

  1. carol d c says:

    my spoolpin is horizontal; and yes I learned new things from this post, thank you for such clear photos..the also help me learn.

  2. Kathi Miller says:

    I always have trouble remembering which spools should be upright and which should come off the side. Stacked = side – they both start with “s”. That should help me remember….

    My Bernina 830LE only has upright spoolpins. My favorite piecing thread is Aurifil which is crosswound so I’m good. My Bernina 580 has both spoolpins. I sometimes sew on an older Pfaff with a horizontal spoolpin but it also has an adapter for a vertical spoolpin.

  3. Bobbie McCaslin says:

    My machine has both the vertical and the horizontal spool threads. I did not know you were supposed to put different wound threads on different ones. Now I know and maybe my thread will not break as much when I embroidery. Thanks

  4. Diann Cornell says:

    My machine has both vertical and horizontal spoolpins, but I was never quite sure why. Now I know, so that is what I learned.

  5. Jeri Lively says:

    My spoolpin is horizontal. I didn’t realized the thread was layered differently on the spools until I read this article. I will pay more attention to how the thread is loaded on the spool from now on.

  6. Patricia Blair says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I did not know there was a difference in the way thread was wound.

  7. Linda Rielly says:

    I have both horizontal and vertical spool feeds on my regular machine and my embroidery machine. But I use a metal stand becauce I use cone thread 90% of the time on my regular machine and I use the horizontal on my embroidery machine. As a seamstress for over 30 years I always knew about the different needle sizes to use for different types of fabrics, but never realized the difference in how threads were wound. I have learned something new today that will definitly make a differance to my sewing in the future. Thanks for this opertunity to win a bundle of sulky threads.

  8. Deb Fulton says:

    Great info! Didn’t know there was a difference. I have a new used Phaff machine that I’ve yet to use (unbelievable I know) but I believe I have the option to use the spool peg either way. Thanks!

  9. Charlotte says:

    I learn something new every day! Thanks for the info and the giveaway.

  10. Denise says:

    Love these threads – I do have both vert. & horz. pins, so this is very good information to know.

  11. Lynda Lott says:

    Thanks for that info on the difference in the windings and unwindings. I knew that you were suppose to do them differently but never knew which went on which spool pin. My machine has both horizontal and (a removable) vertical pins. I know that I will be more concious of how it works now.

  12. Ray Janikowski says:

    My machine will unspool thread either way.

  13. Mary Jane Cardwell says:

    I have two spool pins on the top of my machine. One is a stationary vertical pin and the other (the main spool pin) can be horizontal or vertical. This information was extrememly helpful and will be heeded for easier stitching in the future.

  14. Sharon Meyer says:

    Oh my i didn’t realize there there was a difference. My brother machine states on the horizontal spool to have it wind from the bottom. I need to check with brother to see what recommendations they have for this. Thank you so much for this information.

  15. Linda Kohn says:

    My spool lays horizontally. I had no idea there was a difference. Thanks for the info.

  16. Pamela Zajicek says:

    I have the option for both.

  17. Darla Zimmer says:

    good information. had forgotten the difference.

  18. Ina Christensen says:

    I never knew there was a difference but I’m lucky I’ve been doing it correctly. My machine has both vertical and horizontal so I’ll know which to use in the future. Thanks for the interesting update.

  19. Regina Clubb says:

    I definitely learned something new. I have never heard about thread being wound different ways. I don’t think I have ever seen any spools that were crosswound. My old machine that recently broke layed the thread on it side, but it could also stand up. I recently had to buy a new one and it lays on it’s side and has another spoolpin that can be put on for double needle sewing, which also lays on it’s side. I’m a little confused at why the machines would be made to use thread on its side if the thread should be standing to work better. I never noticed a problem with how it fed off the spools, though. I may look at getting a vertical stand and try thread cones when I get started machine quilting. So far I only hand quilt but am in the process of learning to machine quilt. Sulky threads are beautiful and I hope to try them soon.

  20. Sherrill Cortes says:

    My machine has a horizontal feel but I also have a lovely thread stand in the form of a flower that I can use. Thanks for the info–I truly didn’t know it makes a difference.

  21. I like your information. Now I know how my spools should be on my machines.

  22. Marguerite Bates says:

    I have both on my machine, but was not aware of the reason. Now I know and thank you.

  23. Orlie Severson says:

    I love the way you showed how to use the different threads. I will not have so many problems now. Thank you.

  24. Mary Ann Wolf says:

    I have both spool pins on my Bernina. I have heard this information but I tend to forget which type of thread goes where!

  25. Mary Chasey says:

    I never realized this could be part of my tension problems…..what a load off my mind…all this time I thought I was having machine problems! I mostly use cross-wound threads, so will use a thread holder now. Thank you for this info.

  26. Sherry says:

    I learned a lot from this information.

  27. Denise L says:

    Thanks for the information! I had heard of it before, but it is a good review for me, and good information for everyone.

  28. BJ MacKinnon says:

    I’ve learned something new. I use stacked thread but was told “not” to use the thread on
    a vertical position.Thanks for the info. BJ

  29. Diane says:

    I’ve been sewing for may years buyt never knew the reason behind vertical vs. horizontal thread feeds. Thanks for the lesson!

  30. Donna Downing says:

    My machine has both horizontal and vertical pins for thread, but I was not sure which thread type went where, until now. Thank you for your great explanation. I hope my thread work goes better now.

  31. Anita says:

    I knew that I should use the thread stand for the cones… now I know why! Thank you so much for the information.

  32. Katy says:

    My machine uses both vertical and horizontal. Learned something new about stacked and crosswound threads. I will definitely pay attention to this in my future projects.
    Thanks for the information. I love sulky thread.

  33. Linda Bagley says:

    I recently obtained a vertical spool to use rather than the horizontal spool that came with my machine. I had encountered a little hesitation before when I used the horizontal spool, but never understood the orientation of the thread on the spool. Now I understand….Thank you.

  34. KrisL says:

    My machine has 2 vertical thread pins, but I also use another thread stand/feed for larger spools that I can adjust. Thanks for the tips – something many sewers and quilters are not aware of !

  35. Michael Michalski says:

    My newer machine has a convertible pin, and even a thread stand attachement so I there are many vairations on how to let the thread unspool. This article reminded me to use my felt discs which I never do.

  36. Teresa Stees says:

    That would be so cool. Love the different threads… Thanks for the chance…!

  37. Elaine S says:

    I have a horizontal spool pin. I must admit I never have heard this information before. Thanks for sharing this.

  38. Barbara says:

    Thanks for the great info. Always wondered about spool orientation, now I what know what way works best.

  39. A.J. Dub says:

    How interesting! So that begs the question, are there both types of winding in every color and weight etc so you can use the best type for your machine? My spool pin is horizontal and purely by chance, I use cross wound thread 90% of the time.

  40. Angie Trenchik says:

    Now I know why my machine has both types of spool holders. Thanks for solving that mystery. :)

  41. Carolyn Ashton says:

    The spool pin on my machine is horizontal. I now know how to use the differntly wound spools of thread. Thank you for the information!

  42. Sheila Plock says:

    Didnt know this. Even if I don’t win the thread (which I really would like to) it was definitely worth checking this out for the good info. My machine can handle both ways but I never paid attention to the need.

  43. Leann Stites says:

    My Brother machine has the spool orientation lying sideways but I have an attachment that holds the spools upright. I had learned this in a Sulky class last summer and it definitely makes a difference as I have spools of both kinds. I also have a spool holder that accommodates larger spools when sewing quilts. I love Sulky for my embroidery machine – it is just amazing.

  44. Rose Deasy says:

    My Pfaff Creative 2.0 has both a horizontal and vertical spool pin. I did not there reason before reading your information.
    Thank you

  45. Patsy Pirnat says:

    My Pfaff has both but sometimes I have to change the way I use it depending on the brand of thread. It was a nice reminder for me to see your visual demo. sewpatsy1

  46. JoAnne says:

    I understood about not wanting your thread to twist up and how it would twist if you let it rest on it’s side while machine stitching….so I always made sure to keep it posted upright. I have a machine that lets me take advantage of both horizontal and vertical positions. I learned something new – crosswise thread and how it works better when it is placed on it’s side!! :) These are the small techniques I so love to learn! Thanks :)

  47. Toni-anne says:

    I have both vertical and horizontal crosspins on my 4 year old sewing machine. So, if I have thread that is stacked I use it on the vertical crosspin and if using a crosswound thread I place it on the horizontal crosspin. The spool is kept secure on a base with foam in it and then at the other end of the spool a little plastic cap keeps everything nice and secure and away we go!

  48. Stephanie says:

    My machine has a horizontal spool pin. Learned alot. Love your thread.

  49. Nancy says:

    Good information. I had noticed some spools worked better vertically but didn’t realize why. Now I know! Thanks.

  50. Janice Mockmore says:

    My machine has horizontal feed, but I can add the vertical. Thanks for the information.

  51. Melva Nolan says:

    Makes total sense to me now! My machine has a vertical pin, but the crosswound spool actually work better on it because of the placement. I have had to make some adjustments for the stacked spools to work better.

  52. Linda Doidge says:

    I have known that the threads were wound differently, due to fantastic teachers! Now I know why some threads feed better vertically and others horizontally! Thank you for helping with that! My thread is crosswound, and my machine allows for vertical feed and horizontal, so I am okay!

  53. Stella says:

    My machine has both orientations

  54. My machine has a horizontal spoon for crosswound thread

  55. Amanda says:

    Thanks for that information – all new to me, hopefully I will remember this when I use my thread!! I have a horizontal spoolpin (I never knew that had a name) and I also have a detachable vertical spoolpin, which I don’t really use – but might now, especially when I use the Sulky thread (which I really like to use)

  56. Tamie Powell says:

    I have two spool pins on my machine. One is adjustable the other is only an upright spindal that tucks away when not in use. I also have two thread stands!
    Thanks for the refresher, it is always nice to do. We tend to not look and just do things!

  57. janis hughes says:

    i had no idea there was a meaningful difference in the way spools were wound. i have both pin types on my machine and was not previously aware of what they were for…thank you

  58. JoAn GODFREY says:

    my machine is for crosswound, but has the stacked available. i use a cone off the back of the machine most of the time on a stand.
    i have many of your blendable threads for my machine quilting. love the look.

  59. Myrna says:

    Thank you for the information. I didn’t know the difference so yes, I did learn something. I have both spool holders as well as a tall cone holder. And I love sulky threads.

  60. Marilyn Carlson says:

    My sewing machine only has vertical and the same for my quilting machine. They both have a loop so they feed from the top. The quilting machine would cause major problems with stacked spools. So my husband made a horizontal spool holder to put on my quilting machine so it would go through the eyelet and spin off the spool. Your article was very helpful. I love the blendable line of thread because of the short color changes!!

  61. Wanda Heath says:

    My machine has both options, but I usually use the horizontal. It`s nice to know the difference.

  62. Sharon Gates says:

    I have both vertical and horizontal orientation. Thanks for all the great tips- it is always good to have a little refresher course.

  63. Tracy H says:

    My machine allows for both horizontal and vertical placement but I honestly didn’t know that there was a specific was thread was wound and should be place on the machine! Always learning! Thank you!!

  64. Lisa says:

    My Pfaff has both ways and now the guessing is over, I know what goes where ! it was about time …. Thanks !

  65. michele sanderson says:

    mine is a vertical spool sit, very interested information makes you think more about thread and the which way it should go on the machine. i usually just put it on now i will make sure it is going the right way

  66. Tammie says:

    My machine has both spool pins, but I didn’t know why you would use one over the other. Now I know, thank you! I occasionally have problems with certain threads on my machine and I blamed the thread. Now I’m wondering if the reason was the spool orientation on the spool pin. Hmmm.

  67. Leanne Lindsay says:

    I was unaware that the pin orientation made a difference. I usually use the horizontal pin but my machine is equipped with a vertical as well. I will use it going forward when I use stacked thread. Thanks for the tip!!

  68. Roberta Parker says:

    Thanks for the very helpful information. I’m very lucky to have both, but now know a lot more about the differences.

  69. Idonna says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I teach quilting and have had students ask me if it matters if their spool sits upright or not and I could not answer them until now. I used a blendable to quilt a project for the first time recently and am so pleased with the results. I will be using them a lot more.

  70. Marianne says:

    I have a vertical spool pin on my machine but I also use a thread stand. Thanks for the information.

  71. Karen Pollard says:

    I sure didn’t know this! Amazing information and I’m so glad I read it. Have to share this with my guild!!!

  72. Linda Wong says:

    My machine has both orientations for the threads and now I know how and when to use each one. Thank you for the info. I am going to pass this info to my friends.

  73. Patria says:

    My spoolpin in oriented vertically for the stacked thread spools. I would have to purchase a thread stand for crosswound spools. I would love to win the beautiful blended threads for use in my quilting.
    I did not realize that there was a different orientation for the two variations of spools. I understand why some machines have a spool pin which is adjustable to either horizontal or vertical positions now. Thank you for the information I always enjoy adding to my pool of knowledge.

  74. Marlene Meyers says:

    I never knew why thread was wound two different ways. My short arm quilter
    uses the crosswound thread (vertical spoolpin). I just bought a used Brother and I’m not sure which works best (vertical spoolpin.). My older Viking works best with stacked thread (horizontal spoolpin). I would love to try some new Sulky Blendable

  75. Beth Taber says:

    My thread pin is horizontal my Pfaff but on my featherweight and other Singers it is vertical. I also use a thread stand as most of the thread that I use is on larger cones.

  76. Elizabeth Perryman says:

    What great information! I had been having trouble with certain threads on my new sewing machine (Horizontal spoolpin built in; vertical spoolpin included in accessories – manual indicates it is for use with twin needles). I had never had any trouble with them on my old sewing machine (two vertical spoolpins). After reading this I checked the threads I was having trouble with: All Stacked! I attached the vertical spoolpin to my new machine, and the “problem” threads worked wonderfully! Thanks for the valuable information.

  77. Grace Macfarlane says:

    Thanks for the info. My machine has both and I use them both!

  78. Mary DeBrunner says:

    Read the article and then changes the spool pin to vertical. My thread problems are solved! Thanks foor the info.

  79. Roxanne Hartwig says:

    Thank you so much for the great thread lesson! It was greatly needed by this quilter!

  80. Sheryl Miller says:

    Thank you for the useful information! My machine has a horizontal spool pin. I did learn something as I was not aware of the differences regarding how the thread is wound. My machine does not have the vertical option.

  81. M. Martens says:

    Thanks for the reminder about the thread. My machine gives me the option and so I try to remember which goes where. This written info should help.

  82. Prissy says:

    Thank you for the wonderful information. I’ve always wondered, but never asked or researched.

  83. Lori C says:

    My machine has only a vertical spool pin. While I’ve often seen the vertical thread stand, I always thought it was to accommodate for the large size cones. Horizontal spool pin attachments? I never knew that existed or about crosswound v. stacked thread. Thanks for the informative post and chance to win your beautiful Sulky thread!

  84. Kitty J. says:

    I loved your information on how thread is wound. I have the horizontal spool holder. It sometimes causes thread problems, I have one of those tabletop thread holders but that too can get my thread tangled. I used to have a spool holder that fit into a spot on my machine but I didn’t do any embroidery for a few years and have lost track of it. Thank you again for the wonderful information.

  85. Carol Stevenson says:

    My machine has both options and I learned about them when I bought it. This was a good reminder, though, because it’s been a while and I do have some stacked thread spools.

  86. Alice Aubin says:

    One of my machines have both spindle types but I thought the vertical one was for large cones. Now I know the difference. Thank you.

  87. Dee says:

    Opps, forgot to mention that my dealer told me the different uses for horizontal and vertical spool pins – love that thread btw.

  88. Karen Nelson says:

    I did not know this!! I have a vertical spoolpin, and will check more closely in the future! Last spool of some brand X kept breaking and breaking ! Got rid of it now cause got fed up!!!!

  89. Dee says:

    I am so fortunate to have a new machine with vertical and a horizontal spool….I also have a thread stand for cone thread.

  90. Susan A. says:

    I’ve known about the difference for several years now. My spool pin is a vertical one and feeds off the top of the spool through a tall guide. My husband made me a horizontal pin adaptor to use for stacked threads so they come off the spool correctly and still go through that first tall thread guide.

  91. I use a Viking Designer 1 sewing machine and it has both vertical and horizontal thread pegs. I knew that some threads just work better vertically and others horizontally, but I never knew why. Thank you for such a concise description of the properties of crosswound vs stacked threads.

  92. Karen Polczynski says:

    I never really understood why the two spoolpins on my machine. I just put thread onto whichever one the spool would fit. Maybe this is why I have issues with some thread. You learn something new everyday, thanks :-)

  93. Amanda says:

    All my spool pins are vertical. The article really helped me to understand why there is a difference in how the spools are wound and why. It also helped me to see why some of my friends who use stacked threads on a horizontal spool pin often complain of problems with their thread.

  94. Jennifer says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that! Wouldn’t have ever guessed that how a spool is wound makes a difference. I know I have a vertical spool pin but don’t even know if there’s a horizontal one on my machine. Will be checking THAT tonight! Thanks for the great information and the giveaway!

  95. Judy Best says:

    As I have multiple sewing machines I have various spool pin orientation. Great information to know about the thread and how to properly place them on the sewing machine – makes for better sewing.

  96. Tresica J Watts says:

    My spoolpin is oriented upright. But, with an attachment, I alo have the ability to the vertical spoolpin.

    I didn’t realize that the thread was wound two different ways.

  97. Pat Svitko says:

    Wow – this is so interesting. I have the side feed but will definitely pay attention to the spools and use an attachment if necessary. Thanks for the information.

  98. Julie Dunn says:

    I got lucky I guess, my spool pin is horizontal and I always use crosswound thread! This is very informative. I just recently realized I am not very savy about thread & needles, so this helped.

  99. Sharon Lichter says:

    I have both vertical and horizontal spool pins on my machine, but I didn’t know about the different ways thread was wound. I will definitely use the different pins from now on. Thank you for the information.

  100. Edna Kidd says:

    I had no idea the differences in thread…my machine had a side feed. Thanks, for the giveaway, winning Sulky thread would be great!

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