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I have a question for those of you who hand piece. Where is an ideal place to end an old thread and begin a new thread in the middle of a row? I have never taken any hand piecing classes and what I know comes from books. I am unable to find any definitive info on this subject, could you help. Any info would be helpful. Thanks. Bonnie Blessing

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Comment by Sognstitcher Lana/MN on January 31, 2011 at 8:30pm
Bonnie, check your library for books by Ginny Beyer.  Her tutorials on hand piecing are perfection!  I haven't checked, but you might find something by her on You-Tube and surely on her website.  She does spectacular quilts and never uses a machine.
Comment by Bonnie Blessing on January 31, 2011 at 9:56am

Cat Lady I do not put my knot directly in the corner. What I do is start in the seam allowance about 1/8" above and in the seam, come out on my sewing line and then back stitch. Thank you for the info, and allowing me to ask questions.

Prairie Quilter thank you for the info and yes it does make sense. I will certainly use your suggestion.

Comment by Cat Lady--MO on January 31, 2011 at 8:09am

Bonnie, I agree with what Prairie Quilter said about overlapping your starting and stopping if you do use a knot.  I know when I was first shown hand piecing that I was told never to put a knot in the corner, to always start about three to four stitches from a corner, sew into it, then sew back over those stitches to the other end, then sew back a few stitches and knot the thread.  Hope that is all making sense.  Of course after I was told about the knot, I was told I should really try not to use one, and do just use back stitching or tacking in place of a knot.

And yes you can ask me questions any time you want.  It may take a bit to answer, but I will try to get answers for you as soon as I can.

I see you have joined the Hand Quilter's group as Joana suggested.  Welcome.

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on January 31, 2011 at 7:05am
Hi Bonnie, I was going to suggest the same as what Cat Lady did with the back stitching.  She described it much better than what I could, though.  Even if you prefer to secure the new thread with a small knot, if you started the new thread a couple of stitches before the old thread ended and then kept going, you shouldn't have any gaps or lose continuity in your hand piecing.  Hopefully that makes sense. 
Comment by Joana Simmers/GA on January 30, 2011 at 3:57pm
Bonnie--if you are interested in hand piecing, Jinny Beyer's Quiltmaking by Hand is a great book with detailed information.  I noticed that there is also a CD-rom with videos to accompany the book now.  I bought it several years ago when it came out, but so far have machine pieced--except that now I'm hooked on English paper piecing and am making a Grandmother's Flower Garden by hand.  You would also find kindred spirits at Around the Frame--the group for hand quilters on QWU.
Comment by Bonnie Blessing on January 30, 2011 at 10:34am
Thank you for your info. I am one of those who do use a knot to start and end. I will certainly try starting and ending the way you described. Thank you again. May I seek your help in the future with any hand piecing questions?
Comment by Cat Lady--MO on January 30, 2011 at 9:20am
You can end your thread anywhere in a row, as long as you have secured the end by sewing backwards a few stitches. Then when you start with your new thread, sew toward the place the old thread finished a few stitches to secure the thread, then sew the direction you normally would.  Most hand piecers I know do not use any type of knot to start or finish their seams.

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