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Thread: What the heck do I do with the tails?

  1. #26
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingle
    Do others backstitch when using your walking foot? My manuel says not to use the backstitch if using this foot. I don't know why it doesn't say. If I could backstitch a few stitches I would, but not sure if I should try not knowing what it might do to my foot.
    Usually, when I am quilting, I loosen my tension to go through all those layers, and then, I lengthen my stitches to keep the tension good (walking foot) .... If, when you begin sewing, you hold your quilt for a few stitches, the machine will create its own knot OR you can tighten down the length of stitches for two or three stitches, and then lengthen them back up so that your quilt isn't crimped in your stitching.
    THis is the way factories do it all of the time. and we don't cut the threads and bury them (factories don't have time ), however ... if you are going to use a hand needle to bury your tails? Be sure that you create a knot in your thread before pulling it down into the batting ...you accomplish this (I haven't read everything everyone else wrote, and if I am repeating myself, I apologize, but here we go!)
    To create a knot for the inside of your quilt, hold the thread coming from the quilt in one hand, put the needle, in your other hand, pointing toward you ... okay ... I am left handed ... this is how it goes. I have the thread from the quilt in my right hand
    I put the needle in my left hand, point the needle toward my right hand, put the needle close to the quilt and using my right hand, wrap the needle three times with the thread from quilt, as close as I can get it, but I am not going to actually worry where the knot comes out, since the next thing I am going to do is hold the wraps with my right hand, while I pull the needle completely through them with my left hand.
    when the little knots are all together, almost like a french knot, I point the needle down two threads away from where my last stitch ended, slip the needle into my quilt, most specifically attempting to get it into the batting ...
    then, I am going to judge how far my knot is from the quilt and make sure my needle comes out at a farther distance than that knot/quilt distance ... start pulling your needle up to the surface, paying attention to where the knot is going ... it may slide into your quilt sandwich. If it doesn't, a slight tug or two will pull the knot through your fabric (no big hole), and the knot become entangled into the batting ... and VIOLA!
    You have just completed one of the basic acheivements of hand quilting, which reminds me of Alex Anderson since she is where I learned this from, and which may have links that might help you understand what I just said ...
    If I were reading this, I don't know if I could figure it out, but, maybe with a little research of handsewing links you will find pictures of what I tried to explain.
    It really is a good thing to know how to do, even if we don't do it in the factory, eh? LOL

  2. #27
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    You don't have to start your SITD in the center. Your quilt should be pinned well enough you can start anywhere. That being said, you can start at one edge and sew to the other. That way, the ends of your seam will be caught in the binding. If you do need to start in the center part of the quilt, take abut 1/4" of T-I-N-Y stitches - as small as you can get without being "0". If you've ever tried to pick out those kind of stitches you know they aren't coming out! That way you don't build up thread like you would if you backstitch.

  3. #28
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    Shelley, I am the inventor of the Spiral Eye Needle. Thank you for such a great referral to my product and website.

  4. #29
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Well folks, being new to this, when someone said to bury the threads and how to do it thats what I did. Did not see the part where it said (early in the post) to knot the threads first. So, all I did was bury the threads. Now I'm thinking I better not "ever" wash this thing or it will come apart. Since this is my first quilt I guess you just live and learn. :(

  5. #30

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    If you don't want to backstitch, set your stitch length to 0 or 0.5 and take several stitches on top of each other as you start. THen set your stitch length to what it should be, sew a little, and trim those tails to and bottom. No needle threading or burying needed!

  6. #31
    Super Member Pats8e8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patientpiecer
    If you don't want to backstitch, set your stitch length to 0 or 0.5 and take several stitches on top of each other as you start. THen set your stitch length to what it should be, sew a little, and trim those tails to and bottom. No needle threading or burying needed!
    Exactly, that is the good way to do it!

  7. #32
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I have taken a couple of machine quilting classes with Paula Reid (who does all of Alex Anderson's quilting). She says to take the very small stitches, as described several times on this thread, at the beginning and end, then trim. I didn't know about having to bury the tails.

  8. #33
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    when I don't want to backstitch on a block etc I put pressure on the fabric so the needle goes up/down about 3 times in the same spot to take the place of backstitching.

  9. #34
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingle
    Well folks, being new to this, when someone said to bury the threads and how to do it thats what I did. Did not see the part where it said (early in the post) to knot the threads first. So, all I did was bury the threads. Now I'm thinking I better not "ever" wash this thing or it will come apart. Since this is my first quilt I guess you just live and learn. :(
    It will be fine. If you happened to run it far enough in to the quilt that you will actually be quilting over it in another direction, it will be better ... the thread will have a hard time backing up out of the batting, so if you must wash, by all means, wash! since you are the one owning the quilt, if you see a thread coming out, just take it over to your sewing machine and stitch EXACTLY over the first line for five or six stitches (another factory technique ) that will anchor things quite nicely.
    You will be fine, and you have done fine ... you will still be learning something on your fiftieth quilt! That is why intelligent people keep cutting up fabric and sewing it back together! LOL

  10. #35
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingle
    Do others backstitch when using your walking foot? My manuel says not to use the backstitch if using this foot. I don't know why it doesn't say. If I could backstitch a few stitches I would, but not sure if I should try not knowing what it might do to my foot.
    SOmetimes, when we are SITD, we are going ninety miles an hour ... or just stitching! Then, we decide we want to backstitch and we flip the switch on the fly ... if you take your time backstitching with the walking foot, then you shouldn't break anything ... speed is not your friend at that moment ...
    HOWEVER! Having explained that, you have received some pretty good advice about how to anchor stitches from the get-go ...
    To recap: Hold the quilt in place for three or four stitches (the machine will knot itself) before allowing it to move forward.
    or
    start at the very edge of the quilt and stitch across, content in the knowledge that your binding will cross those end stitches at least once and anchor your stitches
    or
    when you begin your stitching, turn your stitch length down to .5 or 1 for four or five stitches
    and, the handwork if that is your choice. this quilt will have been a REALLY good teacher for you, and THAT is a good thing.

  11. #36
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Dingle, how do you manage to make mitered corners on your bindings without sewing in reverse? If you can do that, you can backstitch.
    I don't backstitch on my mitered corners on my bindings ... I make sure that I have a tail, then I put my needle down before I EVER start to stitch forward ... when I cut the tail on my binding, I leave about 1/2" of thread, just to make a knot work a bit harder to come undone before I do my next round of stitching ...
    If my manual said NOT to do something, I wouldn't do it unless I was REALLY sure it wouldn't be messed up ... follow owner's manual until you are confident you know what you are doing .... all of us have little shortcuts we use that may or may not be "kosher" .... and, when someone does something differently than what we think, or is more cautious or more adventuresome ... we have to remember that we are the ones that have to pay the bill if something goes wrong ...
    the more you practice piecing and quilting, the more adventurous you will become because you will grow more familiar with all the variables that are in this fine endeavor.

  12. #37
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingle

    Being a newbie and reading this board other posters said to start in the middle and work your way out to the edge. This is suppose to help with the shifting of the sandwich. Does doing it your way not really make a difference?

    Thanks
    Hope I am not being redundant here, but I wanted to be sure that you are comfortable with your quilting endeavor.
    When you are quilting on a machine that has a small throat, the easiest way to handle all the excess quilt is to roll the edges toward the middle in one direction .... if you have pinned your quilt every four to six inches, it is well stabilized to be rolled up and put into the machine. At that point, you can start in the middle at an edge ... but, we didn't mean for you to go to the middle of the middle and work outward ... I'm sorry if we didn't make that clear to you.
    I have done quilting with my portable machine and worked from an upper right corner down to the lower left corner, just because I wanted to see if there weren't a better way to handle the quilt ... so, you see ... the advice you get is the best a writer can provide ... but, nothing is written in stone and there are many variations ... some things that work well for me might set another quilter's teeth on edge ... this is after all a WIP (work in progress).
    Everyone on the list is on your side, wanting to help you succeed and thrive, so just keep on keeping on ... and, we will be waiting to see your good first effort.
    It is obvious that you have taken a lot of time and care to accomplish the feat, be sure to share the finished product with us.

  13. #38
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    When I bury the tails, it is usually after I finsihed it not started it. I'll look at the nasty little threads on my pretty quilt, terrified to cut them off for fear it will unravel the whole thing. Burying threads means to me, catching that short thread that is ruining the clean look of my project and brining it back into the gutter. Not to sound like I am trying to push my invention, but one of the main uses for my side threading needle is it is easy to catch those threads and simply sew them into the gutter. Spiral eye needles have a small slot ont he side of the eye, this makes it easy to thread, even in tight spots.

  14. #39
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamTurner
    When I bury the tails, it is usually after I finsihed it not started it. I'll look at the nasty little threads on my pretty quilt, terrified to cut them off for fear it will unravel the whole thing. Burying threads means to me, catching that short thread that is ruining the clean look of my project and brining it back into the gutter. Not to sound like I am trying to push my invention, but one of the main uses for my side threading needle is it is easy to catch those threads and simply sew them into the gutter. Spiral eye needles have a small slot ont he side of the eye, this makes it easy to thread, even in tight spots.
    yep, bury tails after the quilt is finished ..
    so, I have a question: do you tie a knot before you bury the thread in the gutter?
    I can see that your needle is a good invention ... it looks like the gap the thread goes into, that gap closes as the needle goes through the fabric, sort of like a clasp, so that the gap isn't catching on batting and fabric. Correct? or is the opening not a factor?
    I know what you mean about having TINY pieces of thread to bury ... sometimes, I almost get a headache

  15. #40
    Catherine's Avatar
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    back stitch..you gals are just too good. I cut my threads off..but I also stitch around the edges of my quilt to hold the stitching in place. I just don't have alot of patience.

  16. #41
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omak
    If my manual said NOT to do something, I wouldn't do it unless I was REALLY sure it wouldn't be messed up ... follow owner's manual until you are confident you know what you are doing .... all of us have little shortcuts we use that may or may not be "kosher" .... and, when someone does something differently than what we think, or is more cautious or more adventuresome ... we have to remember that we are the ones that have to pay the bill if something goes wrong ...
    My goodness, you are quick to call others to task. :shock: I simply said that if she backstitches on the corners of her binding, as most quilters are taught to do, then she can backstitch on her quilting. I most certainly did NOT tell anyone to disregard what their owner's manual says. The question of what brand of walking foot we are talking about has never been answered either.

  17. #42
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone
    Thank you for all your help. I'm on my way back to work, so tonight I will address some of your questions when I settle down for the night. I do appreciate all the help.
    Thanks, Kris

  18. #43
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    I don't knot my stray threads. I simply catch the thread in the slot on the side of the Spiral Eye Needle and start sewing, I try to keep the stitches inside, between the pieces and the backing so when I run out of thread I just remove the needle and the thread is totally hidden. By sewing inside a few stitches I seem to have avoided any problem with the stitches coming undone.

    As to how my needle works, it has an opening on the side, and the opening remains open, but the geometry of where the slot enters keeps it from snagging, and then the "stop" or "bump" inside the eye keeps the thread inside. Depending on the material I sew with my needle, I do have some minor snags occassionally, but quilt material isn't one of the problem textiles. It is more with stretchy elastic material or silky stuff.

  19. #44
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone
    As most of you know I'm new at this. The reason I asked about what to do with the tails is because someone said to make sure and start my SITD in the middle. Yes I took that as starting in the middle of the middle of the quilt. That is why I had so many tails to take care of. Someone else said to bury them and also explained how, but nothing was said about tying a knot before they were buried. I had already buried them before someone else said to make sure they are tied first. At least I now know this for my next quilt. I also get what the middle is now :lol:

    The walking foot I have is a universal one. My manuel says not to backstitch using this foot but I can do a small zig-zag. I looked at a few web sites that carry this foot and they also say not to backstitch. I have a Brother CE-5000. When I have sewn using my regular foot I do backstitch.
    I will try all the suggestions about the tiny stitches at the beginning and end.

    To the person asking me about mitered corners. I haven't mastered that yet. All in due time :wink:

    I know there are plenty of books I could get to teach me all of this but for the most part they are not "clear as mud" for me. I learn more from this forum. Video's are out of the question also. I'm still on dial-up and it takes forever.

    I'm now putting the binding on my quilt. I got the first side on no problem. Now when I try to put the other side on my upper thread keeps breaking. I haven't changed anything on my machine so don't know why it's giving me problems now. I will have to say though I think its turned out pretty darn good. :D

    My next quilt is going to be a hunting and fishing theme for my hubby. I'm going to do the D9P. I have one print and 4 tone on tones that match the colors in the print. Just have to figure out how to lay it out.

    I hope this has answered some of your questions. I'm off to try to figure out why my thread keeps breaking.

    Kris



  20. #45
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    When is the last time you changed your needle?
    Can't tell you how many times I have found that to be my problem - - us old factory workers just keep using a needle until the blamed thing breaks!
    One time, I couldn't get my machine to sew right, tried taking it apart, only to find out that I hadn't put the needle in correctly! The needle has a groove in the pointy end of the needle that the thread glides through ... if that ends up on the wrong side, well ... it just won't do what you want it to! (Just a word in advance because I am sure it will come up for you -- we all have dealt with it in one form or another.)
    You sound like you have a really good fabric selection for your D9P ... after talking about doing one for WEEKS, even teaching a lady to take back to her sewing group to learn ... I started a D9P today.
    I made twenty two blocks today, before I realized I really didn't know how many blocks it will take to make a lap/twin sized quilt. that is just the way it goes, sometimes!
    I am so glad you are planning your second quilt ... you will learn a lot with that one, also!
    If changing the needle doesn't help, then re-check your tensions ... they don't always hold consistently, and don't forget that with all the fabric, intersections, and batting ... you will want to lengthen the stitch to three or even four ...
    I have heard of some who have had to change the needle three or four times before they got one that worked ... but, that doesn't usually happen.
    Let us know how you are doing
    it is a lot of fun to help another person get excited about quilting!

  21. #46
    PamTurner's Avatar
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    The tension on my machine is almost always the problem with breaking thread. Sometimes it is because I am using cheap thread. I have made a commitment to only buy good thread for now on. Bargain brands aren't always a bargain!


  22. #47
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    I have always taught my students to bring up the bobbin thread, start with very small stitches then continue. I recently been told by one who should know that you can use Fray Check on those starts and stops, after using the short stitches and then clip them off! No need to bury them in the quilt. Jan

  23. #48
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    Pam, what a wonderful way to thread a needle! Are they available for sale and where? Jan

  24. #49
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    next time consider a backstitch or fix stitch and then you just cut them off. You will need to bury the threads I think.

  25. #50
    PamTurner's Avatar
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    stormatsea45, Spiral eye needles are sold in Hobby Lobby stores as well as at my website...www.spiraleyeneedles.com. There are more sizes of the needles on my website and you can order just one. Hobby Lobby has the most popular sizes and sell them in packs of two.

    Thanks for the support.

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