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. LJ says:

    Yes, I certainly learned more from this article. Had never heard the term “stacked” and didn’t realize that thread should be used in a vertical position; you explained the concept well. My machine has two spool pins. One can only be used in a vertical position but the other can be used horizontally and vertically.

  2. wilma says:

    This is very useful information. My machine has two thread pins – now I know why

  3. Patricia says:

    Thank you for the informative lesson, they don’t teach this when you first start quilting or machine embroidering. Now I know why some days I have so many problems! My quilting machine Janome MC6600P has vertical spool pins, whereas my Janome DC3050 for taking to class has a horizontal spool pin. My Elna 8200 embroidery only machine has both horizontal and the capacity for vertical spool pins as well. I am going to put a post-it note at each machine to remind my self which way thread needs to be feeding into my machine for better stitching results and less breakages!

  4. Nanci Timmmins says:

    Thanks for the info! I knew thread came off differently, but I didn’t know the difference! Makes a real difference when using the pin the correct way!! Thanks!

  5. Beth Vilsack says:

    I knew there was a difference in the winding of the threads but did not know about using the vertical/horizontal pins, will do so now. I love the suky blendables and would love to add some new ones to my collection.

  6. Jo Ann Pilgrim says:

    Fortunately I have both. Sulky is the only thread I use for embroidery and most everything else.

  7. Kathy Brown says:

    My machine has a spool pin that can be rotated either way. I noticed that when I used different types of threads that I had better stitches and the thread didn’t break as much when I would adjusted the origination of the spool Now thanks to sulky I know why. I love sulky 12 weight, I have just started a class on thread painting. I tried different threads to see what looked the best and sulky won out. I also like to use the blendables on my Serger projects. The new 42 colors that sulky has are a prefect addition can’t wait to have them all.

  8. Wilma Searcy says:

    I am happy to learn the information about the different winds on spools and the orientation of the pin. I have always used the horizontal pin on my Bernina.
    Hope I win the threads!

  9. Mary Ferreter says:

    My machine has both spool pin orientations so depending on which type of thread I’m using, I use the appropriate pin. I knew about the different winds, but wasn’t aware there were specific names for them. Thanks for the information.

  10. Vickie Lynn Casagrande says:

    Great information! Getting in a hurry sometimes I forget to check the wind on the spool I have both spool pins on my machine. It does make a great difference in the choice I use the thread on the pins. Sulky makes a great product and not loading the thread the correct way shows in the quality of my work. I have learned the wright choice in threads makes the all the difference in my final outcome. Thank you Sulky! My job just that more speacial.

  11. Jay says:

    Interesting article! It is good to know some of these technical things.!!

  12. JoAnne T. says:

    Last month’s speaker at our Guild talked all about threads and needles. I knew the one was called cross wound but didn’t know the other is called stacked. My machine’s spool pin is horizontal and there’s one that can be flipped up for stacked thread. I use that for filled bobbins since I don’t use stacked thread very often.

    Thanks for educating us about thread, it’s good to know.

  13. connie says:

    I have both spool orientation available on my machine and have learned a lot about which thread to use on each of the thread pins

  14. SueAnn W from Richmond says:

    I use 2 different machines and I’m lucky enough to have one of each orientation. I have a wonderful sewing machine dealer here in Richmond and she has given her classes this information for a long time. Less frustrations holding up classes makes for happier students.

  15. Patricia Mc says:

    Great information!! I will check with the dealer for a vertical spool pin holder or buy a stand alone. ~~Thanks for the chance to win~~.

  16. Bette in Idaho says:

    I always knew there was a difference and yes, my machine can convert to either method. I just didn’t know which way to use it – Now I DO!

  17. Connie Garrels says:

    I have both spool pins, but never realized there was a difference. Maybe that’s why I’ve had trouble at times with filling bobbins and tension. Love the Sulky threads!

  18. Sharon in Maryland says:

    This confirmed what I was taught when I got a new Bernina (QE 440) in 2007. I had not heard that before, but have followed it ever since. It’s nice to see it confirmed here, and to know that I wasn’t remembering it backwards!!

  19. donna says:

    My spool pin is oriented horizontal. I was have some difficulty with stacked spools of thread, so I purchased a vertical thread holder. Definitely improved my thread feeding! Now I know why!! Very good lesson!

  20. Candy says:

    Very interesting information. I have been doing as it says to do but did not know the reason behind it until recently. I use the vertical pin for the small spools that are stacked and the large freestanding spool holder for the cross wound spools.

  21. Dawna says:

    I have a spool pin on the top and on the side of my machine. I’d not really thought about why spools were wound differently, but will pay attention in the future. Thanks!

  22. Carole Shelton says:

    The information on stacked and crosswound thread is something I sort-of knew, but the explanation and especially the pictures (I am a visual learner) has ingrained it in my brain. Thanks.

  23. candace says:

    My spool pin is horizontal but I do have an adapter pin for use in a vertical orientation. I will switch to using that one when I am working with the many beautiful Sulky threads I have collected. It’s so hard to resist them when they are on special! Thanks for the lesson on thread behavior :D

  24. Tammy in Upstate NY says:

    I am new to quilting and sewing am teaching myself. The lesson in thread was great and now I understand my my sewing machine has 2 different spool pins. Now, I can use my thread more effectively and with less frustration. Thanks so much!

  25. Sandy B. says:

    After reading your tutorial on which spool to use I had my thread on the wrong one!
    Now after I put it on the right one my thread no longer comes out of the needle when I start sewing. I am so happy now and not frustrated anymore. Thank you.

  26. Linda Kineshanko says:

    It is good information to have especially if you have different machines and they all have different threading. I will try each way tomorrow and make note of the difference. I need all the help I can get some days!

  27. Christine Wright says:

    A great tutorial – It settled once and for all my ambivalence about orintation of thread spools. Thank you so much!

  28. I never knew that thread was wound differently. I have a horizontial spool pin on my machine that I have always used. I need to dig out my vertical spool pin and start using it. This was a very informative lesson, Thank you. Also thank you for the giveaway. I would love to win.

  29. miklaw says:

    My machine has two spool pins – one oriented horizontally, and the other, vertically. From this article I learned how to properly choose a spool pin, depending on my choice of thread. Thanks!

  30. Viola Ward says:

    I have noticed for years that thread is woven differently on spools but I just figured it was the manufacturers option! Now that you have taught me why, I am anxious to see the difference it makes in my sewing. I have both vertical and horizontal spool holders on my machine but thought it was just a choice of which one I use, not for anything in particular. Thanks for the lesson in making my sewing projects look better than ever!

  31. Susan says:

    My machine has a vertical stack pin. I learned the difference between stacked and crosswound thread.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  32. WOW…Just goes to show you CAN teach old dogs (me!!! LOL) new tricks! I have often wondered what the difference may have been between the two, but put it down to manufacturer preference…….
    LIVE and LEARN……It’s great.

  33. Beth Cook says:

    Wow! I did not know any of this! Thanks for the education!!!!!

  34. Sandy says:

    I thought that the spool of thread always sat on top of the machine. But since I have a Babylock embroidery machine the position of the spool of thread does make a difference in what you are making. Now here I am stitching out all my stitches on the machine on black a white fabric and I look up to see the thread spool. It’s on the wrong holder. It’s a good thing I read your blog. Really! Now I’ve been wanting to see about those Sulky blendables. Thanks for the blog.

  35. Madeline Wallace says:

    my spoolpin is oriented for stacked threads, but all I use is cross-wound. This could be why I have tension problems!!! I have to get an attachment!

  36. liz sampson says:

    I have 2 machines,one a sidespool & the other a straight up.Been sewing for 36 years & learned something new,i never realized there was a difference when you are using both stacked & crossed.I love my sulky threads for my quilt appliques as they have so many choices you can always find the one to set off my blocks to the best advantage.

  37. Nancy Reed says:

    My machine has a verticle thread mount. I think that most of the thread that I have used is cross wound. I really didn’t know that there was a difference and how those differences make a difference on your machine. Great information!!!

  38. Carrie P. says:

    My machine can do both but I usually use the horizontal pin. I learned something new today. Thanks for sharing that info.

  39. Marie says:

    My sewing machine has both kinds of spool pin. I have been using the horizontal for everything. I will try using the vertical for stacked from now on. Yes, I learned a lot from this article. Thank you!!!!

  40. Michele Ripplinger says:

    I learned that I am not using Blendables correctly, my spoolpin is horizontal. I will make a change that next time I use Blendables. Thank you !!!!

  41. Linda Bulgrien says:

    My spoolpin on both of my machines are horizontal. I had no idea that there was so much difference on the way the thread needed to come off the spool according to the way it was wound onto it. So, I guess you could say, I learned something today from this post. Thanks, Linda

  42. Kris says:

    I have two locations too and found this very helpful. I also have a free standing spool holder for using some of those really big spools on my machine too. I love thread!

  43. Mary Lou Walls says:

    Thanks for the information on how to position the spool of thread depending on whether it’s stacked or crosswound. I knew this information and my machine allows me to lay the spool on its side or stand up and come off the spool from the side. However, I remember when I first learned this and I was not a beginner at sewing. This is important information.

  44. Julie Powell says:

    I have both a vertical and horizontal spoolpin on my machine and I also use a freestanding thread holder. I don’t know is more amazing that there are more ways to unwind the thread from the spool or that someone thought up the concept.

  45. paula preti says:

    I didn’t know that. My machine has 2 pins, one vertical, one horizonal. I thought it was for personal preference. Now I know. thanks for the info.

  46. Judy christopher says:

    I learned that I want a stationary spool pin for my second machine. The horizontal pin is not very sturdy.

  47. Elizabeth Lee says:

    Good information, I did not know this.

  48. Diane says:

    I have two spool pins. One flips up for upright use, and the other can be either horizontal or upright, very handy so I don’t have to worry how the thread is on the spool.

  49. Diana says:

    Well, I just learned something I didn’t know-and I have attended a Sulky Workshop! Thank you.

  50. Georgianne Detzner says:

    Thank you for the valuable information. I have a horizontal thread holder but am going to look around in my attachment box for a vertical one. If not, I will purchase one. I am new to Sulky thread and love it!

  51. Bobbi says:

    P.S. I should always have my thread coming from the right side toward the bobbin

  52. Meredith says:

    My machine only has a vertical spool pin. I didn’t realize that I should be using a stand on the side of my machine for the crosswound spools. Looks like I have another excuse to run to the quilt store!

  53. Bobbi says:

    I was so glad to finally get the truth about which side the thread should come off of. I have a drawer of Sulky thread and keep buying more. I really love it.

  54. Pat says:

    learned something new today, thanks very interesting read

  55. Doreen Kennedy says:

    Love Sulky threads and would love to win. I have a horizontal and vertical thread holder which comes in handy!

  56. Ann Becker says:

    Since I am a long arm quilter I use the crosswound spools most of the time on that machine. On my Baby Lock I can use either stacked or crosswound as it has adapters for both. I have to admit at one time I did not know the difference and could not figure out why my tension would go off. Once I learned the difference I was good to go and my tension (headache) problem went away.

  57. JF says:

    I had forgotten this hint. Thanks for the reminder to pay attention. My Janome has only vertical spindles but I do use a stand often.

  58. MrsR says:

    My machine has 3 vertical pins but also a threadstand. Love your thread!

  59. Kathleen Wiese says:

    I didn’t know that it made a difference, thanks for the tip. Kathy

  60. Donna Piotrowski says:

    My machine has both a vertical and a hortizontal spool pin and now I understand why.

  61. Loretta A. says:

    My wonderful Janome has both types of spool pin. It does make a difference which pin you use. It also makes a difference whether the spool is placed so that the thread goes over from front to back on the horizontal pin or around from the back on the vertical spool, so I am always careful to check the spool orientation as well.

  62. Judy Clouse says:

    I have both types of spool pins – but did not know this information about the way thread is wound. Very interesting. Thanks for the information. Now I can look for this in my sewing when having problems.

  63. Sharon says:

    Thank you! I never new the difference between the cross wound thread and the diagonal wound thread spools. You learn something new every day. Thank you again.

  64. Charlotte Ceeko says:

    Oh and by the way I have spool pins both ways on Bernina and use a thread stand for babylock. Thank for the information as I did’nt know this, but would change to what worked best with my thread.

  65. My pin can be either vertical or horizontal however I didn’t know the difference in how the thread is wound. Thanks for the info. Hope I win. Carol

  66. Tammy Hempel says:

    I had no idea that the way a spool of thread was wound would effect the way the thread should pull off the spool. I thought that spools of thread were all created equal. One spool may have more thread on it than another but I thought that the size of the spool is what dictated as to where it would go on a sewing machine. Thank you I HAVE learned a lot form the information.

  67. Lillian Dalton says:

    My machines have spool pins that can be either horizontal or vertical. Good to know which to use for the way thread is wound. Thanx.

  68. Charlotte Ceeko says:

    I have used this type of thread on both of my machines (bernina and baby lock) and I just love the way it makes my applique standout I have also used sulky for free-standing lace doll clothes for fashion dolls my daughter collects. All your threads are great and I need more !!!!

  69. I had no idea it makes a difference how the thread is wound on the spool. Nor did I know that the felt piece for the spool the purpose of it and what it does. Never too old to learn something else. I am self taught sewist. lol

  70. Barb Watson says:

    I have a horizontal spool pin. I did not know that there were two ways thread could be wound on a spool. I will have to check mine out once it is unpacked. We just moved in three weeks ago. I would love to win some of your thread. Thanks for the giveaway.

  71. Nina Garoyan says:

    I knew there was a difference but never knew which was which. Its a great help as I do have both pins. Love Sulky thread and would love to win some as I make a lot of quilts for charities. Thanks for the opportunity.

  72. nicole says:

    This is very good information! Never knew that it made any difference! thanks!

  73. Lisa Marie says:

    I have both a horizontal and a vertical spoolpin. Never really knew why. I regularly use the horizontal one and only the vertical if I have to wind a bobbin with a different thread than what’s on the horizontal pin. Duh! Good to now be informed of the real purpose and I hope to use them appropriately from now on!

  74. Elaine says:

    Thanks for the very informative lesson.

  75. Nedra Gnagey says:

    This was great. I had heard that there were two different ways to have the thread feed but was never sure which was which. This really helped. My machine has the capabilities to do it both ways. Thanks so much for clearing this up for me.

  76. Cynthia Taylor says:

    I had no idea. I will need to pay attention to my thread from now on.

  77. Janet says:

    I did learn something…my machine has both kinds of spool pins, but I usually only use the horizontal one for both kinds. I’ll try the vertical today.

  78. Leann Williams says:

    Just read about this great idea and I had no idea there was a difference in spools of thread. Thank you Diane for the handy tip.

  79. Carol Sawchyn says:

    My spool pin is horizontal and ironically without knowing I have been using it for crosswound thread. My machine also has an extra pin that can be used vertically and I use that mostly for machine quilting and the threads are stacked. The information was very useful and I will be purchasing a stand up thread holder for my larger spools. Thanks for the opportunity.

  80. Jean jarvis says:

    I had no idea there was a difference! Mine has only 1 horizontal position. Wonder if this is where my bobbin winding issue is coming from. Very informative article.

  81. June Perreault says:

    Thank you – I never ever noticed that thread was wound differently. Now I know!!! I recently attended a Sulky course and was introduced to your thread – Wow -I love it – especially the blendables, they are beautful. I am hoping our store gets in all of the blendables soon, as I want them all. I ordered the “Tropics” and I can hardly wait to receive them.
    Thanks again…

  82. Pm510 says:

    I have both types on different machines; good to be reminded of the differences in threads.

  83. Vicki Hill says:

    My spoolpin is vertical. I knew some threads were wound differently but didn’t know there was a name for it. Thanks for the info on stacked and crosswound thread.

  84. jennifer winters says:

    boy do we learn alot on hear and about threads, can’t wait to get different colors of threads. thanks again.

  85. Carol Johnson says:

    My machine has both spool orientations. Very helpful information.

  86. Tweela H. says:

    My Husqvarna has two spool pins, one of which can be oriented either way,

  87. Elaine says:

    I too always have trouble remembering which way to use the thread. Thanks for the reminder.

  88. Sandra Robertson says:

    I have both spoolpins but only learned the difference last year. Yes it does make a difference.

  89. Sandra Brooke says:

    Your Sulky was very informative. My Bernina machines have both post and horizontal thread holders. Thanks for expanding my sewing knowledge.

  90. Debbie S. says:

    I learn this in a class given by a Sulky educator that our guild brought in. But always have to go back to handouts to remember which goes where. My machine has both type of spool holders. Seeing information like this helps enforce what we have learned.

  91. Joyce Mitchell says:

    My machine has both vertical & horizontal spools. Now I know the difference between them. Thanks for the tutorial & the chance to win.

  92. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the info on stacked and crosswound thread. You learn something new every day.

  93. cinzia says:

    I never realised there was a need to take into consideration the different ways that the thread was wound… always wondered why you had two differently orientated spool holders. thanks for the info

  94. LINDA NEWMAN says:

    I’m using a stacked spool, so my orientation is up.

  95. Linda Gillian says:

    Wow, I didn’t know about stacked and crosswound thread. It makes so much sense. My spool pins on my Ellisimo are horizonal with an optional upright spool pin. I have purchased the 10 thread stand to go with it and it takes the thread off the top of the spool.

    Thank you so much for the post about crosswound and stacked thread. I feel so much more knowledgeable now!

  96. Jerry Beavers says:

    My machine has the option for both vertical or horizontal spool pin, but I had no idea that it made a difference when sewing. Thanks for the info & a chance to win.

  97. Louise Peeler says:

    I learn something new every day. My machine feeds the thread horizontal. I have to set something up special to feed vertical. now I know why.

  98. Carol Vickers says:

    Thank you for the information! I learned something new today; guess you really are “never too old”.

  99. Heather says:

    I had no idea the way the thread is wound could be so important. My sewing machine has places for two different spools of thread — one spoolpin lies horizontally and the other is vertical. But I think I’m only supposed to use the vertical one if I’m sewing with two spools of thread, and that the first spool of thread always goes on the horizontal spoolpin; I may have it backward. In any case, the first, or only, spool of thread is always supposed to go on one of the spoolpins, which means I need to pay better attention to the thread I buy and make sure it has been wound the way that is best for that spoolpin (and then that I buy thread wound the other way whenever I’m going to be stitching with two threads at the same time).

  100. Martha J says:

    The spool spin on my machine is horizontal. I did learn that the thread should unwind from the top. Thanks for the information.

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