Wednesday, March 16, 2016

To Knot or Not

knot at end of thread
I've always used a knot, buried in the batting, to begin hand quilting.  Is that what you do, too?

As I was reading a quilting book last week I learned of another way to begin.  In Scraps, Blocks & Quilts:  Patterns and Techniques, Judy Martin recommends cutting a length of thread 24-36" long, threading the needle but not knotting it.  Take a stitch and pull the thread halfway through the fabric and begin quilting.  When at the end of the thread, don't knot it.  Instead, take a small backstitch, push the needle between the layers to a seam, take a small stitch in the seam line, then push the needle between the layers again back in the direction it came and along the seam line.  Bring the thread to the top and cut it even with the top layer.

To continue stitching, go back to the other half of the thread that was left on the top of the quilt and being stitching in the other direction.

Anyone ever do that?  I haven't tried it yet.  I'm not sure how secure the thread would be without a knot at the end.

I've made a little progress on blocks for this quilt this week.

I've been making a pile of parts of blocks and instead of putting them together I decided to make a hefty stack and then sew the sashing between to make the blocks.  I keep finding more scraps and if I sew the four small blocks and sashing together as I find the scraps, some of the same fabrics may end up in groups.  Can't have cliques in my quilts, can I?

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> Let's Bee Social #116 at Sew Fresh Quilts
Thanks for hosting, ladies.



  1. Your blocks look fun!
    I prefer to knot, I like the security!

  2. I think I prefer to knot as well. It just makes me feel that I won't have to be dealing with threads that have escaped from the batting at a later date.

  3. I make quilts to be used and loved ... and washed and dried. I'd be afraid of not having a knot to secure my quilting. Not to mention that I am only able to stitch from right to left, so stitching in the other direction with the tail of the thread is not an option. I guess I'll just continue doing what's worked for 30+ years. ;-)

  4. I have always used a knot-just seems more secure to me!

    1. Yes, I agree, EmileeHope. A knot seems more secure to me, too, and I think I'll continue with knots.

  5. I was taught this way by a Hawiian quilter, but I now do both depends on what I'm hand quilting. This is a good way when doing silk quilting as you don't make a hole in the silk. your wee blocks look wonderful, I can not believe you have not
    run out of scraps yet LOL. Cheers Glenda

  6. I am loving the progress, but where did the circles go?

    1. Thanks, Iris. The circles are on a table. They were just hanging on the blocks, not yet attached. I'm still trying to decide circle size (small or large) and placement (over the little red squares, or at the corners without sashing, and whether alternate blocks or every block). I wasn't sure about the circles but when I walk into the room and see it without the circles it looks very bland, so I think they will be part of the quilt.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

  7. Yep! I'm with everyone else who has responded - knot for peace of mind! Even when I'm machine quilting I find it impossible to cut thread ends that have been secured without threading them through the layers first!

  8. Knot for sure.
    I love the soft palette these blocks are turning out to all enjoy. And the sashing coordinates beautifully.

  9. I've done both, but always go back to my knots. Love the softness of your scrappy quilt. Amazing how those scraps just go on forever.

  10. I began to quilt sewing by hand, and then started using our machine.
    I do enjoy seeing photos of hand quilting an your opener has all my attention.


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