Sunday, November 8, 2009

How I bury knots

I haven't been very good at updating my blog. I'm sorry.

In any case, I posted the following to the Quiltart list and people keep asking me for it again. So here it is. I'll take some pictures the next time I'm in the basement at my longarm with a camera and then post it here.

1. I start and stop my lines of machine quilting by pulling the bobbin thread up to the top of the quilt and leaving tails that are several inches long.
2. I take a crewel needle or other hand stitching needle with a large eye.
3. I cut a piece of hand quilting thread or thick machine sewing thread about 24" long. The thread should be stronger than the thread you used to quilt the quilt. Let's call this the carrier thread.
4. I put both cut ends of the carrier thread through the eye of the crewel needle and pull them through a few inches, leaving a loop of thread on the other side. (If you have the clover needle thread, you can do this faster by just pulling on the loop.)  Let's call this thing the carrier.
5. Insert the needle of the carrier through the quilt exactly where the top thread came through the quilt. I take about a one inch stitch, going only through the top and batting, not coming out the back.
6. I grab all four carrier threads, the loop and the two ends, along with the needle and pull it just until the needle comes back out of the quilt.
7. There should still be a loop on top of the quilt, where you want to bury the thread. Put your hand through the loop, grab the threads you want to bury and pull on the needle, again, holding all layers of the carrier thread.  Let the carrier thread slide over your hand and catch the quilting threads. The carrier thread should disappear into the quilt, pulling the threads you want to bury along with it, and then the ends will all pop out on top where you ended the stitch. Pull on the buried threads to put them under tension and then trim them. The ends will disappear into the quilt.

I have found this to be much faster than threading a self threading needle over and over and it also will work when the thread you have to bury is only a quarter inch long.