Monday, October 28, 2019

Tips for Burying Threads

Whenever possible, my goal is to start and end my quilting stitches off the edge of my quilt.  But sometimes bobbin thread runs out, thread color needs to change, or portions of your design do not need to be quilted.   The result?  You need to bury threads.

The process can look quite daunting but with the right tools, it is easy!

Let's get started!

As you are quilting, pull the bobbin thread to the front of your quilt - a seam ripper or a pin is all you need to grab that little loop of bobbin thread that pops up as you tug on the top thread.  Leaving bobbin thread on the back of your quilt is just asking for trouble with a big mess of thread!

Tie the two threads together twice to secure the thread.   Trim (if needed) so these threads are roughly 3'' long.

The self threading needle is essential for burying threads. The needle pictured below is from Clover and has a double eye.

There is a very, very thin slit in very top that you can snap your thread into.

 Push your needle part way into the same hole the bobbin thread come to the quilt front.  Push the needle tip about 1/2'' away, making sure you are running the needle through the batting and not  through the quilt back.  Pop your thread pair into the eye of the needle.  Pull through and remove needle.

I like to do each of these steps in batches - popping a whole series of thread pairs through before moving onto the next step.

Pulling slightly on the threads, carefully trim with curved tip scissors.  The curve tips help to protect your quilt top.

Great lighting and a quality lamp is critical.  I love, love my Daylight lamp.

I do my thread burying in bulk, sort of like chain piecing!  I will usually do 5 thread pairs at a time -  tying the 5 sets of knots and then bury the threads for all 5 before finally coming back and trimming off the excess thread.  The only exception is when I need to restart the line of quilting if the bobbin ran out (or a thread breaks.)  For those situations, I will bury and trim those threads before restarting my stitching.  In these cases, you may have to pull out some stitches in order to get thread tails long enough to actually tie.

The self threading needle really makes this process possible so invest in some before you give this a try.

Pin it for later:

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. I keep meaning to purchase some self threading needles for just this use. Perhaps I should just go place an order now!

  2. That's by far my least favourite part but the self threading needle makes such a difference!

  3. Thanks for the wonderful photos, Patty and for reminding me to hunt down my self threading needles. It seems that you did not knot your threads,you just pulled them through. I've always been told to "knot first". Could be I missed it or perhaps the way you used the self threading needle actually created a knot. Some things just confuse me! Hope you've had a wonderful day. PS I did go back and read again, in case I missed the knot step the first time. Thanks!

    1. Absolutely knot first! I usually tie it twice if I'm using 50wt thread. While that step is written above, I couldn't get a photo of it.

  4. This is great - I am just not too clear about where you are tying the knots a s I cant see any in your pictures. xx

    1. Knots are tied right after you pull the bottom thread through - I just tie a basic knot, the same kind I'd use to tie a shoe.

  5. Hi, I enjoyed reading this! I hope that you can answer some questions for me regarding these- when I try to use them, the thread only goes into the top eye, is this correct? And for some reason when I try to pull the thread thru the quilt top, the thread pulls out before it goes thru?

  6. I had no idea there was such a thing as a self threading needle. Thank you for the information and the photos on "how to".

  7. Thanks for the info, Patty! I will certainly look into getting one.



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