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Thread: need advice on how to tie a quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    need advice on how to tie a quilt

    I purchased some Minkee for the back of a quilt, and after reading the advice on this board have decided to tie it instead of FMQ. What do I use for the "ties"? How close together do they need to be? Can I do a French folded binding? Any other advice. I know I can Google lots of these questions, but I trust the people of this board for the best advice. Thanks :-)

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I have made several quilts with Minkee. That Minkee is stronger than any binding you could put on there. Just bring the Minkee up over the quilt edges to the top. I usually have about a one inch hem and it's easier for me to just use a straight stitch to sew it down. I have seen other use decorative stitches. Your quilt, your call. The one I made for my youngest over 5 years ago shows no wear and tear on the edge of the quilt and he sleeps all twisted up in it every night.

    We used crochet thread to tie quilts when I was a kid. Comes in several colors. If you are using Minkee, you are probably not using batting - would make it too heavy and hot. We did ties at every 4 inches. But, did you know you could just use a decorative stitch on your machine to tie/tack your quilt? Find a pretty one like a flower or some other design and put it about every 4 to 6 inches.

    I have heard others using yarn to tie with.

  3. #3
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    West Texas
    I use crochet thread or embroidery floss for my tied quilts. It is important that the knots are very secure.

    If you use batting, the ties should be the distance apart that is recommend on the batting package. When close ties are recommended, it is because the batting is not needled or scrimmed and needs them close, so that it hangs together over time. If you don't use batting, then the ties are there only to keep the layers of the blanket together and prevent twisting and wadding up. They don't have to be as close.

    Enjoy your project!


  4. #4
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Canadian in Minnesota
    When I made my very first quilt 34 years ago in a class, we were advised to use polyester knitting yarn. That quilt is still around and still tied. I do like the idea posted above to use machine embroidery stitches and that's what I would do now.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  5. #5
    Super Member Iamquilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Central Minnesota
    Blog Entries
    I have tied many many quilts and always use yarn, making a double knot.

  6. #6
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    La Quinta, CA
    That's how I always did it, ordinary poly knitting yarn. My family has lots of tied quilts from years ago, they last. I measured the distance between the ties with my hand as I was tieing. First I pinned the backing to the carpet on the floor (tape it for wood floors) , then layered the batting and top. I pinned the top through all layers before I started to tie. If you make the minkie larger tan the top you should have no trouble bringing it to the top for binding after it's tied. Have fun!

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Blog Entries
    many tied quilts are tied with either yarn or perle cotton (embroidery floss) a good tight double square knot will hold up for many many years of use
    without batting being a factor often quilts are tied in about a 4" grid- (about the size of your fist between each tie)
    if batting is used try to choose one that says on the package- good for tied quilts- then follow the guidelines for distance- closer is ok- (like if it says can be quilted up to 10" apart- it's fine to tie closer-like using the 4" basic) but if the batting says quilt every 4" don't space ties 9" apart- it won't hold up.
    minkee is quite warm so works fine without batting- but it is not the easiest fabric to hand push a needle through-
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I've used perle cotton and embroidery floss. I used yarn in a flannel baby quilt and didn't like how after many washings they became little balls. When tieing use a long strand of your string and take a little bite of the sandwich every 4 inches in a line across the quilt. Do not cut the string until you get to the other side. You can then go back and cut between the 4 inch spaces and cut the string and you will 2 inch tails to tie in a square knot.

  9. #9
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Lexington Park, Maryland
    I use Perle Cotton Thread or 1/8" satin ribbon. I sew through twice and then tie it with a double surgeon's note. Having been using this method for over 20 years and have never had any come untied. Even the ones for the shelter. I had tried acrylic thread when I started and it never stayed tied, even though I still used the Double Surgeon.

    Physically in Maryland but heart is in Indianapolis.

    Rescued Boxers are adoptable love. Please consider a homeless/rescued pet when adding to your family.

  10. #10
    amh is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Saskatoon SK Canada
    I have made binding with Minkee and it has worked fine. If I tie a quilt I always use a surgeon's knot (see attached video). With Minkee I would tie closer together because Minkee does stretch. Give it a good stretch when you are sandwiching and measure the width of your hand between each tie.



  11. #11
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I use either pearl cotton or crochet cotton -- I like the stability better than when I used yarn. My sewing machine has a tacking stitch and I have used that as well.

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

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