16 February, 2009

Thread Catcher

One of the annoying side effects of improvisational quilting is the constant starting and stopping when you sew.  Depending on your plan of attack it might be difficult to chain piece. That can leave a lot of cut threads, mess, and wasted time.  A good quilting friend of mine taught me this trick.

Take a scrap of fabric and double it up (or use two small pieces).  When you finish a seam, sew a a few stitches in to nothing, then sew in to your scrap.  You can then cut your piece from the scrap without a tangle of threads to deal with.  When you come back to your machine for the next seam just sew from the scrap piece, cutting it off when you go to press.

I usually keep two of these by the machine.  One for the start of my sewing and one when I finish the seam I'm working on.  That way you always have one handy to plug in to the end of your seam when you leave the machine to press.

11 comments:

True Blue Nana said...

Thanks so much for this tip. I have seen this done but haven't done it myself.

elizabeth said...

That's such a great idea. You can always tell how long I've been at the machine by the amount of thread on my clothes!

Tricia said...

Hi,
Bonnie (over at Quiltville.com) goes one better. She starts and ends with 2 squares of fabric and then makes them into 4 patches, that way she has a quilt being worked on while doing another one and she doesn't throw away the little squares filled with thread you have when you are done. Go over to her site and read "leaders and enders", she gives a much more detailed explanation than I do. I think you might like her idea. Have a great day and thanks for writing your blog, I enjoy reading it and seeing your beautiful work! Tricia

Jenny said...

What a FAB idea! I am positive that my brother and his wife are still trimming the threads off their quilt I made for them in December. Oh well, that's what you get with handmade.

heather said...

I just started doing the "leader/ender" thing too. I almost have enough 16 patches to make a lap quilt without much extra effort on my part at all.

jacquie said...

i do this too...saves time and thread.

Zonnah said...

I LOVE this idea! thanks.

leigh7911 said...

Huh. Why can't I ever come up with stuff like this?! Great idea.

Gale's Goodies said...

My aunt shared this tip with me. I have to admit that I do not use it and I have my fair share of thread mess to clean up! Thanks for the reminder that it saves time and mess.

Luciana said...

Great tip!
Thanks for sharing.
Luciana
www.luciana.ca

qltmom9 said...

I keep a jar of postage stamp charms (1.5" or 2") to sew together instead of "spiders" like this. I like each scrap to be different.