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Thread: why pull thread to top?

  1. #1
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    why pull thread to top?

    I always see instructions that tell you to pull the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt at the beginning of the seam when quilting all the layers together. Why is this necessary? Why can't you just leave the bobbin thread on the bottom and pull the top thread down and tie it underneath when finished? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    It's the best way to prevent thread nests.
    Tenacity is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. -Oswald Chambers

  3. #3
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    The bottom thread can get all messed up in the stitching if you don't pull it to the top of the sandwich.

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    agree with the others, plus to me, it helps lock the start of a seam. It makes me really grumpy to have to try to get rid of a stray thread on the bottom. (And I generally do probably "overquilt" so it is tougher)

  5. #5
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    So as I do it different, I leave them on the bottom. When I am finished, I cut the bottom threads where still connected halfway between insertion points into the fabric. I then take a eyeless needle and spend an hour (or whatever) burying my top threads, then an hour (or whatever) burying my bottom threads. The time saved not worrying about pulling bobbin threads up makes up that time. You were going to have to bury them anyway. I don't have top threads, nor bottom bobbin threads pull out of my quilts after wash.

    tim in san jose

  6. #6
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    My dear aunt told me to pull both threads to the back of the pressure foot and hold them there with your finger as you begin stitching. Never have had those thread tangles ever since.
    Last edited by Learner747; 05-19-2015 at 02:02 PM.

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    You can't pull the thread to the back of the presser foot & hold it when it is under the center of an 80inch quilt Learner.

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner747 View Post
    pull both threads to the back of the pressure foot and hold them there with your finger as you begin stitching.
    You and the OP are talking about two different things. The OP specifically asked about bringing threads to the top when quilting; your advice is correct but works only when piecing.

    Josieh - I agree with the other posters; bringing both threads to the top help prevent thread nesting.

  9. #9
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    As my Mom used to say...............if you don't you get a rat's nest on the back.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdegenhart View Post
    You can't pull the thread to the back of the presser foot & hold it when it is under the center of an 80inch quilt Learner.
    You can if you have brought the bobbin thread to the top. You hold both threads toward the back and lower the pressure foot, doesn't matter where on the quilt you are.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Te whole point was she was asking about during quilting, not piecing. She was taling about NOT bringing it to the top.

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    I've beard it's to avoid thread nest

  13. #13
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    If you leave the bobbin thread there is a good chance that it will get all tangled up when you start stitching. Since you can't really see what's going on, you won't realize what a mess you have until the line is done. It would take a whole heck of a lot more effort to untangle the mess, then bury the threads. I have tried doing this and actually tore the thread. So when the start of my quilting line is visible (and not off the edge) I try to remember to pull up the bobbin thread.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Homespun's Avatar
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    I pull my bobbin thread up and then tie the threads before restarting to sew...also take one stitch back and one forward to hold the thread. The threads are easier to find if you take care of them right away.
    Retired teacher, loving it.
    Love quilting also.

  15. #15
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Once in a blue moon you will get the bobbin excess being wrapped in the stitching creating what is called a nest. I was not carefully with this quilted project since I am just do decorative quilting on the Bible bag top and the lining will hide any mistakes. Usually I use little strip of leftover fabrics called enders to prevent this from happening. HOPE this photo helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  16. #16
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    I see everyone does things differently. I don't get nests. I don't pull the bobbin thread up before I start a line of quilting, I don't pull it up after a line of quilting. When finished the line, I release tension, move the fabric (on my domestic) or the machine (on my long arm), put the presser foot down and do the next section f quilting, still not pulling through the bobbin thread. So what if (no, not if, when) I run over a bobbin thread? When I am finished the quilt, I turn it over, clip all the threads halfway between spans, and bury them. The ones that were run over by later quilting get pulled out from under the over run and get buried just like anything else. If you think you are securing your bobbin threads by pulling them through while quilting and cutting them flush... think it through a bit more thoroughly. All threads really need to be buried in the batting for a 1/2 inch or so to make sure they don't pull out when washed. JMHO tim in san jose

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    I do free motion quilting, not side to side. Sometimes I need to start in the middle of a quilt and move in multiple directions. If I don't bring my thread to the top, I end up quilting over the bobbin thread - what a mess!

  18. #18
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanoePam View Post
    I do free motion quilting, not side to side. Sometimes I need to start in the middle of a quilt and move in multiple directions. If I don't bring my thread to the top, I end up quilting over the bobbin thread - what a mess!
    But WHY is it a mess? It's just a thread under another thread.

  19. #19
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter View Post
    I see everyone does things differently. I don't get nests. I don't pull the bobbin thread up before I start a line of quilting, I don't pull it up after a line of quilting. When finished the line, I release tension, move the fabric (on my domestic) or the machine (on my long arm), put the presser foot down and do the next section f quilting, still not pulling through the bobbin thread. So what if (no, not if, when) I run over a bobbin thread? When I am finished the quilt, I turn it over, clip all the threads halfway between spans, and bury them. The ones that were run over by later quilting get pulled out from under the over run and get buried just like anything else. If you think you are securing your bobbin threads by pulling them through while quilting and cutting them flush... think it through a bit more thoroughly. All threads really need to be buried in the batting for a 1/2 inch or so to make sure they don't pull out when washed. JMHO tim in san jose
    If you bring your bobbin thread to the top you can bury both threads at the same time with a self threading needle by threading them both at once, knotting and burying them both in the same motion. You are creating twice as much work burying top threads and flipping the quilt and burying bobbins. I am glad you never get thread nests. It only took one for me to learn my lesson.
    So for me, and for the OP, another reason to bring bobbin thread to the top is so you can bury them both together at the same time if you do it that way. I will lock stitches in place before burying them. I do this by taking several very minuscule stitches back and forth in the ditch or an area where there is already a lot of thread build up. Those threads aren't coming loose, I check. Hey if its good enough for Karen McTavish, who I learned it from, it is good enough for me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    I would never argue with her. But... I save a lot of time not pulling the threads up as I quilt. I can use the zen of burying threads as part of the finishing process of the quilt (like binding). When I stitch in the ditch (on my domestic) I use the double reverse stitch method, still don't pull the threads up and just cut everything off flush when done. The only time I get thread nest is when some idiot forgets to put the presser foot down on the Tin Lizzy. Much easier to do than you can imagine. And very, very ugly. tim in san jose

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter View Post
    But WHY is it a mess? It's just a thread under another thread.
    The bottom thread never follow the loops and swirls I am doing. It makes a huge mess if I don't pull the thread to the top so I can control it. I want the back of my quilts to look as good as the front.

    Pam
    Last edited by CanoePam; 05-20-2015 at 06:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter View Post
    But WHY is it a mess? It's just a thread under another thread.
    ..on my longarm, on which I do quilting, I pull that bobbin thread up, hold it together with top thread, take one stitch in place, move the head just 1 or 2 threads over, take another stitch, and a third, then I gently tug on those tails and I can feel the knot I have created on the underside pop into the batting, then I clip those tails right against the top fabric and they too sink in... That's how I was instructed a long time ago....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    You can if you have brought the bobbin thread to the top. You hold both threads toward the back and lower the pressure foot, doesn't matter where on the quilt you are.
    this is what I do, this way you can take a couple of tiny stitches to lock the starting point, clip both threads close and be done with trimming or burying threads, saves lots of time & frustration.

  24. #24
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    To stop the bobbin thread being sewn over during the quilting. You might end up with not enough to pull through after you have untangled it.

  25. #25
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    Absolutely you can pull the threads to the back of the presser foot.

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