Ask Jo: Threads and Patterns

Every so often I get questions from blog readers that I think other blog readers would like the answer to as well.  When that happens, I answer the questions here on the blog.  Today is one of those days.

After I showed my “H” quilt and the progress I made on it, I had a couple of readers ask me for specifics of the pattern.  They wanted measurements and wanted to know sizes of the pieces.  Read about the quilt here if you missed it.


I love being helpful to people but I won’t do it at the expense of someone else.  The “H” quilt is a pattern done by Bonnie Hunter.  She is selling the pattern.  You can purchase it here as a digital download.  All of the instructions that you need including the measurements to cut are in the pattern.  I am modifying the original pattern to suit my needs but the pattern that I used to make the “H” blocks is Bonnie’s.

I not will give those cutting instructions or the construction instructions out.

Authors such as Bonnie work to make patterns.  Their income comes from selling books and patterns.  Her pattern is not mine to give.  I wouldn’t walk into a friend’s closet and give away their clothes.  Giving away the pattern instructions is same.

It’s very important to me to support authors so they can make a living creating patterns for me to enjoy.  If they can’t make a living at it, they will quit doing creating and giving me an opportunity to enjoy their wonderful patterns.

Carol C also left a comment on the same blog post.  She writes, Lovely H quilt Jo. Can I say that about a boys quilt? Would you tell us how you clean up thread tails before quilting? Trimming all those threads is what I dread most!!!”

I too am not a fan of clipping threads that have made their way to the front of my quilt.

I am going to say this though.  The amount of threads that I have to clip has changed dramatically since I started using the leader and ender method.  Bonnie Hunter started leader and enders for me.  Her premise is to sew two separate quilts at once.  I do that sometimes but often I sew the blocks and borders at the same time using them as leaders and enders.  If you want to read more about how I do leaders and enders you can read a previous post that I wrote about the topic here.

Essentially I never have thread tales anymore.  That means that thread tales don’t come to the front of the quilt so very few threads have to be clipped for the front of a quilt top anymore.  Yes, I still have some but it is nothing compared to what I used to have.

I never really realized this before until Kelli brought a quilt over that she wanted me to quilt.  Kelli does not use the leader and ender method (yes I’ve tried to convince her but her “organizational self” can’t handle another project sitting next to the machine).  Anyway Kelli’s quilt tops are loaded with thread.  I’ve gotten to the point that I require to press the tops and clean the threads before I quilt them for her.

As I iron the quilt top, I trim threads.  I trim again as I machine quilt just in case something was missed but for the most part, most are clipped when I iron the top.  It’s easiest to see them as they are on the ironing board and I’m only looking at a small segment of the quilt at a time.

So my suggestion if you want less threads…use the leader and ender method of sewing AND if there are threads clip as you iron.  Clip a section, then iron.  Advance the top, clip, then iron and so on.

I hope that answers today’s questions.  If you have others leave them in the comment section or email me at