Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tip Tuesday! A Hot Thready Mess

"Tip Tuesday!" - A Hot Thready Mess

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

With permission from the quilt maker (I'll call her Susie Quilt Maker), I am going to show you a few pictures that can only be described as a hot mess - a Hot Thready Mess! 

I did promise to only show the back side of the quilt because Susie Quilt Maker knows that some of her friends read my blog and she's afraid that they'll recognize the quilt and her identity will be revealed. :-)

Recently, I was asked to quilt a large wall hanging for an acquaintance. I had the time and knew that she didn't want anything fancy so I agreed. When Susie Quilt Maker came to my house to drop off the quilt, I laid it out to get some measurements, discuss the quilting, etc. I noticed a fair amount of thread poking through to the top of the quilt and clipped a few. The more I looked, the more thread I found. It was poking out at the seam intersections, all along the outside edges of the quilt, and also randomly throughout the entire quilt.

I gave Susie Quilt Maker a pair of snips and said, "Let's get rid of these threads because they'll get caught in the machine and cause a problem." (I was also thinking that these threads were multiplying right in front of my eyes. Plus I didn't want to have to clip these myself. I hate to clip threads once a project is sewn. It is soooooo time consuming!)

We spent the next 15 minutes snipping threads. 15 minutes! 

While we were snipping, Susie Quilt Maker told me that she ALWAYS has threads poking through or showing on her projects and she really didn't know why. I asked her if she trimmed her threads while sewing and she said, "Sometimes, but not always."

Well, this is what you get when you don't trim threads. 

Messy Threads - Avoid this thread mess by clipping threads as you sew.

That first picture does't look too bad, does it? It's not a lot, but it still is a mess and can cause a variety of problems like thread getting caught in the seam, thread bunching up and getting caught on the needle. 

Can you see the grey and red threads below? Some of those red threads were showing through the front of the quilt in the light fabric areas.

Messy Threads - Avoid this thread mess by clipping threads as you sew.

Notice the pressing in this next picture. I asked Susie Quilt Maker why she pressed some of the seams away from the light fabric and some towards the light fabric. (I had a pretty good idea why but wanted to know if she did.)

Messy Threads - Avoid this thread mess by clipping threads as you sew.

Susie Quilt Maker told me she pressed the way that was the easiest and that for some reason, the fabric "wanted" to go in different directions. Once we looked closely from both sides, we saw that there were threads caught in the seams. We also noticed that in many cases, the threads had gotten tangled up at the beginning of a seam which caused the fabrics to get flipped in various directions, thus making pressing a challenge.

Check this out. What a mess! 

Messy Threads - Avoid this thread mess by clipping threads as you sew.

Trimming these threads took a lot of time. If Susie Quilt Maker had simply trimmed threads as she sewed, it would have been much easier.

So, why do I think trimming is important? 
Here are my top five reasons.

1.  No loose threads to poke their way to the quilt top and look bad.

2.  No loose threads to get caught in the machine when I'm quilting. (If threads get caught in the hopping foot while a quilt is being quilted on a longarm machine, that can cause a serious problem like a tear.) 

3.  No thread showing through light fabric.

4.  Reduces the chance of threads getting caught in the machine foot or needle, thus causing a problem or mess as you sew.

5.  Loose threads just get in my way and I hate to be slowed down messing with them.

Do you trim your threads as you sew? Why or why not?


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Excellent post. I do as I say (teaching) and clip threads while sewing units, dethread units as they are worked, and go over the quilt top front and back to re-check threads. I like a nice finished top whether it is off to a long armer or I am quilting it myself - for the reasons you have listed.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I always trim but I enjoyed reading your post.
Merry Christmas

Needled Mom said...

I am a thread trimmer too, but really enjoyed reading this hint.