A Quilter’s Knot


A “Quilter’s Knot” is simply a tiny knot at the end of the thread. It is usually made at the end of a single thread and used in applique, hand-stitching binding, and hand-quilting. It is large enough to keep the thread from pulling through the fabric being sewn, yet small enough to not cause a small lump under the fabric.

Start by cutting a length of thread no more than 18″ long. Thread this through a needle leaving one end short near the needle and the other, long.

I’m right-handed, so all of my photos and instructions are written from this perspective.


Hold the threaded needle in your right hand with the sharp end up and the threaded eye down. Grasp the long loose end of the thread between your left thumb and forefinger as shown above. Leave about 1/2″ of thread showing below your fingers.

Keep the needle at this angle and insert it between your left thumb and forefinger right next to the thread. Keep the eye of the needle pointing down and the point of the needle up.

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Grasp the thread that’s near the point and wrap it twice around the needle.


Pull the thread down and between your thumb and forefinger beside the needle.


Hold the needle and thread firmly between your thumb and forefinger. Grasp the point of the needle and pull it straight up until all of the thread has passed through your thumb and finger.


You may need to press your thumbnail against your forefinger to keep the thread in place.





And there you have a nice, neat little knot.

A Quilter’s Knot.



Clip the tail of the knot to about 3/8″ and you are ready to sew.

Did you know that thread has a wrap to it? Under a microscope, you would see that it is twisted very much like yarn used for knitting and crocheting. This is a piece of yarn. I just used it so you could see how it twists.


Have you ever been sewing with a single thread and the thread keeps knotting up on you? It may be that your thread’s “wrap” is causing the problem.

Now, all thread is going to get a knot in it at some point, because all thread is made up of twisted fibers. That’s just the nature of thread.

But, if you thread your needle with the thread going in the direction that it came off of the spool, you’ll have less knots.




Sometimes, after I’ve cut a thread from the spool, I can’t remember which end came off first.

After you have become comfortable with the process of making a quilter’s knot, try this.

Take a spool of thread and unwrap about 18″, but don’t cut it. Thread your needle and hold the spool in your left hand with the thread between your thumb and forefinger as usual.  Follow the procedure for making a Quilter’s Knot as before.

Then cut your thread from the spool.

By threading your needle and making a knot before you cut it from the spool, your thread is always going through your fabric with the least resistance.