Tuesday 17 April 2012

tying the knot

When I make tutorials I often wonder if I should include how I tie my knots.
As I mainly hand sew I make hundreds of knots just on one quilt.
Annette from My Rose Valley has recently started hand piecing 
and has asked me how to make a good knot.
I am sharing the 4 types of knots that I use,
however they all rely on the same principle,
which is pulling the thread through a spiral.
I am using embroidery thread to give you a clearer view.
 The first is knotting your thread at the bottom.
 Hold the tail end of the thread tight between your finger and thumb.
 Now with your left hand, 
wind the thread around the needle.
(the more times you do the bigger the knot)
 Slide the the spiral of thread down the needle.
 Gently pull the needle whilst holding the loops tight.
(not too tight so that you cant pull the thread through)
 Keep pulling the bunch of loops until you reach the end.
This can be tricky and be ready for some bodged knots.
 There we have a knot!
 The second is a knot I use mainly when I'm finishing off tacking my pieces.
When you come to the end of tacking, hold the as above.
 As before wind the thread around the needle.
 Pull the spiral of thread down the needle.
 Hold it under your thumb, 
again with the right amount of tightness,
pull the needle so the thread pulls through smoothly.
 All the way to the end, helping the knot form by pushing it down the thread.
 There we have a knot!
 My third knot is one I use when I'm making permanent stitches,
so I want a more secure knot.
When you have come to the end of your thread or piecing
pass the needle through both fabrics as if to make a stitch.
 You guessed it.
Make a spiral by winding the thread.
 Push it down.
 Pull the needle whilst holding the bunch of thread.
 Ta dah another knot.
(sometimes when I'm finishing off I make a couple of extra stitches before I tie the knot)
 This last version is a recent find, not one I use often,
but useful all the same.
Take the needle through as before.
 Pull the thread and almost make a stitch.
 Pass the needle through the loop.
 Two or three times.
 Then pull the thread tight as if making a stitch.
 You may need to coax it down.
There we are the last knot!
As a daughter and grand daughter of dressmakers
this is how I was taught to tie knots.

It's second nature to me,
which is why I hope I can pass it on 
even though it really is quite simple,
once you've learnt how to you'll never forget.
ps sorry about my gardeners hands!


  1. Exactly how I was taught!
    I do often wonder why knots are never shown in instructions!

  2. Great information. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ooh, I only knew two out of the four so now I can use two more. Thanks. Di xo

  4. That is such a useful post - thank you!

  5. I always knot my thread at the start of a seam using #2 and at the end with #4 - it's great to see the other ways, thank you!

  6. Fab! I will practice today. Thanks Clare. :D

  7. Great little tutorial, these are the kind of things that are always missing from patterns/instructions.

    Fleur xx

  8. My knots are always messy, am going to follow your tutorial next time I do a few hexis, ta!

  9. Looks good! I've seen some useful knots tied in classes, but I can never remember them. Thanks for documenting these in a knot tutorial :-)

  10. Thank you for the pictures. I was shown the first knot at a quilting class and by the time I got home, I couldn't replicate it! Your pics really helped!


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