But I'll get to that fact in a moment... bear with me.
One thing about quilt making that I've had issues with is hiding the threads that invariably come with machine quilting. Doing a pantogram or all-over design gives you the ability to start and stop somewhere off the quilt but when you work on custom-quilting designs, you start and stop wherever is best for the overall quilt. This means you end up with lots of threads all over the place and these must must must be hidden in the center of the sandwich, hopefully snug in the batting and unobservable from the front.
Burying threads is very easy, but time-consuming and can be hard on the back if you wait til the very end to do this. Recently, I began burying as I go and all you need is a 'self-threading' needle and a small pair of snips.
Slip the needle in right where you see the threads and out somewhere where there is thread-work already created or, anywhere you know you're going to add more. This is because you want those threads to get secured and not work their way loose over time.
Now, pop the threads through the eye of the needle (there's a space at the tip-top where they just pop in and don't easily pop back out. Over time and use, this gets worn out and can also break. They don't last forever.)
Pull the needle through the fabric and drag the threads out the other side....
.... and snip away the excess. Easy-peasy... and use a small square of batting to drop the snipped threads on or they'll end up all over the place.
If, over time, you get in the habit of doing this as you finish an area, you won't end up with hours of burying threads when you take the completed quilt off the rollers.
Now, here is where we return to the first sentence: I am a cluttered quilter and this is what the quilting frame looks like on a good day.
You can see I have a magnifying glass, screw drivers, tweezers, bobbins, paint brushes, markers, rulers and sheets with quilting designs. AS I say, this looks pretty organized than it usually does.... but look at all those nifty places a teeny tiny needle can get lost in and usually does!
I have spent an inordinate amount of time searching for the little devil because I can't seem to put it in the same place every time I use it but now I have the perfect solution:
This is the Needle Nanny and Peeper Keeper, a 2 in 1 magnetized device that snaps securely and easily on my shirt and keeps track of the needle. I can slip my reading glasses in the loop instead of on top of head, as well and it looks like a cute little brooch.