No, no, not like that, ending your lines of quilting, silly!  I have just finished burying about a million thread ends from a very densely quilted couple of areas on the rainbow (no, you're still not getting to see it yet, it's still not bound ;o) ), and I've been forced to examine my sanity levels (especially as I've actually quilted those bits twice, and had started burying before calling it quits on version 1)  So here's my question for you all:

How do you deal with thread ends on your quilting?

Quilting something like this, I just sewed off the edge of the top for the matchstick part, and for the 4 floral parts, I didn't mind burying 16 thread ends (4 per flower, 2 at each end):


I trust, perhaps erroneously, that the binding seam will deal with sealing off the ends of the matchstick quilting lines.

If, however, I had the quilt below and decided that I was going to do, say, matchstick in the big squares, with highly contrasting thread, such that doing a couple of stitches across at the end of each line to reach the next one would be horribly noticeable on the square and/or the background fabric, and you'd therefore have to finish each line individually, how would you secure it so you didn't have to bury all the thread ends?


Answers on a postcard please, I need to preserve my sanity for future quilting projects so that I'm not always forced to do edge to edge quilting to save myself from the dreaded ends...

35 comments:

  1. I'm a heathen. I very carefully backstitch over a couple tiny stitches if I'm mixing it up. Which is why I prefer end to end quilting. I've never had an issue with the binding securing things. I don't have the patience to bury anything.

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  2. I'm a very basic machine quilter, I try to start at an edge and finish at an edge to avoid burying ends.

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  3. I have used the lock stitch to end the stitching in the past but it leaves a little bobble on the bobbin side, so I need to find a better option. Will be interested to see the responses.

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  4. Go across the square, turn, stitch a couple down the ditch, turn, begin the next row and so on. Bury end when entire square is done or back stitch in the ditch.

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    1. Nope, can't do that, thread contrast was too high :o(

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  5. I always knot and bury my threads individually, but I also usually quilt things really very simply and go edge to edge when possible. I wonder if there would be a way to make your turns a part of the design? Say instead of doing them in the ditch you did them inside the square 1/2" to a 1/4" from the edge? You could even vary how far in you make the turn on each quilting row to add some interest.

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  6. I avoid machine quilting patterns that require lots of burial. I would rather hand quilt. Not helpful, sorry!

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  7. I've clearly been doing it wrong! I don't bury, I back stitch at the start and end or sew off the end

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  8. If the thread contrast is high, I always bury threads. i do use self threading needles and try to bury them as I go. If the thread contrast is low, I try and hide the backstitch in a ditch.

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  9. Yep -Im totally an anchoring with backstitching girl. Once it's washed up nobody notices!

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  10. To avoid the need to bury a million threads, I would first or last stitch an outline of the area so that now you are matchstick quilting in the outline and can turn back and forth with a stitch in the outline. There is no way I would ever buy a million threads. Another option is to backstitch, I would do that before the million buryings.

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  11. I am with Lucy, I would probably handstitch!

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  12. I am with Leanne and would bury the ends in the margin so to speak. Hand quilting I would so the old embroidery thing of losing the long thread at the back and then trimming off

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  13. I gradually decrease the stitch length to zero over the last cm or so then trim. Or I hand quilt ;-)

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  14. I'm right there with all the other edge to edge and backstitching folks. so looking forward to seeing your Rainbow.

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  15. Oh dear, I just snip 'em off. Honestly, my quilts just get used and used, and in all my using them I have never noticed a thread end anywhere. Maybe if I had them on my walls I might worry about threads, but them I am super short-sighted, so even with my super contact lenses... Interesting tips here, though. Well done you. I look forward to seeing your secret! xx JJ

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    1. Ha, to be honest, if it was for me, I might snip, but as it's for a show and someone else, I thought I'd better secure things!

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  16. I begin and end with micro stitches - which is usually the same method that longarmers use. The method is explained on the APQS website ( http://www.apqs.com/stitching-a-line )

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    1. I found a great free Craftsy video by Cindy Needham that shows the method I use. Check it out.

      http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2012/09/learn-instructor-cindy-needhams-helpful-technique-to-begin-and-end-your-machine-quilting-lines/

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    2. That's what I do, too! Sounds like from other people that you can't really get away from hand-burying thread ends for show quilts, though... :}

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  17. I'm a reverse stitch gal, lumpy or not! Life is too short! Jxo

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  18. I use the micro stitch method when I can't just sew off the edge, so to speak. I also have used back stitching from time to time. I think the back stitching is more noticeable. I was just reading up on this and someone had mentioned that if the quilt is for a show, like one that's being judged, the judges will actually feel the quilt for bumps. So bury threads if you want a show quilt, use whatever else for personal use I guess. I did like Leanne's idea of ending/ starting in the ditch.

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  19. Which means I will never do a show quilt.

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  20. Photoshop them!?!
    :-)
    Dad XXX

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  21. Having once had to do all that burying, ever since I either don't quilt ( other than the way I construct the quilt) or quilt edge to edge, sorry, I'm no help to you at all!

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  22. If it's to be judges I think you would be expected to bury and finish off by hand. I went through a stage of what Charlotte said, reduce stitch length to where it would be impossible to unravel, but nowadays I do a lock stitch.
    In class mode I always explain the options and leave it to individuals.

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  23. I always knot and burry each and every thread, but it has helped me to use a self threading needle from Clover. I’ve tried to use a lock stitch, but I don’t like the way it looks.

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  24. I reduce the stitch length for the last half inch and then use a self threading needle which i keep in a pincushion next to my machine to bury them as I quilt. If you do them as you go it isnt such a horrible painful chore.

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  25. Since I'm not out to win any awards or be judged for my abilities, I carefully back stitch and hope for the best. I've never had a problem with the edges coming out when sewn over by the binding.

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  26. I'd use Leanne's ideas, I'm never ever going to bury lots and lots of threads. Life's too short.

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  27. Invent your own version of matchstick and come back down at a point and gradually widen to your matchstick size. Kind of like a tight block-size zigzag look, or more like you were darning the block. Think lie detector graph lines, only more uniform. Does that make sense? That way, you have one start and one end per block

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  28. I don't bury threads at all, I just use the machine tie off and trim, or if I run out of thread, I have the lock on stitch thingy at the start which I start on top of the last two stitches where I ran out to secure it down. This doesn't really help for your matchstick in a square idea though. How about QAYG-ing those- so matchsticking them into submission- and then insetting them in the larger pieces of fabric that could have a less dense pattern?

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  29. I don't mind burying threads so send your project down here and I'll sort those pesky ends for you!

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  30. I usually try to start and end an area in the same location. That way I don't have to hunt and find.

    I use a self threading needle as suggested by Melissa @ Sew BitterSweet Designs. This goes way way ways faster than I ever imagined. And if you have the start and end right there. . it's awesome.

    And if I'm lazy I do microstitches and just clip them close. :) like what HeyJudee said.

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  31. I just backstitch a couple of stitches, it's totally fine. Like Judith said 'life's too short'! And no one else will ever notice one way or the other!

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