Hand sewing seems to be one of those 'love it or hate it' activities. I used to hate it until I got better at it and learned a few tricks. I hesitate to admit that this trick for hiding thread ends is something I learned way too late. Now that my hand sewing looks invisible, I love it.
You can use this method when sewing down quilt binding (like I was doing in these pictures) or when closing up the opening in a pillow or bag lining. I've even found it handy in garment sewing from time to time. And you can use this technique when doing hand embroidery on pillows or softies.
Tie a knot about 1/2'' from the end of your thread. I'm using a double length of thread here, but this works if you are sewing with a single thread too.
Insert the needle about 1/2'' away and come up where you want to start sewing.
Pull until the knot touches the fabric. Wrap some thread around your finger to get a firm grip and gently tug until you hear a 'pop' and the knot goes under.
If you still see thread ends, gently tug until they go under or clip them off. Rub the spot with your thumb until you can't see anything.
Perfect start to your sewing! Now for the finish:
Stop when you have about 4'' of thread left. Tie a pretzel shaped knot in the thread and use your thumb or the tip of your needle to push it down as far as you can - 1/4'' away from the fabric or closer. (If you are doing embroidery, don't put your knot right next to the fabric - leave enough thread for the last stitch.)
Insert the needle close to your last stitch (or take your last stitch if you are doing embroidery) and come up about 1/2'' away.
Again pull the thread through and gently tug until you feel or hear the knot pop under.
Cut the thread close to the fabric and rub it with your thumb until the ends disappear under the surface. No thread ends!
Do you have more hand sewing tips to share? Put them in the comments!