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Thread: Advice on tying a quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member pam1966's Avatar
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    Sooner or later this year I'm going to make my sister a king size quilt for her bed. I'm going to use a low or medium loft cotton/poly blend for the batting, and I decided to make life easier on me by tying it. That way I won't have to wrestle it through my machine and it will be "soft" enough for her bed.

    So my question to all you smart people on this board: how? I've never tied a quilt. What do I use? How closely together does it need to be tied? And is this a good idea?

  2. #2
    Aunt Doggie's Avatar
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    Here's another quilter that wants to know!!

  3. #3
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    Another option to tying a quilt is to use one of the decorative stitches from your machine, provided your machine has them. My machine has the ability to stitch out only one iteration of a design. On my machine, this could be a flower, arrowhead, letter, etc. These can be placed at repeating intervals across and up/down the quilt, instead of tying. The interval is dependent upon how close the recommended quilt spacing is for the batting you intend to use in the quilt.

  4. #4
    LUV2QLT's Avatar
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    I feel tying a quilt is a quick and easy way to finish layering a quilt - and yes, it stays softer than quilting it. I use either a light weight yarn or embroidery floss thread in a matching color to the fabric - either background color or main block color - I also like using a curved needle verses a straight needle - but whatever works easier for you. How close - depends on the pattern of the block AND on the reccomendations of the batting. Some say 3-4" apart, some say up to 8" or more - check the batting pkg, it should say on there somewhere. I also use a surgeons knot or a square knot or a granny knot (do a google search on tuts for these kinds of knots) - depends on the weight of thread - so you don't get a huge lump on the top of the knot. I go down-up-down-up and then tie. The second set of down-up is NOT in the same holes as the first set of down-up, but very close to it - so as to not get the thread tangled in the same holes. Any other quesstions, just ask - I might be able to help more, or somebody else might have better ideas/suggestions than I do! Good luck - post a pic when done - we'd all love to see it!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pam1966
    Sooner or later this year I'm going to make my sister a king size quilt for her bed. I'm going to use a low or medium loft cotton/poly blend for the batting, and I decided to make life easier on me by tying it. That way I won't have to wrestle it through my machine and it will be "soft" enough for her bed.

    So my question to all you smart people on this board: how? I've never tied a quilt. What do I use? How closely together does it need to be tied? And is this a good idea?
    I don't know how anyone else does it, but this is my method. I've never tied a quilt larger than a lap quilt, but this should work on any size.

    First of all, I "pillowcase" the quilt instead of putting a binding on it. Lay the batting down first, then the backing right side up, then the top, right side down. Sew around all 4 sides, leaving an opening large enough to turn the quilt right side out. After you've turned it, hand sew the opening shut. I usually do a top stitch 1/2" from the edge all the way around the quilt.

    Then, lay the quilt flat on a table so the weight of the quilt is supported. I usually start in the middle of the quilt. I use DMC embroidery thread, because it is easily available and comes in a multitude of colors. I usually use 3 strands (it comes in 6 strands and is a pain to separate, but 6 strands is just too thick for me), I start stitching a hand-width from the 1/2" top stitching. My hand is about 3" wide at the knuckles from my index finger to my pinkie, but you can space your knots wider, though I wouldn't suggest any further than 4". I use my hand because it's easier than using a ruler (LOL). Stitch twice in the same spot, then continue across the width of the quilt doing a double stitch each time. Begin with a 2" tail, and each time you need to re-thread, make sure you end with a 2" tail. Start the next row a hand-width below that row. Don't worry about clipping or knotting yet. Continue until you get to the end of the quilt. Turn the quilt around, starting from the center and work your way down the other side.

    When you finish stitching the entire quilt, go back to the center row and begin clipping the embroidery thread half-way between the stitches. Clip a row, then tie it. To tie each knot, I use a "butcher's" knot. Hold one end of the string in each hand, wrap the right string over the left twice and pull tight; then wrap the left over the right and pull tight. By wrapping the string twice the first time, the string doesn't slip before you tie the second half of the knot. This was an old trick used by butchers and grocers when they wrapped purchases with paper and string before bags were invented.) Once the row is tied, I go back and trim the knots to about 1".

    I do each step row-by-row, so I don't miss tying or trimming a knot.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    At guild we tie a lot of utility quilts. We use crochet thread and tapestry needles. The tapestry needles have a big eye, easy to thread and sharp enough to go through the quilt layers. We use needle nose plies to pull the needle through and that makes it easier for those with achy hands. We tie the thread in a double knot and clip leaving about 1" tails.

  7. #7
    shaverg's Avatar
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    I have tied several. I usually use the large DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss. I tie them about 4-6", but all depends of the design.

  8. #8
    Senior Member newestnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluphrog
    Quote Originally Posted by pam1966
    Sooner or later this year I'm going to make my sister a king size quilt for her bed. I'm going to use a low or medium loft cotton/poly blend for the batting, and I decided to make life easier on me by tying it. That way I won't have to wrestle it through my machine and it will be "soft" enough for her bed.

    So my question to all you smart people on this board: how? I've never tied a quilt. What do I use? How closely together does it need to be tied? And is this a good idea?
    I don't know how anyone else does it, but this is my method. I've never tied a quilt larger than a lap quilt, but this should work on any size.

    First of all, I "pillowcase" the quilt instead of putting a binding on it. Lay the batting down first, then the backing right side up, then the top, right side down. Sew around all 4 sides, leaving an opening large enough to turn the quilt right side out. After you've turned it, hand sew the opening shut. I usually do a top stitch 1/2" from the edge all the way around the quilt.

    Then, lay the quilt flat on a table so the weight of the quilt is supported. I usually start in the middle of the quilt. I use DMC embroidery thread, because it is easily available and comes in a multitude of colors. I usually use 3 strands (it comes in 6 strands and is a pain to separate, but 6 strands is just too thick for me), I start stitching a hand-width from the 1/2" top stitching. My hand is about 3" wide at the knuckles from my index finger to my pinkie, but you can space your knots wider, though I wouldn't suggest any further than 4". I use my hand because it's easier than using a ruler (LOL). Stitch twice in the same spot, then continue across the width of the quilt doing a double stitch each time. Begin with a 2" tail, and each time you need to re-thread, make sure you end with a 2" tail. Start the next row a hand-width below that row. Don't worry about clipping or knotting yet. Continue until you get to the end of the quilt. Turn the quilt around, starting from the center and work your way down the other side.

    When you finish stitching the entire quilt, go back to the center row and begin clipping the embroidery thread half-way between the stitches. Clip a row, then tie it. To tie each knot, I use a "butcher's" knot. Hold one end of the string in each hand, wrap the right string over the left twice and pull tight; then wrap the left over the right and pull tight. By wrapping the string twice the first time, the string doesn't slip before you tie the second half of the knot. This was an old trick used by butchers and grocers when they wrapped purchases with paper and string before bags were invented.) Once the row is tied, I go back and trim the knots to about 1".

    I do each step row-by-row, so I don't miss tying or trimming a knot.
    This is basically my method of tying too (although I might use a traditional binding rather than the quick-turm [pillowcase] method). It goes really fast and I found it easiest to do with the quilt spread out on the dining room table.

  9. #9
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    I'Ve used yarn and embroidery floss, both worked great, tird with a square knot. But for my last quilt, I had heard that you should use pearle cotton floss , so I tried that and I liked that best.

  10. #10
    shaverg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clem55
    I'Ve used yarn and embroidery floss, both worked great, tird with a square knot. But for my last quilt, I had heard that you should use pearle cotton floss , so I tried that and I liked that best.
    I also use the pearle cotton floss and a square knot.

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