Quilting Tip: Starting Quilting in the Middle

quilting start middle

When you start quilting at the edge of a quilt, you can hold the ends of your thread as you start just as you normally would when you sew. But what if you start in the middle of your quilt? One of your thread ends is under the quilt and the other is on the top. How do you hold them and stop the lower thread making a huge knotty mess?!

quilting start threads

The answer is bring that lower thread to the top first.

  • Work out where you want to start quilting.
  • Hold the top thread end while you lower your needle into your quilt and raise it again. Use the flywheel – the big wheel at the right side of your sewing machine. Turn it slowly towards you and the needle should go down and then back up again. Move the needle to its highest point.
  • Keep holding the upper thread and with your other hand take hold of the same thread near the top of the needle as well.
  • Gently tug the thread until the lower thread pulls up through the fabric.
  • Once you can see the loop, use the point of your scissors or a pin to gently hook that loop and pull it all the way through.

quilting start tiny stitches

Now that you have both threads on top, you can hold them with your finger as you start sewing.

How to Start

Usually you might start sewing with a couple of stitches forward and backwards. But when you are quilting you don’t always want those obvious start and finish points.

Instead, put your stitch length down to the shortest value – on my Pfaff machine that is 0.5. Sew a dozen or so stitches at that length to start. Then put your stitch length back up to normal – I use 2.5 or 3.0 – and keep going.

To finish your quilting, you can do the same thing – shorten the stitch length again for the last few stitches or 0.5cm.

Those tiny stitches will be enough to stop the quilting from unravelling so you can just snip the ends off.

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