varicose threads

let's face it- quilters come with strings attached and sometimes they end up where we don't want them....

i consider any thread that shadows through the fabric of a  quilt a varicose thread. 9 out of 10 times, i notice it after i get right up on it with my machine.

(p.s. - judges HATE varicose threads and seam shadows!)
so this is the easiest way to remove them. first, you'll need a Clover crochet hook...size 14/0.50mm and a pair of tweezers. (i have to wonder what the hell someone would make with this micro-hook...dollies for mice???)

(ETA: silly me, i forgot to add a link for the crochet here )
carefully poke the crochet hook through the fabric of the quilt and ever so slightly pick up the hook under the fabric. do this gently or you'll bend the tip of your hook (see my tip) by slightly picking up on the hook, you'll minimize the amount of batting you catch in the hook.

then very carefully pull enough of the varicose thread  to be able to grab it with a pair of tweezers. be especially careful pulling the thread if you have already stitched over it- you could break those stitches if you pull too hard. if you pull out some batting with the varicose thread, just snip it close to the surface of the quilt with a pair of scissors and run your fingernail across the hole to close it up.
using the tweezers, carefully work the thread out of the quilt sandwich.

it might take a couple times to coax that thread out, but the end results are worth it.
wha-la, no more varicose i can continue quilting...

i've used this method to bury short thread tails from knots, to hide the tails of embroidery/applique threads, and to flip twisted seam allowances.

now, if it were only that easy to get rid of varicose veins....


  1. I'm not a quilter, but I do love reading all of your posts and looking at your beautiful quilts. This is quite a good technique - almost like doing micro-surgery! And I am ROFLMAO about the dollies for mice line! :O)



  2. What a great tip! I never see those threads until I'm quilting either. Thanks!

  3. What a great tip! I am forever having this problem. I hope I can find that hook because I can really use it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I was so hoping that you could rid me of those unsightly veins.....

  5. Do I recognize that scallop shell??!! (Yeah! It's on the LA) Thanks for taking such care to make a good quilt a GREAT quilt! Can't wait to see more...


  6. Link no longer works to the thread hook. Perhaps, it is now sold as the "Thread Pic" by Clover? I used mine to bury knots in my quilts.

  7. Link no longer works to the thread hook. Perhaps, it is now sold as the "Thread Pic" by Clover? I used mine to bury knots in my quilts.


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