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Thread: threads on back of quilt top...

  1. #1
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    threads on back of quilt top...

    ...do they need to be trimmed?

    I have been asked to finish a quilt for a friend who has given me the top, batting and backing. She has not trimmed any of her thread ends on the back of the top (about 3-4" long), and I don't know if I need to trim them or not. I always trim my own as I go - mostly because my sewing machine will eat them if I give it half a chance! - so I haven't encountered this situation before. The backing is dark fabric and the batting is dense, so the ends wouldn't show through...but I am worried that there is some other reason I need to trim them of which I am not aware.

    Thanks.

    Alison

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I trim while sewing ... and do a trimming and cleaning of the back before sandwiching.

    I asked my LA'r one time if I was doing more work than necessary. She did say that mine were some of her "cleanest" tops she receives. It's kind of a yes/no situation.

    Some reasons why ... the threads can show thru, if you have lights/whites in the quilt top. They can sometimes bunch up, and cause problems when quilting.

    Why not ... more safety with longer threads left. Who sees it once it's sandwiched.

    For the better part, I think it's our Type A-ness (as in A-nality) coming thru ... and we need to do it, to keep ourselves happy!!
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  3. #3
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    You have dark fabric on the back so I don't think you would have to. Maybe if there are a lot in one area.
    Peace

  4. #4
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    For the better part, I think it's our Type A-ness (as in A-nality) coming thru ... and we need to do it, to keep ourselves happy!!
    Yup, I think this is it for me too. I think it might end up just bugging me if I didn't do it...

    Alison

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you said the backing was dark but what Is the top? if there are light areas on the top those threads can easily show through the top after quilting...which can really diminish an otherwise beautiful quilt. I would clean it up-then let the person know when she picks it up that if she does not feel the need to clip as she goes she should still clean it up before quilting. it is a good habit to have.
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  6. #6
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    I certainly agreed with ckcowl. If most of the fabrics are darker than the threads then the threads probably do not need to be trimmed. However; it is a very good habit to get into - trimming them as we go. The only concern I can think of would be if there are light fabrics used in the top where the thread ends might show through and spoil the overall look of the quilt. I have quilted tops for customers, where the dark threads did show through under light fabrics on the top (sometimes it was the raveling of the top fabric, other times it was the piecing threads) - when that happens I am able to flip a top roller up on the quilting frame and trim the offending threads - or, if I don't notice it until the top is quilted I have been able to use a tiny steel crochet (sp) hook to pull the threads out.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I don't think the top fabrics would let the threads show through in this case...but I am just not prepared to risk it! I will mention to my friend about clipping threads - I didn't want to come off sounding like the quilt police if the really wasn't a good reason for trimming them, but it certainly sounds like there is! Thanks, y'all.

    Alison

  8. #8
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    Yes, as a precaution, I think all threads should be trimmed and the back and front neatly pressed before you layer and quilt! Just my suggestion!!!!
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  9. #9
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    Trim the sewing thread ends. If the fabric is fraying, I carefully trim also being careful not to pull on them to further unravel the fabric. Bonnie Hunter calls wayward threads that show through the quilt, varicose threads.

  10. #10
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    I always wash a new quilt before I gift it. I've already taken off any horribly offensive thread hangovers (using a curved small pair of scissors similar to fingernail scissors but sharper) but I go over it again after washing. There are always many more lose ends because I don't interupt what I am doing at the moment to take care of the threads. I'm a pretty practical person, but I find myself loving going over a quilt when I am done, checking it out, loving it. just plain feeling it. I may never see it again!

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