A Beginners’ Guide to Thread Burying

When you quilt a design, or parts of a design, that go from one edge of a quilt to another there’s no need to worry about the thread ends because they will get secured inside the quilt’s binding. But if you ever choose a quilting design that “breaks thread” in the middle of the quilt you’ll need to know how to secure and hide your threads…this is called thread burying.

Keep reading for the simple, four-step process to neatly bury your quilting threads…


Every time you start and stop quilting, make sure you have a good length of top and bottom thread before you cut them…they need to be long enough to easily knot and sew with a hand sewing needle.

Step One:

If it isn’t already on the top of your quilt, gently pull on your top thread so that a loop of your bobbin thread comes through. Pull on this bobbin thread loop so that both threads are now on the top of your quilt. You might not need to do this when your quilting started (in theory you should pull the bobbin thread to the top of the quilting before you start sewing!) but you definitely need to do it where you’ve stopped quilting and broken thread.

Step Two:

Tie the two threads in a knot that sits right on top of the quilt above one of the tiny holes made by your machine needle. If your two threads are a stitch apart (like one are above) make sure you tie your knot to the side that “completes’ the missing stitch. In the example above you’d need to tie your knot on the lefthand side, right above where the bobbin thread has come up.

Step Three:

Thread a hand sewing needle with your two quilting threads. Some quilters use a regular needle while others choose a “self-threading” needle. Both have pros and cons;

  • regular needles can be a little fiddly to thread with two threads but don’t often come “unthreaded” whilst you sew
  • self-threading needles can be easier to thread with two threads but can come unthreaded while you work

Once you have threaded your two threads (on whatever style of needle suits you best) gently pull your knot out of the way and take your needle into the little hole made by your sewing machine needle, keep your needle within the wadding layer (don’t go out the other side of the quilt through your back fabric!) and then bring it out of the quilt top again at least an inch away from where the needle went in.

Step Four:

Pull the needle and your threads all the way through and then very carefully trim them off. To avoid have any thread on show after you’ve trimmed it (and to avoid accidentally snipping your fabric), push the fabric down the threads slightly to create some slack and then trim the thread.

Your quilting threads and now secured and buried. Now repeat every time you have broken thread during your quilting design!

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