Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Knot migration

I am wondering how to prevent and remedy knot migration.
This must be a problem that machine quilters never face. It happens when I am quilting and find a knot, that was part of the piecing, suddenly sitting on the surface during quilting.
I've tried back-stitching the first stitch when piecing without great success. The only thing I can think of is taking several back stitches and then cut off the knot. Any ideas? or am I the only one with this problem?


  1. Sorry, Julie. I have hand quilted a hand pieced top and I can't say I have ever experienced that problem. I usually backstitch my first stitch about 1/2" in from the end, do a couple of running stitches to get to the end of my pencil line and then turn around and go over the original running stitches to get to the other end of the pencil line. Hope that makes sense. Will be watching to see what others say.

  2. Hi Julie,

    I don't put knots into my hand piecing. I use the "several back stitches" technique, and I run my tail through at least 4 stitches, ending with the thread pointing out toward the seam, and trim it there. 3 or 4 back stitches plus the weaving through my seam gives more strength than any knot, in my humble opinion.

    ~ Ronda

  3. Hi, Julie ;>)
    Though putting a knot, I never experienced what you're saying (but my knots are close to nothing, actually). Reading Ronda's comment makes me think she's got the right way of doing, and I'll definitely try her way...

  4. With hand quilting I'm self-taught, so I never learned the right way or wrong way of things. I generally do put in one small knot, but I start to the side of my quilting line. So the knot is on the end of a tail out in the batt to the left or right of the beginning stitch. When I first started I had more problems with pulling up my knots than I do now so I used to sometimes start even further away from my quilting line, pop the knot into the batting, come up in a nearby seam, take a tiny hidden "stitch in the ditch" and then go to the quilting line -- when I try new battings I will somtimes do that still, until I get the feel of quilting with it that extra anchor can really help.

  5. When piecing by hand, I make sure that the knot is in the seam allowance. Recently, I started using french knots at the beginning and end of stitching. By wrapping the thread around the needle a couple times, the knot is a little bigger, and is secure against the fabric.

  6. Julie -
    I hand piece very much like Marjorie. I make a knot and then take a couple of stitches in the seam allowance before starting to sew on the pencil line. When I get to the end of the seam, I do the same thing again - only in reverse. I take a couple of stitches in the seam allowance and then make my knot. This way the knots are "inside" and nowhere near the seam line so they tend to get buried in the batting. Also, Marjorie's French knots sound like they would work really well. I have to try that.