When people ask what thread I prefer for quilting, I usually have to answer with “It depends.” How annoying, huh?!
For me, it depends on the quilt and how I want to quilt it. Sometimes I only want to see the texture of the quilting (So Fine!, Glide 60). Sometimes I want to see the thread (Glide 40, OMNI). Sometimes I want a slight shine (Glide 40, Glide 60). Sometimes I want a matte finish (OMNI, So Fine!). I have a very large collections of Glide 40 and OMNI, so I like bouncing back and forth with them, deciding if I want matte or sheen. I have a medium collection of So Fine!, Glide 60, and Bottom Line (mostly using these three for bobbin thread, but sometimes as a top thread).
Polyester v. Cotton. Although I like the look of cotton, I use it for piecing, but never use it for longarm quilting. I can get the same look with polyester threads. Polyester threads have advanced by leaps and bounds over the last 10 years – they are a perfectly viable and popular choice for quilting. Look at all of the top longarm quilters in the country – virtually all gravitate towards a polyester favorite.
The main reason I use polyester thread for longarm quilting is to avoid huge lint accumulation in my machine. Polyester is cleaner – yet some polyester threads do lint more than others. OMNI lints more than So Fine! and way more then Glide. However – none of these threads accumulate lint near the amount that cotton threads do. There is nothing wrong with cotton thread for longarm quilting at all – just a preference.
I am choosing OMNI by Superior Threads for the AZTEC GARDEN Quilt mainly for the matte finish and my desire to see the thread itself in all of the negative space I created. I tend to quilt in a “chunky” way that mimics the Arts & Crafts movement, much more so than an “heirloom” way, in which I want more fine details and finesse. OMNI was the first thread I used when I started longarm quilting way back when. I invested in a ton of it. But I migrated to Glide for most of my quilting over the last 5 years or so.