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Thread: I think I've found my absolute least favorite task in the quilting process...

  1. #1
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    I think I've found my absolute least favorite task in the quilting process...

    Burying the threads at the end.

    Oh my goodness. I needed something to do while Gus was playing hockey this weekend (2 games back to back and I have a short attention span). So I brought the quilt I'm working on with me. 24 straight seams - start + finish = 48 sets of thread to knot and bury.

    Clearly I haven't developed a good technique for this yet, and the ADD was kicking in big time. But I'm very glad that I got these buried yesterday and didn't wait until I have the border quilting done and the decorative FMQ done in the 17 squares (34 more ends to bury...) as I think the thread ends might have become the next embellishment.

    It is not helping that I just want to be done with this particular project...

    I started off using a loop of thread in my needle that I could stick the ends through, so that I didn't have to keep threading the needle. After breaking my loop thread 3 or 4 times, I switched to an "easy threading" needle (HAH!) and spent way too much time threading the needle each time. No directions on the package, and no access to my computer last night - and even now that I see how the John James needles work, still time consuming to thread each time. I think I need to use stronger thread for my loop (maybe the dreaded nylon/polyester).

    There were so many ends to bury on this project as I didn't want to hassle with turning the quilt each time I reached an end (was quilting on the diagonal). I'm definitely seeing a benefit in turning the quilt and stitching in the ditch to reach the next starting point next time I attempt this type of design...

    Cheers, K

    I'm tempted to order one of the spiral needles as those look much easier to thread.

  2. #2
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    Try the Spiral Eye needle (not the two second one WM sells)
    A bit pricy but worth the money in ease of threading your needle and burying the knots. I don't knot the threads but just thread up the needle but work the thread back into the batting and out about 1/2" away from the start. Sometime I do a very small back stitch to begin.
    The Spiral Eye needle makes all the difference.

  3. #3
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I also use the spiral eye, love them
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  4. #4
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Which size Spiral Eye? I'm thinking about ordering the Size 8 for quilting. I noticed a difference last night between using the size 10 or 11 between and the size 6 or 8 easy threading needle. I much prefer the thinner needle for getting back into the fabric, but the larger needle did leave a big enough hole for the knot to get back in there.

    Cheers, K

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I have been using the self-threading needles to bury thread - the ones with the open notch on the end, so you just kind of force your thread into the notch. But I just got (and haven't yet used) this tool at JoAnn's - the new Clover thread pic. http://www.joann.com/search/_clover_thread_pic/ It will be helpful not only in burying threads (without threading a needle) but also in snagging and moving any dark threads that show up inside the quilt after it's been quilted. I think it will be a great tool to have. It's basically a very fine crochet hook with a comfortable handle.

  6. #6
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    You can get a 5 needle package of the top threading needles for about $4 at Walmart. I'm sure the spiral eyes are better but Walmart is closer and it does make the job of buring the thread easier. The ones from Walmart have a 2 little grasper arms at the needle eye that you pop the thread down into position.

  7. #7
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I'm with you and the spiral needle is a lifesaver for me! The only other thing I like even less is picking the paper out after fmq patterns, ugh!

  8. #8
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    You can get a 5 needle package of the top threading needles for about $4 at Walmart. I'm sure the spiral eyes are better but Walmart is closer and it does make the job of buring the thread easier. The ones from Walmart have a 2 little grasper arms at the needle eye that you pop the thread down into position.
    Got them. Tried them. Don't particularly like them.

    I have ordered the Spiral Eye needles, so hopefully they'll arrive soon.

    Cheers, K

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    Sometimes it helps to do it as you go just so you don't have to do it all at the end but I know how stopping when you're on a roll quilting is not fun either.

    On a totally different topic I love your avatar. We have a Corgi named Dill, he's the king of the house. Do you read The Daily Corgi blog? It's great.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Quiltlady330's Avatar
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    I bury ends as I go. One thing I've done in recent years is slow down and enjoy the process. I used to be in such a rush to complete a project so I could start the next one that I was losing some of the pleasure of doing it to begin with. Now I try not to be so rushed. I used to hide the ends after the quilt was finished and absolutely hated it so I don't do it anymore.

  11. #11
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    i use a skinny needle with a long eye - double the thread over and it threads right into the eye and then right thru the opening in the fabric weave it a bit and right out......love the little sound the knot makes when it 'goes to rest'

  12. #12
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    I took a course on machine quilting via Craftsy and the instructor said that it is OK to backstitch carefully when quilting in the ditch for quilts that are going to be put in the washer and dryer. Quilts you are giving for people to use. So I don't do as much burying of threads anymore and I find I can hardly see where I backstitched. On a gallopping horse, no one could see it either. Give yourself a break!

  13. #13
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    Hate burying threads? I never have to do that. I quilt with no knots. Cut a 36-inch thread, slide your needle to the middle, take the needle to the back and pull of the thread to the back. Next, slide the needle to the center of the bottom 18-inches and bring the needle back up to the surface. Place the "spare" 18-inch thread to the side. Begin quilting, when about three inches from the end of the thread, weave the needle into the batt and cross a line of quilting, bring the needle back to the surface, and put the point of the needle into the hole where the thread comes out. Now, take the needle into the batt and cross a line of quilting, the thread will pop into the batt. Repeat for a total of three
    times. Bring the needle back to the surface and cut off the thread. What you have done is buried your thread into the batt, crossing lines of quilting and it won't come out. Have used, taught and written about this technique since 1976. It works.
    SandyQuilter

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I back stitch a little when beginning to quilt and when ending, saves time and I'm sure it won't come out.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  15. #15
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention, after burying/ending the first end of the thread, thread the remaining 18-inches and continue quilting going another direction. I will run the needle/thread through the batt as much 2-inches to come up in another spot to quilt.
    SandyQuilter

  16. #16
    Junior Member Ann S.'s Avatar
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    I use a wire needle threader like the kind you thread hand needles. Just slip the looped wire 1/2" from the hole that the thread is coming through, then from the inside slip the looped wire to the surfice through the hole. Put thread end through looped wire and pull thread through hole and to surface 1/2" away. Clip.

  17. #17
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    I started out using the self-threading needles but found that many times, the thread would pull out thru the self-threading slit when I was trying to pull the thread thru the quilt. Then I discovered the Spiral eye needle and that works so much better. Yes, they are a bit pricey but well worth it, I think.

  18. #18
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    I have been using the self-threading needles to bury thread - the ones with the open notch on the end, so you just kind of force your thread into the notch. But I just got (and haven't yet used) this tool at JoAnn's - the new Clover thread pic. http://www.joann.com/search/_clover_thread_pic/ It will be helpful not only in burying threads (without threading a needle) but also in snagging and moving any dark threads that show up inside the quilt after it's been quilted. I think it will be a great tool to have. It's basically a very fine crochet hook with a comfortable handle.
    Dunster, how do you use this? It looks interesting!
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  19. #19
    j
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    If your burying the threads why do you have to knot them. I do a couple of back stitchs, so don't feel I need to make a knot. - J.

  20. #20
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    I have been using the self-threading needles to bury thread - the ones with the open notch on the end, so you just kind of force your thread into the notch. But I just got (and haven't yet used) this tool at JoAnn's - the new Clover thread pic. http://www.joann.com/search/_clover_thread_pic/ It will be helpful not only in burying threads (without threading a needle) but also in snagging and moving any dark threads that show up inside the quilt after it's been quilted. I think it will be a great tool to have. It's basically a very fine crochet hook with a comfortable handle.
    That looks like the tool my Mom used to use to fix the runs in the nylon stockings. I haven't used that for threads, but have used the really TINY crochet hook that my Grandma had -- it slips between the treads and works well. I have also used the spiral needles and they work good as well.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  21. #21
    Member grandma.me's Avatar
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    I guess I don't really know what a spiral needle is. Could someone explain it to me? Thanks so much!
    Marilyn
    Marilyn

  22. #22
    Senior Member Daffy Daphne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandma.me View Post
    I guess I don't really know what a spiral needle is. Could someone explain it to me? Thanks so much!
    Marilyn
    Marilyn, look here: http://www.spiraleyeneedles.com/

    They are worth every penny!

  23. #23
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I learned to not knot my thread when quilting - years ago in New Hampshire, i put the needle through the top layer, and through the batting about 1 inch before the necessary stitching - pop the needle out the back and then do a loop (backstitch)stitch and pop the needle out the top where you need to begin quilting.

    I used to make tiny knots and then pop them through the top fabric, but love the first way much better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltlady330 View Post
    I bury ends as I go. One thing I've done in recent years is slow down and enjoy the process. I used to be in such a rush to complete a project so I could start the next one that I was losing some of the pleasure of doing it to begin with. Now I try not to be so rushed. I used to hide the ends after the quilt was finished and absolutely hated it so I don't do it anymore.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  24. #24
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    O.K., what is a spiral needle, and what do you use them for? Do quilt stores sell them, or do you have to order online?

  25. #25
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I use the Easy Threading needles --- they're the same I think as spiral eye needles ---- or close to it. I don't tie off my threads when the quilt is on the longarm......my back HATES me doing that. So, I bring the quilt in the house when it's done, sit on my recliner and go at it. I've tied off 1000000s of threads with that needle and it goes really fast. I did a detailed (means lots of thread ends) KING size quilt in one evening.
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

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