Varicose Threads

You might have heard of varicose veins.  If/when you get them, you no longer wear your booty shorts showcasing them– that’s just unsightly.  Well, in the quilting world, varicose thread is also a problem, especially if you tend to use white for as sashing and/or background fabric.

What are varicose threads, you ask?  It is when there is a thread or fiber on the wrong side of the fabric that you can see after the quilt is finished.  You don’t want these little beasts trapped in your quilt, thus leading to your quilt being marked down if it’s in a show.

This little aqua beast will haunt you later if not removed!

The other day, I had a client’s white quilt (Tokyo Subway Map) that needed some longarming, so I had to prepare (for about 30 minutes) prior to quilting it.  Because of all my preparations, I thought maybe you’d want some tips since the online quilting world loves white.  Also, since the Modern Quilt Guild has announced that they are looking for modern quilts to showcase in Houston next year, hopefully you’ll find this information helpful and will get those quilts made and entered in the show.

-Handle your fabric as little as possible to prevent fraying.  Place your cut pieces in boxes or baggies and move/touch them as little as possible.

-Keep your quilt in a hanging bag or some kind of protective cover.  If you are taking it to your quilter, especially put it in one.  You have no idea what kind of things that quilt will pick up if given the chance.  Aside from fibers, you don’t want dust all over your white quilt.

-Vacuum and clean your work space, surfaces, floor, and clothes.  You are a quilter, so you know the threads we have on us (and on our loved ones) can easily end up on the batting, which is a magnet for lost fibers), which can then end up as a varicose thread on someone’s quilt.  If you have an animal, vacuum twice.

-Before basting or loading your quilt, inspect the wrong side of the top and the back.  Also check both sides of the batting for stray threads.

Don't forget to check your leaders for stray threads if you have a longarm machine!

Just remember, prevention is key!  It’s easy to prevent if you know to be aware of it.

*And just in case one of these little jerks gets past you, here’s a tip from Shannon on how to get rid of it.

If you have a lint roller, you can remove any threads on the right side of the quilt, so don't sweat those!

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One Response to Varicose Threads

  1. I agree, prevention is the key. I had a quilt once where I saw a couple after it was quilted. One I was able to fish out of the white area with a needle. But the other one is unfortunately still there.

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