Queen’s Gambit Thread Count

Yes, I know it’s a chess move and a new Netflix series that we watched and loved. But somehow it seems an appropriate blog title for the reveal of the Queen’s Garden (pattern by Esther Aliu), king size for my friend Silver, and a good name for the quilt.

The objective of the queen’s gambit in chess is to temporarily sacrifice a pawn to gain control of the center of board. This QG succeeds in controlling the center of the piece!

A question that gets asked a lot is “how many” and “what kinds” of thread are you using. We will walk through the Queen’s Gambit and I will show you all the threads used in the quilting.

All threads are from Superior Threads (ST) as their products are excellent and deliver superb results. Here is our starting line up, the pawns if you will.

  1. ST MonoPoly – an “invisible” thread is used for outlining the applique elements and for SID around all the blocks and border seams. The quilt is stabilized, but the stitching is not obvious and doesn’t compete with the other threads.
All applique elements are stitched with MonoPoly and all seams are also stitched with it! I love this stuff!
The center, the striking move in Queen’s Garden that wins this game!
The whole quilt!

2) ST So Fine 50 wt in a soft cream was perfect for the dense McTavishing around the applique elements. The color match was so good that it was a challenge to see where I had been! It’s a great thread for back ground as it is matte, thin, and melts into the background, leaving the applique elements to shine.

So Fine background stitching.

3) ST Fantastico is a high sheen, 40 wt variegated trilobal poly thread and one of my favorites. Five different colors, three bright and two subdued tonal threads, were used for border and sashing quilting.

Feathers galore!
I love this marbled pale gray, taupe cream thread. It blends beautifully with the taupe/cream fabric and adds dimension.
A bright pop for the triangle pieces. This thread was used in some of the applique as well.
This pretty sage tonal thread was used to outline the flower elements on the wide batik border and then used for the scroll border.
It’s interesting what happens to a super bright variegated thread on a deep batik background! I tested several threads, but this bright one worked the best of all and includes many tones from the applique work.
I top stitched the binding in a deco stitch with this subtle variegated thread.

4) I used 3 1/2 bobbins of ST Super Bob 60 wt prewounds in white and clocked in about 250,000 stitches!

The backing is a cream with an off white swirl, no really visible in the photos, but you can see the textures and the wonder job the Bottom Line does.

Queen’s Gambit was started in March, and I did one block per month for through the summer. Borders were added this fall and the stitching started early Dec.

I hoped you enjoyed this thread tour! Happy quilting,



  1. Queens Gambit, gas turned out to be a awesome qulit and the way you told how the thread is used and how it enhanced this quilt. Beautiful job the recipient will be bowled over

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful tutorial story again Lennea, and so interesting, thanks for taking the time to share why you choose those threads. Really liked the binding in a deco stitch, No hand stitching??? I need to sew now and stop reading and writing LOL Cheers Glenda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I just did not want to spend a week hand stitching that monster binding! Lazy old lady here. It’s not a “show quilt”. It will be used daily and loved, so why not?

      People are always asking about threads, so I thought it was a good project to talk about threads in more detail. As we know, bad thread can ruin a project and make us cranky!


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