Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Bury Threads - a How "I" Do It Tutorial

I promised a mini-tutorial on How I Bury My Threads, so here it is.

How I Bury My Threads

I go into my yard, dig a hole, put the threads inside, cover them up with dirt, and call it a day.  Ha!  Just kidding!

I know, that wasn't even slightly funny.

Once I am all done with my quilting, I usually have a few threads that need burying.  I don't leave them all to the end, otherwise they get in the way of some quilting lines, but I will do a few seams, then stop for a break and decide to bury whatever threads I have so far.

burying threads

I take my set of threads (there should be a top and bobbin thread), if I haven't already knotted them, I tie a double knot, then thread both threads through my needle.

I like these Clover Self-Threading Needles, Assorted (Amazon link).  It is easy to pop both threads into the end; you don't have to thread both threads through the eye.

You could just use a needle with a larger eye, but usually the larger the eye, the larger the thickness of the needle and I've found that my knots don't stay buried with the holes from larger needles.


Now put the needle down into the fabric as close to the same spot as the threads originated. Try to put your needle under the top and batting, but not all the way through to the back.

I usually place one hand under the back of my quilt to be sure I don't go all the way through my layers.


I like to have my needle travel parallel to a seam line, and I come back to the surface of the quilt a 1/2 or 3/4 of an inch away from where the needle entered.


I usually slide the needle off at this point so I don't poke myself.  Then I GENTLY tug on the threads.


***WARNING!  When I first learned how to bury my threads, I kept hearing that I should hear a little "pop" every time.  It is supposed to be the sound of the knot popping back into the fabric.  Sometimes I hear that sound and sometimes I don't.  I have, however, pulled on those threads so hard waiting for the sound that they have snapped right off.  Don't do that.  Give the threads a little tug and if you don't see the knot still lingering on the surface, assume it's good and move on.

burying threads

Now you can clip off the remaining threads with your scissors.

Burying threads seems like a lot of work!  Do you have to do it?

No.  As I mentioned in my SID tutorial.  I knot/bury my threads AND backstitch some of my quilting lines because I want the piece of mind that my quilting won't unravel with use and washing.  In fact, I only recently started burying my threads.

I used to just backstitch a little (or stitch in place a few times if free-motion quilting) and clip my threads from there.  BUT, with some of my kids' heavily used quilts, I have started noticing some of those stitches loosening a bit.  They haven't unraveled yet, but someday they will.

I will admit that on some of my art/wall quilts (that I don't plan on washing), sometimes I skip this step.


Heidi at Red Letter Quilts linked up an excellent tip on how to bury really short threads.  It's a great tip so check it out HERE, or click her link up below.

Do you bury threads?  How do you do it?  Link up your tutorials here (on this or any other quilting subject).


1) NO QUILT POLICE ALLOWED! - if you are making a tutorial, keep it friendly, as if you were teaching your best friend.  If you are visiting a tutorial, please remember that the authors are simply sharing what they have found to work for them.

2) Please link up tutorial from 2014 only.  Feel free to point out any previous tutorial in your new post, but let's try to keep the links current.

3) Visit other linky participants to see how they do it.

4) Did I mention no quilt police allowed?

Thanks for joining me today!



  1. Haha, I thought you were funny! This is exactly how I do it too! I just quilt all day, then at night bury the threads while watching TV and so on!

  2. Thank you for this - I was wondering how to do it so I will give it a go on my next quilt :)

  3. Great linkup - thank you for hosting! I tuck tails about 75% of the time these days, but I probably wouldn't if it were not for the self threading needle!

  4. love the self threading needle - makes burying threads so much easier !

  5. I am rubbish at FMQ, and luckily with straight line quilting I can go edge to edge and no need to bury. My machine cuts the threads so if I had to bury they would be short, I'm off to see if the link is the same, but I thread two ends of short thick thread then lasso the unwanted thread with the loop (gosh, I hope the link explains it better!!). I also have a gadget that goes in like a needle but will grab the threads and pull them back into the fabric!

  6. Finally got mine posted too!


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