To knot, or not to knot

That's actually a bigger question than we realize.  Normally, if I'm doing fun quilting, I just quilt in a quarter inch of tiny stitches that hold the end secure and trim the tails.  That works really well with cotton thread.  But, this time, I'm using two very fine threads, and one is silk.  I started out with the tiny stitches and found out that those fine threads wouldn't hold the tiny stitches, so by the time I had pulled the tails taut and cut them, I'd picked out all my tiny stitches.  So, I went with the buried knot method.  Buried knots are what we use in hand quilting, but they work for machine quilting, too.

When I bury my knots, I leave about a three inch tail on both ends of the line of quilting.  I tie a simple "rabbit through the hole" knot, about an eighth of an inch from the surface of the quilt.  I can use the point of my needle to force that knot where I want it.  So long as the needle is in the hole with the rabbit, I can move that knot up and down the thread tail.  But, once you pull the point of the needle out, that knot is set where it's going to be.  These threads are so fine that I'm putting two of those knots on top of one another so that the final knot is large enough to stay buried inside the fabric. 

Then, I thread the tails through a self threading needle and bury the knot in the quilt and trim the tails and you can't even tell there is a knot.  This is my needle.  It's open on the end, then there are two bumps that touch and form an eye.  But, because they are bumps, you can pull the thread through them and into the eye instead of the way we would traditionally thread a needle, by wetting the thread ends and then trying to thread them through the eye from the end.  Believe me, if you plan to bury knots in machine quilting, you're gonna want self threading needles. 

Burying knots is on my mind today because I haven't been burying mine, so I have probably a couple hundred thread tails to bury.  Soon, I'll just sit with the quilt in my lap and tie those off.  The only drawback to leaving them is that they are just another thing to get tangled in the foot as I move the quilt from section to section to quilt.  And, I have to make sure not to quilt over them. 

The best advantage to buried knots is in "fixing" mistakes.  I can cut a mistake and pick out the stitches before and after it to give me tails, knot the tails, then replace the quilting, starting exactly where the old quilting ends, so you can't even tell I picked out a mistake. 

Okay, that's my handy tip for the day. 

Now, I'm going to brag on Sydney.  I don't know if she's faking it or not.  And, I don't care.  But, she's being so nice to me and we are getting along so well.  Rob and I both think she needed a "reset" and to do that, we needed to get her attention.  And, once we had it, she's been willing to comply with our requirements.  She's sleeping at night, getting up in the morning on her own (most days) and taking care of her business again.  It's such a welcome change.  Tomorrow, Rob and I have taken off to take her Cmas shopping.  With her working weekends, it's gotten difficult to shop with her, and we need her to pick out some things to go under the tree. 

And, she wants to shop for us. 

That feels good.



Becky said...

I was wondering how things were going. Sounds good.
Have a great weekend!

Lots of love,

Sally Langston Warren said...

Parenting is not easy, and it's so rewarding to see signs that you are making the right decisions especially when it involves any kind of discipline or "cracking the whip" so to speak. (Not physically, but like you have.....with the talk about attitudes, contributing to family as in helping around the house with chores, etc). Enjoy the rewards, Lane! I bet Sydney is enjoying it too!

The Joyful Quilter said...

You are doing some really magnificent quilting on that quilt and I'm so glad to hear that things are going better with Syd!!

Vesuviusmama said...

A couple hundred thread tails to bury? I hope you are exaggerating! that sounds so tedious!