A quick tip for burying short threads

Does this situation sound familiar? You're happily machine quilting away, snipping the last threads and getting ready to bury all those tails when you realize that you cut some of them way too short. You wonder just what made you think quilting late at night (or while watching Netflix, or under-caffeinated - pick your distraction of choice here) was a good idea, and groan that you may need to rip out a bunch of stitches to fix this because there is nowhere in this universe where those threads are going to be long enough to fit onto a needle to bury properly.

Ugh!

Fear not, though, I have a sanity-saving quilting hack for you right here. And I promise no seam rippers will be involved.

I filmed a quick one-minute tutorial of the process that you can find on my Instagram profile (you can click right here to watch it, even if you don't have an Instagram account), but I also took a few screen shots of the video to explain it here in detail.

How to bury short threads, a quilting tutorial by Penny Spool Quilts - knotting the threads

So, let's start by knotting the threads so the quilting won't come undone. I use a regular square knot, pushed down right against the fabric, but you can use your knot of choice. The knot itself doesn't really matter as this hack is for burying the threads. As you can see, my thread tails were a tad on the short side, and actually made tying the knot a bit fiddly, too.

Now here's the trick:

How to bury short threads, a quilting tutorial by Penny Spool Quilts - using a second, longer thread to help

Grab a second, longer thread - mine was a good 9 inches, and pink for the purpose of showing up better in the tutorial - fold it in half and thread it onto the needle so that you have a loop on one side of the needle, and two loose tails on the other. Don't pull the thread all the way through, make sure you keep a nice sized loop there.

How to bury short threads, a quilting tutorial by Penny Spool Quilts - using the second thread to create a loop

Push your needle into the quilt as if you had the quilting threads on the needle. So, go into the fabric right at the base of the knot, and push the needle back out an inch or so from that. Pull the pink thread through so your loop stays at the base of the knotted threads, and the loose ends come out at the other end.

How to bury short threads, a quilting tutorial by Penny Spool Quilts - pull the quilting threads through the loop

Pull the quilting threads through the loop in the pink thread, the same way you would with a needle threader, then slowly start to pull on the pink thread tails, pulling the loop into the fabric. Make sure the thread tails stay in the loop.

How to bury short threads, a quilting tutorial by Penny Spool Quilts - pull on the helper thread to shrink loop

Nice and easy... keep pulling until you start pulling the quilting thread tails into the fabric along with the pink loop. If you get the pink thread caught on the knot, just lift it up with your needle so it's pulling on the loose thread ends, not on the knot itself.

Pull the pink thread and quilting thread tails all the way through and give the thread tails a gentle tug to pull the knot into the fabric.

How to bury short threads, a quilting tutorial by Penny Spool Quilts - threads pulled through the fabric and knot buried

And there you go!
Snip off the tails and pat yourself on the back. And then maybe go to bed, or have that coffee :-)

To watch the video tutorial on my Instagram profile, you can click right here. You don't need an Instagram account yourself to watch it.

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