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. wanda says:

    I have both spool pins, and now I know what to use where. I knew that sometimes the thread would give me as little bit of problems but I never dreamed it would be this. It just goes to show you are never to old to learn. Thanks for the info and I will pass it on to my friends and realitives.

  2. Colleen Natarelli says:

    How interesting. I’ve only been quilting for a few months and had no idea to even look for the difference in how the thread is loaded onto the spool. My machine has a horizontal spoolpin and I have been using crosswound loaded spools of thread which I’m relieved to see are the correct ones. Many thanks for this useful information!

  3. Julie Clarke says:

    I am really grateful for this info. I am learning more and more everyday. This is perfect timing for me too. I gota new machine yesterday and found out the importance of this. I would love this thread soooo much and test out this brand and make some great quilts with it

    Fingers crossed

  4. kay suddeth says:

    My machine has both, but I never realized that threads were wound differently. Learned something new. Again! Thank you.

  5. Becky says:

    I’m glad you gave us the information about the felt piece that goes over the spool pin before the thread. I’ve never used the piece that came with my machine – I’ll start using it for my stacked threads now!

  6. Erin Anheier says:

    My machine has both a vertical and horizontal pin, but I find using a thread holder next to the machine much more convenient than the vertical pin which is often too short.

  7. My machine has both spool pins but thought that the machine needed the thread horizontal now to have better tension and less thread breakage and the thread winding really wasn’t a factor. I love Blendables and use them for everything, quilting, heirloom, beautiful decorative stitches and especially machine embroidery so I will now stand my Blendables up horizontally to feed and lay my crosswound embroidery & cotton threads like Gutterman down. Thanks for this important information and I will pass it on!

  8. Susan B. says:

    My spool pin is mounted vertically… and yes, I did learn something. I learned that a machine I have that does not have an extra horizontal spool pin position can still be used with the cross-wound spools by simply purchasing a vertical thread guide and stand that can be placed beside my machine — yay! I cannot believe I did not think of this. I always assumed those vertical guides were for use only with the very large spools used by long-arm quilters. And I also never knew that the way a spool was wound determined whether to use vertical or horizontal spool pin position. Thanks for the important lesson!

  9. I have 2 Janomes and one has 2 vertical pins and the has both vertical and horizontal. Thanks for the information and the chance to win such great thread!!

  10. Maria Kievit says:

    My Janome has a vertical holder which I always use to sew with, and the horizontal is used to wind bobbins from. And sometimes for sewing also, if the spool is way too big, or the thread just doesn’t want to come of the spool. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. Gwen Pattarnon says:

    I love creating different effects with thread. These would be great! Give me tons of creative ideas!

  12. I have both vertical and horizontal spool pins. I learned some majorly invaluable info from this post/giveaway! I always thought that the vertical pin was for secondary thread when sewing with twin needles, loading the bobbin, or for tricky thread like metallics or invisible. I looked through my thread and have noticed that the more expensive thread like Gutterman or Metrosene are all crosswound while the less expensive C&C are all stacked. I’ve made a note and will be using either spool pins accordingly from now on. Thank you!!!

  13. Jeanne Bernard says:

    WOW! Thanks so much for the information. My spoolpin is horizontal, and it seems the thread is always catching on the plastic edges of the spool. I will see if I can get a vertical spoolpin attachment for my sewing maching that allows the side-wound thread to feed correctly. Thanks so much! Jeanne :-)

  14. Faye Kafrawy says:

    I had no idea and always wondered why some threads seemed to feed better than others, and now I am very anxious to try this out using different threads and see the difference.

  15. Linda says:


  16. Lori K says:

    I have machines with both kinds of thread pins. I like using the thread stand the best.

  17. Kathy Griffin says:

    I never realized that how the spool was wound made such a difference. I’ve noticed the difference, but now I know that I need to match the spool to the way the thread is wound. I’ll really use the felt cushions now as well on my spool holders.

  18. Kate says:

    I have both orientations of spool pins, but was not aware why I needed both. Thanks for the great information. And thanks for the chance to win some great thread.

  19. Judy Miller says:

    I have both type of spool pins on my machine. 2 sideways ones(one for threading the bobbin) and an upright thread spool that attaches to the top of the machine. Very convientent. I use both depending on the type of thread and the size of the spool.

  20. Jean Cardinal says:

    My Designer 1 spoolpin can be used for both stacked and crosswound thread. I love it and would love to win Sulky thread. It’s the best!

  21. Pat B says:

    My spool is horizontal, and I’m so glad to have this info.

  22. Bev Gunn says:

    My machines have vertical holders and I have the cone stands to use for the crosswound spools.

  23. Jennifer Balmer says:

    My machine has both, but I usually use horizontal

  24. Charlotte Clark says:

    Good information. I have machines with both types of spool pins.

  25. Joyce Mannino says:

    Thanks for the thread lesson. My machine has two spool stands, sideways and upright, plus I just purchased a spool stand for my Featherweight. Great tutorial.

  26. Mary Buerosse says:

    I really enjoyed this information! While I do a lot of sewing and quilting, I didn’t make any connection with thread in this manner. I’ve used the blended threads in some of my quilts and they add a great dimension.

  27. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the synopsis. I was aware that different threads work better in either the horizontal or vertical position. This is especially useful when using metallic threads. My Husqvarna machines offer both options.

  28. Sandy says:

    My machine has both spool pins and I do have a thread stand that I use when I am using the larger spools of thread. Thanks for giving all the information, especially to those who didn’t know about different wound spools.

  29. Marjorie says:

    Well, you are never too old to learn something new. I try to learn something new about anything daily. Like long time Sulky threads, my machine only handles stacked threads and I was aware of the difference. I guess I’ve been lucky to date. Keep up the easy and interesting information on Sulky! Marjorie

  30. Hilary says:

    My spool is oriented horizontally. This would explain why the sulky thread I used was a bit difficult to get a good stitch with…I will now go back and have another go and put into practice what I have learned from this post. Thanks for the information and the great giveaway :)

  31. Carol says:

    Learn something new every day!! This is so true. Sometimes we look ,but do we see? I would have never known that the way that the thread is wound on the spool would be so inportant. Thanks for the info.

  32. Isabel McGowan says:

    Great information! I am a beginner, and had not learned that yet, not in any of the classes I have taken so far.

  33. Dawn says:

    My Janome has both vertical and horizontal spoon pins so I use them according to which way the thread is wound. Great giveaway! Thanks for a chance to win.

  34. Thanks for the great information. I never knew this…I learned something new. I have a very old Bernina and it only has vertical spool pins. I will ask the dealer if there is an attachment for a horizontal spool pin for my machine. Thanks for the giveaway too.

  35. Mary Britton says:

    My machine has both a vertical and a horizontal spool pin. Thanks to your very good explanation I now know which pin to use with the proper spool type.

  36. sandyb says:

    wow, learn something new everyday – my spoolpin is vertical and I don’t know if it can be horizontal. I will check in the morning. I didn’t even know there was a difference in how the thread was wound.

    Thank you for another great lesson!!

  37. Paule-Marie says:

    I love the blendables. they work with every thing I make.. can’t wait to see who wins

  38. Julia says:

    My Pfaff has both but my small babylock only has the vertical.

  39. Robbin Golden says:

    I have both spool pins on my machine, but I didnt know that different threads used different spool pins. Thanks for the education!

  40. Cheryl Marrama says:

    I love those variagated threads! My machine has a horizontal spool holder and
    I have been using the wrong thread! Thanks for the tip!

  41. Michele T says:

    My spool pin can be horizontal or vertical – nice to have the option!!

  42. Cecilia says:

    I have both a vertical and a horizontal spool pin. I did not know about the different ways thread is wound on a spool. Thanks for the informative article.

  43. Patti B says:

    I’ve been sewing for thirty years and this is something I never knew. My spoolpin is vertical but I will look into a horizontal or stand to use with crosswound thread. Thanks so much for this tip

  44. Mary Mac says:

    I did know about this informations but always good to have a review. These threads are beautiful.

  45. Sandra Betts says:

    I use a great deal of thread in threadpainting.There is a definite difference in how thread feeds off the spools. When using 2 or 3 threads through one needle you can really notice the difference in stacked or crosswound threads. I would love to try the Sulky Blendables.

  46. ANN CAVANAUGH says:

    This is great info. I have two vertical thread holders so I am all set. I recently started using Sulky thread and I am soooo impressed. Keep the great info coming!

  47. Elizabeth Dupee says:

    wow in all the years that I have been sewing I have never known this! Thank you for the information. I will deffinately put this to the test. Thanks again

  48. Melinda Kerr says:

    I have both spool pins on my machine and thanks to you I now know the correct way to use them.

  49. Chris Worth says:

    Great information! My machine has a vertical spool pin and I also have a freestanding spool stand.

  50. Barbara says:

    Horizontal. May explain some previous problems.

  51. Laurel DeCastro says:

    these threads are terrific. I love Sulky. And these colors are beautiful.

  52. Christina Behar says:

    Well now I know why some of my spools of thread I was having such problems with. I need to get an adapter for those spools. My machine has a vertical spool pin.


    I like many of the other readers have just lucked out with thread, but I will be sharing this blog with my quilting friends. We have various types of machines with assorted thread feeds.

  54. Danni Armstrong says:

    I never knew there was a specific way to put thread on a spool holder based on how it was wound on the spool! My Sewing machine has oriented so that I can put the spool on either way, but I always used the same way(creature. Of habit) and no one ever suggested another way of doing it. Well now I know and you can betcha I’m going to be thing about it when I sew in the future.thank you ever so much for the tip.

  55. Two of my machines, which are both fairly old, have vertical spool pins. Until I got my third machine, which has both vertical and horizontal spool pins, I was unaware of the significance of the orientation. Thanks for the explanation. It made it much more clear than any I’d encountered previously.

    I love the Sulky Blendables! They are truly beautiful threads.

  56. Dianne says:

    Thanks for the great info, I am new to machine embroidery and I am sure this tip will help prevent any problems.

  57. Nancy I. says:

    This helped out alot. I did not know you needed them in two different positions. I am still looking to get a spool stand.

  58. deb chance says:

    OMGoodness! I have been sewing for about 50 years – quilting for more than 37 years – and this is the first explanation I’ve read about stacked and crosswise wound thread! Amazing! This may explain the tension issues I’ve encountered over the years. I’m just amazed that I am only now reading this. Thank you! Hope I win the Sulky thread – my favorite quilting thread by far!

  59. Linda Hulen says:

    I never knew about this! Thank you for the good lesson.

  60. Sandra Timmons says:

    IF you take the time to read your tutorials, you will learn so much about thread. My spoolpin is vertical. Still, I learned about stacked spools being horizontal. Good source of information comes for you. Thank you for your tutorials and a chance to win.

    Sandi T.

  61. Jo Stires says:

    I have both a vertical and horizontal spool pin on my machine and I also use a free standing spool stand. It’s nice to know how thread unwinds. Maybe now I won’t have as much trouble with thread shredding.

  62. Karen Hale says:

    Thank you for the information above on threads. I found it to be very helpful.
    I have been using the blendable threads for my quilting and I love the look. There are so many threads to choose from but I always pick the Sulky brands. Thank you for a great product.

  63. Karen Hale says:

    Thank you for the information on threads. It was so very helpful.
    I love Sulky threads. I have been using a lot of the blendables for quilting. The thread choices are incredible. Keep up the good work!!

  64. Betsy says:

    Learned something new today about thread. Very interesting. Now I’ll know how to put the spool on my machine for best results.

  65. Sallie says:

    I have both a vertical and horizontal spoolpin on my machine and I also use a freestanding thread holder. Thanks for the information about how the thread is wound and for the giveaway!

  66. angie chappell says:

    i never know there was a diffidence in how the thread was wound and always wondered what the felt circle was used for thank you

  67. Brenda Prince says:

    Thanks to the knowledgeable workers at Branum’s Sewing and Vacuum Center in Augusta, Georgia, I did learn the proper way to place the thread for sewing different thread orientations whether stacked or wound. Each bit of sewing information helps make a person a better seamstress. I do appreciate all those willing to help increase the art of sewing.

  68. Esther Sorber says:

    The spool pin on my Janome is vertical .but I also have one I can put on that is horizontal.

  69. Landa T says:

    My machine has both vertical and horizontal spool holders, but I did not know why there were two. I don’t think the difference in the way thread is wound on the spool was covered during the class I took on how to use my machine at the time of purchase. Thank you for this information.

  70. Robbie Mension says:

    Mine is vertical. I had no idea this affected the way the thread fed into the machine. This was very helful. Thanks…..

  71. Carol says:

    My 2 newer machines have both options. My older machines have only vertical. I had heard this before but forget which thread should be on which spool. Thanks for the reminder

  72. Lisa Cox says:

    I learned more than I ever thought I wanted to know about thread in this post, LOL.
    I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. My machine’s spoolpin can either be left down in the horizontal position or pushed up into the vertical position.
    I tend to leave it down in the horizontal position all the time just because then I don’t have to remember to put it down when I cover the machine when I’m done.

  73. robin says:

    Well! You taught me something I did not know! My spoolpin is horizontal on my Singer 2210 and vertical on my Singer 401. Thanks for the info!

  74. Mary Katherine Hook says:

    My machine has a horizontal thread pin. Now I understand why I need to look for crosswound spools. This article was very helpful and enlightening.

  75. Carol S. says:

    Thanks for the valuable info. The spool pins on my sewing machine are vertical. I knew there must be a reason for the different orientations of spool pins, and thanks to you I now understand why it sometimes seems that my thread is fighting itself and twisting into kinks. This is especially annoying when I am doing machine embroidery. I will ask my dealer how I can adapt my machine for horizontal thread.
    I definitely learned something new!

  76. Linda says:

    I am so delighted that you provide such useful information, I keep learning new things each time I visit your site.
    Thank you for keeping us informed and now I know how to look at threads differently.

  77. Carol says:

    This past weekend I went to a sewing machine maintenance short demo and thread was discussed. Your information just reminded me of the types of wound thread and was very helpful. Thanks again for keeping us informed.

  78. Terry Mathieu says:

    I noticed that the threads seem to work better using either vertical or horizontal but I did not understand why. Thank you for your help I will now know what to look for and how to use this information to help me.

  79. Karen A says:

    My spoolpin is vertical, but I also have the option to set up for the crosswound spools.

  80. Pam says:

    Yes, I did learn something new. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. As far as I know, my machine is horizontal. I must look to see if there is an attachment for vertical loading.

  81. Joan in NE says:

    Nice reminder of how thread is wound and how to position it when using. Its something that a person can forget if one is not paying attention to the thread.

  82. Carol Oliveri says:

    My spool pin goes horizontally. I learned that you should use spool pins for thread wound in different ways. Very interesting!!!!

  83. Luann says:

    My machine has vertical and horizontal pins. Thanks for the information.

  84. Debbie M says:

    My spoolpin is vertical. I never new the difference between stacked and crosswound spools. Thanks, Diane!

  85. Linda Simpson says:

    I use thread both ways, but prefer crosswound on a cone stand, as sometimes stacked thread has “drag” as it unwinds. I use Sulky embroidery threads & never have had a problem. I am anxious to try the blendables on one of my quilting projects.

  86. wordygirl says:

    My machine has a spoolpin that works either way. Now I know which position to use when. Thanks!

  87. Hazel Mashaw says:

    My spool pin is horizontal but can be changed to vertical. My dealer did a good job explaining the different wound threads & how to put them on the machine. Thanks for the contest.

  88. Shirley says:

    My Janome6600 has the virtical thread option and I mainly use the industerial size cones on that machine. The other Janome has both horizantal and virtical spool holders so will have to pay attention to which I use.

  89. Sandy says:

    Frankly, I don’t think I can be reminded too often about the different winding styles for thread. Often I forget to check this until I am well into a particular project. So, thanks for the reminder!

  90. Sol Klein says:

    I learned to put my spole on the upright pin with the blendable spole.
    I will get a piece of felt to put under it at my next goaround.
    Thank you for the tip, keep them coming.

  91. Paula says:

    I have both kinds of spool pin on my machine, and I have been using them correctly! Good info! Thanks!

  92. Kathrine Neau says:

    I’ve wondered how the different machines used the same threads. It’s great to have the new knowledge. My old machine only has the vertical pin. I tried the Sulky threads and love the subtle color they add to my quilts.

  93. Ava says:

    My spool can be both directions and I also have a stand for big cones.
    I did not know the difference in the thread winding. You can always learn something new. Thanks for the great information.

  94. Renee Boomer says:

    I have 2 spoolpins on my sewing machine. One can be used for vertical & horizontal. The other is just vertical. I have been using the Sulky Blendables when doing free motion quilting. I just love the colours. I also use these in my bobbins. My favorite colour is #4010 Caramel Apple. I have the 3200yd cone which I use on the spool stand.
    Your article was very informative. I have never really paid any attention as to how thread is wound on a spool. I will keep this in mind next time I use my Sulky 30wt.
    Thanks for for the info

  95. Pat Hulsey says:

    Thanks for the info about the different ways that thread is put on the spool. All I have ever used has been stacked, but my Mom worked in a sewing factory that used huge cones of crosswound thread. I would love to win some of this thread, as I am going to invest in an embroidery machine in the near future and this would give me a good start on getting all the threads I will need for some beautiful embroidery work.

  96. Carol C says:

    My machine’s spoolpin is vertical. I learned that I shouldn’t use crosswound thread on it and will look into getting thread stand to use with them. The Sulky blendables would be a wonderful prize to win. Thanks for the give-away.

  97. Fran says:

    Sulky Blendables are the best for Free Motion quilting. The colors are so lush it would be hard to choose a favorite. However I’ve used a box (3 spools) of a beautiful varigated green, #713, and a box of a lovely pink/lavendar blend. Not sure of the color number on it. I’ll keep a bit on the spool so I can match it later.
    So, a few more colors would add to my thread stash brilliantly!

  98. Julie says:

    My machine’s spoolpin can be postitioned vertical or horizontal. I also have the thread stand in the picture. I use large cone shaped spools of thread (3000 yds.) that will not fit on my machine’s spoolpin.

  99. Karen says:

    It is always helpful to hear this again! Thank you. I can accomodate both types of thread winds on several of my machines.

  100. Karon Henderson says:

    my machine has a horizontal spool position and an optional vertical spool holder – your article explaining the two types was very informative.

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