Thursday, January 26, 2012

Machine Quilting.....Starts and Stops

One of the first things we covered at the machine quilting workshop on Saturday, was how to start and stop your stitching. What I showed at the time, was how to simply begin and end with very tiny stitches, but while this is effective, it is not the best method.
I think the best method is done in such a way so that you (or judges) can NOT detect where your starts and stops are, AND that your stitches are absolutely locked and will not come out. This of course is also the most time consuming way to do it.You will begin as always by taking 1 stitch and bringing your bobbin thread to the surface, hold the tails in your left hand and begin stitching.Now you want to separate these two threads and then tie a knot, lay that knot right tight against your work......then do it once again.....you have now knotted these threads twice, below is a close up of the first knot as it was being pulled tight.Next you will thread a needle.........one with a larger eye and a needle threader helps or you can use a self threading needle if you prefer. (both thread tails are threaded into the eye together)The next step is to insert your threaded needle into the quilt right where that first stitch was taken, carefully slip the needle into the batting/quilt middle only, bring it out about an inch and a half away, give it a gentle tug to cause the knots to "pop" into the quilt and then you can clip your threads closely
To do this method in areas where you have ended your stitching, you will first need to thread a needle with your bobbin thread so that you can bring it to the top....now that both threads are on top you simply repeat the knotting/threading/burying process.
and there you have it, yes it requires a little effort but your starts and stops will be secure and undetectable.



Edit:  Just a note about dealing with your threads at the end of a stitch line....there is a way to do it at the machine, without threading a hand sewing needle....I do it this way but a commenter Rebecca Grace has described the process perfectly so I will use her words

Rebecca says... when you get to the ending, there IS a way to bring up the bobbin thread without using a hand needle. When you finish the line of stitching, DON'T clip threads, but just raise the presser foot and pull the quilt a few inches to the side. Then move the quilt back where it was, holding onto the loop of excess thread on the top of the quilt, lower the needle into the hole of the last stitch and bring it up again. Give a little tug on the loop of top thread, and the bobbin thread will pop up just as it does when you were starting out.

15 comments:

Brenda said...

funny thing: Leah Day over at the free motion quilting project says exactly the same thing in her post today. I bought some of those self-threading needles exactly for that, but can't quite figure them out.

Robbie said...

I've too used this method but I think I saw it by 'Pink'? He's a longarm machine quilter and I thought the method was perfect. So much better than having to tie off on the back of your work. Thanks for sharing for folks who haven't seen this technique before!! you are always so willing to share what you know with others! We thank you for that!

Denise :) said...

Bless you! I knew there was an easier way than what I was doing!! :)

Mary Ann said...

Excellent:)

ms lottie said...

Yup, have to agree this is the best way. It looks so much neater. You've written a great tutorial. And I LOVE Clover self-threading needles for this task. Jane Sassaman introduced us to them in a workshop and they make the task so much quicker.

Rosalind said...

If you have a lot of threads to hide there is another way where you only have to thread your needle once. It also works with short threads.
Double a thread and thread the two ends through the eye leaving the loop at the long end. Make the knot in your quilt ends as you describe and then insert your needle at the knot, catch your quilt tails in the loop and pull through to hide in the batting. Your needle loop releases your quilt threads and is ready threaded for the next one.
Hope that makes sense!
:o)

Joan said...

Thats great Jill...just they way I do it - time consuming, but really satisfying :) Your tutorial was wonderful!

Finishing Lines by K.Sperino said...

excellent tutorial Jill!! I also use a needle threader as I have trouble with all self threaders shredding my threads, but they work excellent for some... When you complete your stitching you can also pull up your bobbin thread by dropping your needle into the last hole and pull it to the top, snip it with a long enough tail and then you can tie/ bury later. This keeps the threads where you can see them, otherwise I tend to get them tangled into the bottom stitching... great job! :)

Teresa in Music City said...

Always love learning something new! Thanks for the tips!!!! Can't wait to try it out!

Chris said...

Thanks for taking the time to demo. I have been unsatisfied with the way my Janome Horizon starts and stops. The top looks good, but the back is an eye sore. I will be using your technique in the future. :)

Jaye said...

I am glad to see that you bury your threads as well. I do this also. It is time consuming, but looks the best.

Valerie said...

I do this also on anything that I really want to hide my starts and stops. You explain it so well though! :) Thanks for sharing, it's reaffirming in a way to know that others do this too!

Cassandra said...

Thanks for posting this!! It improved my quilting 10 fold. I'm a newbie and this REALLY helped. Thanks again!

Mimi said...

Thanks for this tip!!!

Rebecca Grace said...

I just stumbled across a link to this post on Pinterest -- and it's SO timely. I have been working for months on improving my FMQ skills and the one thing that I hate most about my machine quilting is how ugly those tiny "locking stitches" look at the beginning and ending of every line of quilting. I always seem to get tiny thread whiskers at the stops and starts, and even though several well-known machine quilting teachers say to do the starts and stops that way, I think it looks horrendous especially with any kind of contrasting or decorative thread. I am printing out your tutorial and sticking it up at the machine so I can try it this way next time.

One thought that I had, though -- when you get to the ending, there IS a way to bring up the bobbin thread without using a hand needle. When you finish the line of stitching, DON'T clip threads, but just raise the presser foot and pull the quilt a few inches to the side. Then move the quilt back where it was, holding onto the loop of excess thread on the top of the quilt, lower the needle into the hole of the last stitch and bring it up again. Give a little tug on the loop of top thread, and the bobbin thread will pop up just as it does when you were starting out.

Thanks for the tutorial!

Copyright Jill Buckley