Today I don't bother with the tiny start and stop stitches. I start by bringing a long bobbin thread to the top, hold both threads out of the way, and get busy quilting. When I stop I cut the top and bottom threads long and pull the bobbin one to the top. I work on a domestic machine and find it easiest to tie off the tails immediately before I start the next line of stitching. This way I never catch the old thread in the new sewing. This also avoids accidentally leaving some loose ends. I suppose you can still do the tiny stitches, but don't snip. Bury your threads instead.
What do you do when that bobbin thread won't pull to the top? Thread it on a needle and pull it through. You can also pull the top thread to the back. It makes no difference as long as you can tie a knot and bury the threads.
TIP: Please don't leave loose ends. They look really sloppy and if you show your quilt the judges will nail you every time. If children find them they absolutely must pull on them - it is genetically impossible to avoid doing so.
There are three ways that I use to tie knots. Knot #1 is what I think is called an overhand knot, which I use when my threads tails are nice and long. You wrap the threads around two or three fingers, bring the ends through so that the intersection is at the same place where the thread comes out of the fabric. Hold your thumbnail on the intersection where the needle hole is and gently pull the ends so the knot pulls tight right at the hole in the fabric. (For the purpose of visualization I used string for these photos, but the process is the same)
|Overhand Knot - pull the threads to finish the knot.|
TIP: Be careful you don't go all the way through. You don't want threads to show on the back of the quilt.
Getting the ends through the eye of a needle can be a trial sometimes. I know you have all done it, but quilting offers unique challenges for this normally simple task. Hang on, I will post about my methods and needles next week.