Friday, July 24, 2015

What do I do with those Thread Tails?

As a show quilter, it is important for me to know what is happening with the tails/ends of my threads. When quilting, I bury the ends inside the quilt sandwich to make sure that they don't start to ravel. This is especially important when working with slippery threads like polyester and rayon.

So....what do I do when them when I am machine appliqueing?

Well, if there is another piece that is going to be placed on top, I simply start with a few locking stitches and then trim the ends off.  When a piece of fusible is placed on top of those ends all the tails will be trapped and won't be able to move or to ravel.  This works on all the pieces of this flower block except the two dots.

To address this problem I do the following:

  1. Get a self-thread needle.  Any brand will do.
    Self-Threading Needle
  2. Thread the tails into the needle and pull them to the back of the block.

  3. Tie the thread ends in a SQUARE KNOT to make sure it is strong.  
  4. Now you have two choices:  
    1. Simply cut about 1/4 inch away (shown above) from the knot and leave the tails in the middle of the quilt 
    2. Thread the ends under the blanket stitches to make sure they can't move and peep out into your background fabric.  This is VERY important if you are using a light background fabric as dark threads have a tendency to show through.  This dark gray I am using does not have this problem so I am simply cutting my tails.  However, if I was using a white fabric I would definitely be more careful. is worth taking the time to deal with your thread tails right away!  That way you won't realize later that they are going to be a problem and show through your quilt.

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