Monday, February 17, 2014

Hiding Your Threads When Quilting

I've been quilting away on my Flirt Panel for the last week or two whenever I have a chance, and I realized that I am dealing with an immense amount of start and stops with my thread.  There's no way to travel stitch from spot to spot on this panel, and I wanted to use similar colors to enhance each section. I was worried that contrasting thread color could be distracting here.   Being very careful with your thread starts and stops can make all of the thread changes invisible and make your quilts last much much longer. I first heard about this method on the Free Motion Quilting Project.  Here's some step-by-step photos of how I hide my starts and stops.



  • First, lower your needle and then turn your needle dial to raise it back up catching your bobbin thread in the process. Then lightly tug your top thread and it will pull a loop of bobbin thread.
  • Then you can pull them back and drop your needle to begin quilting. Just be sure to hold them out of the way for your first few stitches.

  • After stitching for a bit and moving a few inches from my start spot, I like to tie off my start threads. Some people prefer to do this last, but I always do it fairly quickly to be sure I don't run over them later.   To hide my threads in the quilt layers, I use an Easy Threading needle, or cheater needle.  Its a needle with a slotted top that you can easily pop your threads into.  I found these at hobby lobby.

  • Then I tie a small knot in my start threads, and use the needle to pull the knot close to the fabric.



  • Then tuck your needle into the middle of the quilt, being sure not to go through the backing. Hook your thread into the needle top and pull it through making sure the little knot pops into the layers.
  • Clip your threads close to the quilt top. If they still show a little just give the spot a tiny massage and they should sneak back under the top layer.



I use this method on traditional quilts and on pieces like this that are intended for a wall or table top.  Either way, the quilts will hold up much longer.  There is nothing more devastating then when a loved quilt that was given to you as a gift, pops a seam on the first wash.

Happy quilting everyone!  Another color change is in my immediate future :p
Please check my sidebar for my favorite Linky Parties.

Kelly

49 comments:

  1. Nice job of illustrating this technique -- I use it also!

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  2. I love that you taught me this technique! I shall use it until the end of time!

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    1. You better! lol Thanks for inspiring the post.

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  3. What a wonderful technique!! Love your photos, they help cement this technique into my peabrain!! I must say, I love the idea of a 'cheater' needle!!

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    1. Haha Sarah! The needles are great, I use them for all kinds of projects where I need to tie off some loose ends

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  4. Thanks for the wonderful tips, I will be sure to try them next time I quilt a top

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    1. Thanks for visiting :) Hope it goes well.

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  5. Thanks for the tip about using the needle to pull the knot close to the fabric. And I like how you insert the needle in the quilt before threading it. That's useful for when those tails are quite short.

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    1. haha! The cheater needles are great for when you forget to leave a long thread. :)

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  6. I tie off and bury my threads, too! I agree that is the best way. Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

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  7. I like that you do the thread hiding as you are quilting ... I would probably run over them not thinking too - good tip, thank you :)

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    1. I learned the hard way! lol It's ingrained in my brain now.

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  8. Thank you so much for this little tut! I have never actually seen this done, and know now that I have been doing it all wrong. Thanks again. Here from Bee Social

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    1. Everyone has their own way of doing things. Glad you like this method and hope it works for you :)

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  9. Lovley photos, very clear explanation!

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  10. Thanks...I never knew this technique before stopping by! :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping in Valerie. Sometimes it takes an extra second to do, but I have loved the end results :)

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  11. I do this too. Great job explaining it for others! :-)

    http://www.busyneedle.ch

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    1. Just sharing the love! lol Thanks Elita

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  12. Great tutorial and I can't believe I keep forgetting about that type of needle...especially since my eyes are getting old! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

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    1. Thanks Connie! These needles are lifesavers!

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  13. Thanks for the tips! I've just been back-stitching on my regular machine. This looks a lot cleaner.

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    1. I used to backstitch too, which is faster, but you may like the look of this technique better. You can start stitching normal and it ends up hiding where you started altogether.

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  14. I just finished burying a few threads. It's not my favorite process but once it's over I really appreciate the look of different color threads, etc. Great job.

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    1. It's always good to try a few things and find what works best for you. Thanks for giving it a shot :)

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  15. Great pics! Can't wait to see how this one is finished. Love Flirt!

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    1. Thanks! I want to see it finished too. Lol

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  16. Thanks for the tips! Your quilting looks beautiful! Looking forward to seeing this finished!

    Would love for you to stop by tomorrow and link this up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    -Lindsey
    Fabric Frenzy Friday

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    1. Thank you for visiting Lindsey! Ill be there :)

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  17. Thanks for sharing this technique! I am working on a quilt where I am using different thread colors and I have been just taking short stitches in place. This process looks much neater and easier than I thought it would be! I'm going to try it out today.

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    1. I hope it works for you! I love how secure it is, and that I can start with a normal stitch length. :)

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  18. I am continuing to follow as you quilt this panel. You are doing fantastic work.
    Merrilee
    http://stitchinpost-blog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Merrilee :) Hopefully I can work all next week and finish it. I feel like a snail just trailing along between play dough cleanup with the kids lol

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  19. I am going to give this a try when I finally get my garage conversion completed and sewing machine set up. I usually bring up a bottom thread stitch after quilting and then knot and hide thread. This look much better!

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  20. great tip there. I never know what to do with the thread ends.

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  21. great tips! I like that you included so many photos to show the process!

    I'm so glad you shared at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  22. Ahhh so that's how it's done!! Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!

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  23. I actually *like* burying thread tails...it's a nice break from the quilting, gets me up from the machine. I do it at the cutting table, several tails at a time, but from the back of the quilt instead of the front. It never occurred to me to leave it on the machine and bury it from the front. I'll have to try that. Thanks!

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    1. I like the thought of burying them from the back too. Maybe the ones that I have left the next time at the end, to try it.

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  24. Ahhhh, burying threads, strangely satisfying :) also always makes me laugh as it usually autocorrects to burying heads! Killer quilters on the loose ;) thanks for linking up and for sharing such a great post!!!

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I really appreciate that you have taken the time to comment. I am so inspired by this community, thank you for that as well. If you have questions {even some suggestions}, I'll be sure to get back to you.

Go sew already! :)
Kelly