Saturday, August 20, 2011

Needle trick

I guess it's not really a needle trick, but something I learned a while back that I think is a pretty neat way to bury those threads.  Could be most people know about this, but it is still worth sharing for those who do not.  When you are quilting, you typically draw your bobbin thread to the top when you start and stop.  This allows you to tie the ends to secure them, but then you have to "hide" the thread ends.  I have a needle threaded ready and waiting to do just that... bury the thread.  I use a thread that is a little heavier than some of the thread I use for quilting, but not so heavy that is will make a big hole.  I probably cut about a 12 to 15" piece and fold it in half and thread the looped end through a large eyed needle... not too large though.  I put the needle point in close to the base of the tied ends and direct the needle in a clear path... maybe an inch, under the fabric but not through to the back.  The needle in the picture is just laying there so you can see the loop good.  After the needle is inserted, I position the loop over the insertion point and pull the loose ends of the thread up through the loop with my fingers.  Holding the loose ends securely, I pull the needle out the other end and continue to pull... releasing the thread so the ends come out the other hole.  I don't like to stop and start any more than necessary, but this little trick makes a nice clean finish, quickly.

This quilt is not a quilt that I pieced, and the border was actually hand appliqued, but my friend wanted me to quilt it.  This is part of the border... I chose not to show the whole quilt with it not really being my quilt, but this was the part I liked the best and I wanted to share.  It was my husband's suggestion to echo the elements in the border.  I meandered on the blocks.  He often gives me good feedback when I ask for an opinion of what I should do.  Sometimes he shakes his head and says I don't have a clue, but this one he was pretty sure it would look good echoed.  I think he gave me good advice.  I was very pleased with the thread I found to use. The variegated red/yellow blended in nicely on the border.  I changed the thread when I meandered on the blocks to an off white on top as I thought the red would have been too high of a contrast. The blocks were retro little children playing.

I am in the process of echoing the elements of the border on my hand applique quilt that I have been working on for a while.  I have the hand quilting for twoof the borders done and I actually attached these side borders using my QAYG technique.  Couldn't wait to get all four borders done because I wasn't sure how the QAYG was going to work with the borders.  Pretty slick how it is turning out.  Hand quilting takes a long time, but I am on a roll and really anxious to get it done.  I didn't post a new picture because it looks kind of funny with just the side borders attached, but I will get the next two borders done and a new picture posted... very soon I hope.

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