One Weird Trick to Close Ugly Pores

It looks like a spammy ad, but you read that right. You trust me, right? So give me a minute…

On the last quilt I finished, the longarm tension fell apart, leaving a whole quilting pass with looping and nastiness on the back. I picked it all out, about two hours of work for about 10 minutes of quilting. Not a good trade-off.

But even once the thread is gone, all the evidence is not. When the needle punches through the backing fabric to grab the bobbin thread, it pushes the fabric yarns outward and apart. The remaining evidence is a line of tiny mountains, volcanoes, really, with an open crater at the peak. This is made worse by pulling threads back out as they are unstitched. The craters primarily show up on the backing fabric, but they can also on the top. Depending on the fabric pattern, they might not show, but the texture is not smooth, as unpunched fabric would be.

To fix this, or at least improve it significantly, there is a simple solution. Once the quilt is otherwise done, spray the area lightly with water (I have a mister) and then pop the quilt in the dryer for a few minutes on cool. When it comes out, the ugly pores will be mostly closed.

Some people wash their quilts before giving, which would also take care of the problem, I expect. I do not wash, as I like to give a quilt that looks new. This method preserves the new look.

And because above I said “the thread is gone,” and it made me think of “the thrill is gone,” I’ll leave you with a little B.B. King.

 

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14 thoughts on “One Weird Trick to Close Ugly Pores

  1. katechiconi

    I’ve always tried to get rid of mine by spritzing and steaming with the iron held at a distance from the fabric, but the drier is definitely an idea. I find the problem is much worse if there’s a white on white print involved, as the printing ink has to be so thick to show up, and the needle punch holes make a hole in the ink which doesn’t seem to go away.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, there are some fabrics that puncture worse. This backing fabric seemed especially bad, and it was monotone — rusty red of varying values — and there was a little bit of bearding, too. Thankfully not much of that!

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  2. Shasta

    So sorry you had to go through this. It just isn’t fair that it takes so much longer to undo than it does to do in the first place. I just watched the story of maths that talked about multiplying prime. Easy to do the multiplication, difficult to figure out which numbers were multiplied. Just like frying an egg he said. Easy one way, difficult the other. Glad it is done and you were able to remove the thread without removing the thrill.

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  3. Thread crazy

    Great idea…I usually wash the quilt before giving, especially when shipping to recipient. Then I also include a “Shout” Color Catcher sheet along, with instructions how to use just in case. Sometimes fabrics that are pre-washed will continue to “bleed” with washing, so I always recommend the color catchers. Then there are some metallic fabrics that I don’t want to wash and love for them to look as new, so when needed I will try your method. Ugh, yes I detest the tangles of thread that happens, but guess it goes along with the territory!!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      What a mess it was, too! It’s a good idea to include washing instructions with it. I do often follow up with people about that, reassuring them they can wash (most) quilts and suggesting how they should do that.

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