Snipping Bobbin Threads on Top

Have you ever been quilting a large quilt on your domestic machine and needed to cut the bobbin thread? Climbing beneath the mass of quilt can be a miserable act of contortionism. Here’s a simple way to cut the bottom thread from the top!

1. Sew a number of tiny stitches close together and stop:

cutting bobbin threads on top2. Raise the needle, and pull the quilt away so you can grab the top thread:

free-motion-fun-snip23. While holding that thread, place the needle back in the same hole (close is good enough):

free-motion-fun-snip34. Raise the needle again, then tug on the thread you’re holding. You may need to grab the thread above the eye of the needle with your other hand and tug on both threads. The bobbin thread should pull to the top:

cutting the bobbin thread on top5. Pull the quilt away from under the needle while holding onto the threads. Continue to tug on the threads until about a 1″ loop of bobbin thread comes to the top.

free-motion-fun-snip56. Cut all 3 threads that are coming out of the hole (the top thread and both ends of the bobbin loop.

free-motion-fun-snip67. The top thread will now be cut even with the quilt top, and the bobbin thread is now severed, with no tail on the back. Here’s a picture of the loop of bobbin thread cut off:

free-motion-fun-snip7It really works! Try it, you’ll like it!

This week I’d like to share a second topic. I hope you’ll enjoy:

Quilting With Kids Revisited

This past week, my nephew’s 7 year old daughter, Lily, came for an overnight visit because she wanted to learn to quilt. She had seen the quilts her cousin Hanna had made and wanted to make a quilt too (click here to read about my granddaughter, Hanna’s, quilting adventures).

Right after a breakfast of Uncle Mike’s waffles, we had to head to the studio (she didn’t even want to change out of her jammies). Lily is very bright … but she’s always moving, so I thought this might be a bit of a challenge (here’s a typical shot of her :-)):


She did great! I had her pick out 12 charm squares from my box of 6″ squares, in order to make a doll quilt. She arranged them in a 3 x 4 set and the sewing began. She listened well and was very careful.

kids quilting

Once the top was pieced, she chose a piece of flannel for the back, layered it with batting, pinned all around, and sewed – leaving an opening for turning.

kids quilting

She then poked out the corners.


And quilted 1/2″ away from the outer edge and with an “X” through the middle. She sewed every stitch herself!

kids quiltingThen she wrapped a dolly in it and said “can we make another one?”

Lily-with-dollBy this time Aunt Chris decided we all needed to take a walk in the woods :-)! It’s so much fun to share your passion with the younger generation!




9 Opinions

  • cckoester said:

    I am so excited to teach my grandkids ( the boys, too, if they want). Right now I’m living too far away to have them over night but someday. Oh, Chris, the house block we made in your reverse applique and mariner’s compass class is hanging on my grandson’s wall. He really wanted it and insisted his mom hang it up in his room!

  • Lori M said:

    Oh my gosh what a wonderful story. What fun to have little people in your life that want to make quilts! She did really well too. Definitely something to be proud of. You are a nice aunt.

  • Helen admin

    Thank you for the tip on the “3 pin method”. I was doing some table toppers and usually I get puckers. I quilted three of them and not a pucker to be found. Keep sharing your tips. I enjoy them and share your e-mail with my neighbor who got me into quilting.

  • Susan Schultz said:

    I was recently taught the “flossing” technique….when you take your very first stitch, put your needle down, then up. Without moving anything, take your top thread in each hand and slide it under the presser foot to bring the bobbin thread up. Now you can grab both threads together to get started. I hope that makes sense….it works pretty slick!

    • clkquilt admin

      It is a slick technique, and holding the bobbin thread at the start helps prevent thread nests on the back of the quilt. Thanks Susan

  • Terry@Quilt Crazie said:

    What a fun story! I hope we can all continue to share our passion for quilting and encourage the next generation of quilters.

  • Kathy Bruckner, Green Bay said:

    I have a six-year-old granddaughter and we made a small wall quilt together in February. I machine quilted it for her and put the binding on. She was so proud of it. I think this is the perfect age to encourage and foster their interest in sewing!

  • Nini~ said:

    Wow…I have a special 6 yr old that has a birthday in July…I’m thinking we’ll make a birthday quilt for her american girl doll too! I’ve been looking forward to sharing my passion with her. I know she’ll be a great sewist, she’s a fashionista already!

  • Ruby Louis said:

    Thank you for highlighting my great granddaughter Lily. I am so proud of her. She was so excited, knowing I sew for”Little dresses for Africa and others, and wanting me to know she had made, every stitch by herself. Thank you for teaching her. I do not get to see her very much to teach her.
    Ruby Louis (Nana)


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