I've been playing with YLI Sparkle thread, a twist of #100 silk, in this case ecru silk, and metallic thread, here in gold. It also comes in silver colorways from pale to dark.
The feather above is quilted on a very lightweight soft silk from an old blouse, washed and pressed. In real life it is shimmery and elegant, really lovely with the slight sparkle or "fairy dust" from the thread. It is a much lighter and more heirloom look, with a twinkle in the stitches, not heavy like a straight metallic.
Background quilting is done in pale yellow #100 YLI silk thread.
I used a #70 Jersey needle (YLI recommended Jersey needles for this thread) and had no trouble at all. I could quilt at my normal speed, change directions smoothly with no fraying or breaking. It looks really quite wonderful.
If you are quilting through heavier fabrics, a denser batt or backing fabric, or a top with lots of piecing joins or fused areas, of course you would use a larger Jersey needle or even a Top Stitch needle.
For every project with specialty threads you must try a stitch-out on the actual materials you will be using in the real quilt, and find the magic combination of thread, needle, tension, and stitch length that works the best, and looks the best.
#100 silk thread was used in the bobbin, and I lowered the top tension from default #4 to 1.75.
Thread spool was on the vertical spindle of the machine.
Many times owners' manuals will give so much info about needles and threads and how to use them on your particular machine, settings, etc. Mine has pages of info, very nice.
Now I am busy quilting with a deeper shade of Sparkle thread on a medium colored fabric. The feathers I have tried so far I did in the "old" method where there is no space between each one as in the one here, and I did backtracking or "travelling" to get to the next feather. Again, it worked perfectly, and the doubling of the thread was not obnoxious or too noticeable. It looks wonderful. I'll post photos of that when this small quilt is finished.
If it turns out! If not, I'll explain the problems. It's fun to try new things and challenge yourself to improve your own style of quilting or give it a slightly new and fresh look. I probably won't use metallics that often but I love knowing they are there in my toolbox of techniques for free motion machine quilting, and I know how to use them.
Try something new today, and keep quilting.....your work gets better everyday!