Saturday, September 7, 2019

Back To School Blog Hop Day 8 - How to Solve Loops in Free Motion Quilting

Thanks to Sam Hunter for inviting me to be part of this blog hop.

I love to free motion quilt.  It truly is one of my favorite parts of the process of quilting.  However, I always know when my bobbin is getting low because I will get small loops on the top of my quilt.  Then it's time to break out the seam ripper and rip and wind a new bobbin and start again.


This is what I'd wondered.  Is there a way to get rid of the loops and save time?  

YES!  And it's super easy.

Start with a self-threading needle.  There are many brands available and they all work well.

Here is the loop (below red arrow).  It's really hard to take a good picture of a loop, but trust me it sticks up about 1/8 inch away from the surface of the quilt.  This quilt is destined for show and I can't have that!

Step One - Put matching thread in a self-threading needle.  Put the thread through the loop.  Take the needle OFF and leave the thread so it goes through the loop in the middle leaving two about equal length thread tails.

Step Two - tie a knot with the thread.

Step Three- Put the self-threading needle back on BOTH thread tails.

Step Four - Bury the knot just like you would any other knot on your quilting project.  This will pull the little loop into the batting and save lots of time and effort ripping for one little loop (which of course I never see until later...).

Step Five - Trim your tails.  Complete!

I hope this helps you avoid the seam ripper!

I hope you get to quilt today!


  1. Awesome!! I always have a self-threading needle on a magnetic pin holder on the arm of my longarm because I use it to bury all my tails. This is a great way to fix that rare loop the only shows up after I have rolled the quilt up on the take-up bar!! Thanks for sharing this!!

  2. I haven't gotten those thread loops in quilting, but they do rear their ugly heads in machine embroidery. Found the best and cheapest solution ever for that -- the little tool that they sell on the notions wall of JoAnns for fixing a pull in a sweater. It's like a needle except instead of an eye, the back end of the needle is very roughly textured. So you insert it from the front side of the embroidery (or quilt, I guess) right where that thread loop is and kind of twist as you push it through. The thread loop gets caught on the rough textured end of the needle and pulled straight through to the back of the embroidery. Now, I'm curious about whether it would work for quilting? I think I'd insert the sweater saver needle thingy at an angle rather than straight through the quilt sandwich, so that the thread loop would be trapped between the quilt layers rather than pulled clear through to the backing side.