Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pulling Threads To The Back

In the last day or so I stumbled across a blog post where the person was talking about quilting.  Instead of back tacking, she pulls the loose thread ends through to hide them.  I tried to find the post, but it's not in my Bloglines archive - any of you know who it was?  I'd love to link to the post. **Edit:  Alex is right, it was Pink Chalk Studio.**

My reaction was, "WHAT?!?"  The "what" was half "why didn't I already know about this?" and half "OMG! I wish I'd never learned about this."  I realized right away that there were going to be countless instances when I would *have* to pull my thread end through because back tacking would no longer be OK.

Today I'm working on a purse, and I was back tacking the day away *until* I got to the label.  This is the first time I've ever pulled my thread ends through.  This is what I did:

1) Leave long thread ends at the start and end of each stitching line.

2) Thread a needle with a thread end on the front of the piece and pull it to the back of the piece.

3) Hand-tie the front and back thread ends on the back of the piece.  Trim.

Below you can see the (terrible) before and after photos of the corner of a label with back tacking and today's hand-tied label.  It makes a *huge* difference. The "before" isn't that bad, but it's not as clean and smart looking as the "after" label.

13 Comments (comments are disabled)

Alex said ...
It was on Pink Chalk Studio, I guess...
Oh my, you really did cut the threads before?!
Great you discovered burying eventually ;-)

By the way, if you forgot to leave a long thread end you can just first poke in the needle until only the eye is visible, then thread and pull the tread to the back.
7/1/2007 7:11 PM

myra said ...
This is my preferred method too for any seams that show. I love how much cleaner a finish you get.
7/1/2007 8:01 PM

Anna said ...
that's so funny - i'm a totally self-taught sewer and i've always done this with my seams. i think it's because most of my life i was a handsewer, and have just been using the machine as a hand substitute. i only found about about back-tacking a couple of weeks ago. i'm still going with this tie-in-the-back method though!
7/2/2007 6:05 AM

capello said ...
i'm doing my pillow top this way, but i still have to figure out how to begin with no seams for when i do an actual quilt. gah.
7/2/2007 7:55 AM

SisterDG said ...
Thank you so much for sharing this - I missed the post on Pink Chalk Studio, and I'm so glad to know about this method!
7/2/2007 9:56 AM

I'm so goofy, because I've always done this when machine sewing on paper, but never thought to do it when sewing fabric.

Looks good, Alice!!
7/2/2007 11:10 AM

Kuky said ...
I have a sewing book that shows to do it this way. But I only started doing it recently. Probably with box pleat dress, dress K, I made for Isabelle. In sewing your own stuff you really notice the little stuff. I never would have noticed that kind of stuff before. In fact I look at some of my store bought clothes now and am amazed at how messy they are sometimes.
7/2/2007 6:19 PM

dottycookie said ...
I remember my domestic science teacher at school showing us how to do this - I mostly do it still but I must admit back tacking can be a lot faster ...
7/3/2007 12:10 PM

Casey said ...
Hi! I've been lurking about, reading your blog for a while! I really enjoy reading your entries: keep it up!

Anyway, I discovered this technique several years ago when I was making 18th century stays (corset) and had to learn how to secure the threads without the unsightly backtacking! I use it all the time now; its especially good for using on pintucks and such... :) Even though it can be a huge pain in the butt when you've got a ton of ends to tie... ;)
7/4/2007 11:29 AM

kathy said ...
Yes! Another convert. Soon we'll take over the world with perfectly neat beginning and ending stitches ;)
7/6/2007 8:31 PM

SisseLoise said ...
Great tip, and it looks so clean and neat:-) Than You for shearing.
7/8/2007 6:03 PM

Miss Dot said ...
now I feel like a complete loser because I have NEVER done this and it is just SUCH a great idea! thanks peeps
7/29/2007 6:02 AM
Denise said ...

thanks for sharing this - I'd never been taught that either!
3/23/2014 7:53 AM