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Thread: there must be a better way!!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    there must be a better way!!!

    Aaaagh!

    I have spent hours tonight burying threads, and I am still not done! I am doing a small quilt with a quilt pattern on the wholecloth "back", not the pieced "front". It is a complicated design, with overlapping motifs and multiple thread colors (underwater scene with corals and fish and whatnot). I generally prefer not to finish a thread by sewing in place for a few stitches and then cutting it off close to the quilt surface, because I find that I end up with small but noticeable bumps --- which become especially noticeable when you have fifty million of them, because the quilt surface starts to feel like a pillled sweater!

    So instead I am tying itty bitty knots, feeding the needle into the sandwich, pulling the knot through, cutting the tail short, and slipping it under with needle.

    Is there another way?

    Alison-Going-Cross-Eyed

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If you're not using a cheater needle already, check out this video by Leah Day:
    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...g-threads.html

    Instead of sewing in place, I sew 3 to 5 teeny tiny stitches to start and stop. These stitches are maybe 2 to 3 mm long and don't create the "bump" that happens when the stitches are right on top of each other. These tiny stitches are very secure.

  3. #3
    Super Member Bluelady's Avatar
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    Thats the way I do it.. Bury the threads.. and bury them and bury them and so on....

  4. #4
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I begin my machine quilting line by taking one stitch, then pulling the bobbin thread to the front before taking 4-5 tiny stitches, then dialing to the regular stitch length.

    I end the line of quilting by taking those same 4-5 tiny stitches, lifting the presser foot, moving the quilt out from under the needle 8-10", first cutting the bottom threads under the quilt, THEN cutting the threads on the front/top of the quilt AFTER I've given the bobbin thread a little tug to pull the last bobbin thread stitch thru to the top - it's just a little 'bump' feeling - and then cutting the front threads.

    This seems to eliminate thread clumps on the back of the quilt for me.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.
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  5. #5
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    Same as JaninVA although I'm not sure I get the bobbin thread up to the top done right.
    Mavis

  6. #6
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    Also do the same as JaninVA...I was taught not to do the stitching in one place (which is what machines that have a "lockstitch" do). The stitching very small stitches is much more secure, and doesn't make the bumps.

  7. #7
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I tried burying threads and did not think it was worth it - especially when I had a lot of starts/stops. I do a method similar to what Jan described.

    If you are committed to burying them though, there is a great cheater needle on the market that I recommend. It's not the Clover - that one works by *popping* the thread through a tight gap in the top of the needle, I've broken too many threads with those needles.

    Try the "Spiral Eye" needle - they are great! I use them for almost everything now.

    http://www.spiraleyeneedles.com/

    Sometimes when you can make just one little part of a big chore easier (threading the needles - especially when you are using short threads already connected to the quilt), the whole chore becomes that much easier.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patchsamkim View Post
    Also do the same as JaninVA...I was taught not to do the stitching in one place (which is what machines that have a "lockstitch" do). The stitching very small stitches is much more secure, and doesn't make the bumps.
    That;s something that a LQS told me recently .. not to use the lockstitch, but to change the stitch length to zero, then do a few stitches in place for less bump.

    When you pull the bobbin thread thru to the top, hold the end of both threads taut as you do those first few stitches then continue on. Likewise at the end for the stop point. That way you can keep an eye on all the thread ends.

    Then later I sit down and tie the ends off, and bury the threads ... with a good movie, it goes fast!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If the quilt is not for a show, I make several tiny stitches and then hit the thread cutter button and snip the ends to the stitch. If the quilt will be going in a show or will be inspected up close I leave a long tail and bury each one after the third cut. I don't wait to bury all of them at one time.
    Got fabric?

  10. #10
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    I have the easy thread needles from Walmart. You pop the threads straight down and you don't have to thread the eye. Another trick I do, as I finish an area of quilting and get ready to adjust my quilt...I take a minute to check my thread tension on the quilt back and bury the knots on that section before continuing. It helps not to have to do the whole quilt when you get done.

  11. #11
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I agree, with everyone here, if it is not going into a quilt show....don't stress the small stuff, back stitch with tiny stitches, and cut it off...
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  12. #12
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    I don't like the self threading needles that 'pop' from the top. Hard to do and way to many thread shreds. The side one, spiral looks like the ticket to me.Going to get some as soon as I can find them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    I begin my machine quilting line by taking one stitch, then pulling the bobbin thread to the front before taking 4-5 tiny stitches, then dialing to the regular stitch length.

    I end the line of quilting by taking those same 4-5 tiny stitches, lifting the presser foot, moving the quilt out from under the needle 8-10", first cutting the bottom threads under the quilt, THEN cutting the threads on the front/top of the quilt AFTER I've given the bobbin thread a little tug to pull the last bobbin thread stitch thru to the top - it's just a little 'bump' feeling - and then cutting the front threads.

    This seems to eliminate thread clumps on the back of the quilt for me.

    Jan in VA
    Well! I am definitely going to try this next time! Most of what I am doing is FMQ, and my machine can't drop its dogs so I've got a stitch length of 0, and a (somewhat jiggly) plate over the dogs to prevent snagging - my tiny stitches will have to be at my own discretion...but I think this could work for me! And having all the ends to tuck, or clip, on the same side of the quilt will also make life a little sweeter. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    If you are committed to burying them though, there is a great cheater needle on the market that I recommend. It's not the Clover - that one works by *popping* the thread through a tight gap in the top of the needle, I've broken too many threads with those needles.

    Try the "Spiral Eye" needle - they are great! I use them for almost everything now.

    http://www.spiraleyeneedles.com/

    Sometimes when you can make just one little part of a big chore easier (threading the needles - especially when you are using short threads already connected to the quilt), the whole chore becomes that much easier.
    Thanks DogHouseMom! This looks very useful, especially as I get ever more nearsighted. I shall try this too.

    The quilted things I am working on right now are to go into a craft sale and I very much want them to be well done, especially as I would like to get my name out there for possible future commissions, so for the moment I will continue to bury the threads on my already-quilted items. But the NEXT ones will be done differently! Thank you all.

    Alison

  14. #14
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni C View Post
    I don't like the self threading needles that 'pop' from the top. Hard to do and way to many thread shreds. The side one, spiral looks like the ticket to me.Going to get some as soon as I can find them.
    Sometimes I can get the thread to snap in OK ... other times I just shred and break it and then have nothing left to work with. Am curious about these spiral ones .... but where to find them?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  15. #15
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    The last several packs of spiral needles that I purchasse I found at Hobby Lobby, I use them for my Cross Stitch
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    If you're not using a cheater needle already, check out this video by Leah Day:
    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...g-threads.html

    Instead of sewing in place, I sew 3 to 5 teeny tiny stitches to start and stop. These stitches are maybe 2 to 3 mm long and don't create the "bump" that happens when the stitches are right on top of each other. These tiny stitches are very secure.
    I do mine this way as well..seems to work haven't had a problem...
    Kitty

  17. #17
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    I found my spiral eye needles also at Hobby Lobby after hearing about them from the inventor on this board. The needles were in the needlework department, not the fabric department. They are pretty neat little needles.
    A time to tear, And a time to sew;
    A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;

  18. #18
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    Oh my yes, there is a FAR BETTER WAY: Use a "self threading" (some people call them handicap needles) Insert the needle into your fabric and then using a pair of hemostats (your nurse friend will have one or know where you can get a pair), pull the thread end into the needle and then pull the needle through. This buries the thread and I've never had a thread end come out!! Learned this from a quilt judge and have used this method ever since. Yes, this is the BETTER WAY!!

  19. #19
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    knots and then there are "knots"

    I've always used that method and it always works. No worry there. The size of your knot is definitely the "key".

  20. #20
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I agree it is a personnel touch. For my own quilts I do a few tiny stitches. But for someone else I sew in. I stop every time I go to a new place and sew in. Like wise I always clean bobbin home every time I put a full one in. When quilting 2 or 3 full bobbins are essential.

  21. #21
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    WOW! what a great idea. I like to bury the thread and alway knot and thread a needle. NO MORE!

    Thanks everyone for this great info.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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