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Thread: To quilt or not to quilt..that is the question

  1. #1
    Jamie's Avatar
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    I am working on a quilt for a friend, for her bed, it is a Califonia King quilt...Now my question is, what is prefered to have a bed quilt, quilted, or tied..what would make it warmer and more comfy or doesn't it make a difference? Also I've never tied a quilt..how exactly is that done?

  2. #2
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    What brought me to quilting... is the quilting! I have never tied a quilt yet, however I have seen some done that will be used as a utility quilt here on the forum..
    One member does a "super" crows foot type of hand work on her quilts which I really admire. Do a search to see some examples of it.

  3. #3
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Tying reminds me of my grandmas quilts. I loved to snuggle under them, but myself, I like to machine quilt them. I don't know which is warmer.

  4. #4
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I've never tied a quilt but I've also never quilted a Ca King. Does washing affect a quilt that was tied? I think I'd find out from someone on here how it holds up to washing and use compared to quilting. I guess I'm not much help, am I?

  5. #5
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Where do you get CaKing size batting?

    My mother has a huge bed, home made with two full size beds together. I could not find batting big enough, neither did I wanted to to quilt something that big. I ended up using the quilt as you go method with 21 inches square blocks and it turned out great.

    Maria

  6. #6
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    Most of my quilts have been tied with embroidery floss, all 6 strands, although most of my quilts have been lap sized and donated, I did make one for a friend for last Christmas that I tied, it's a Queen sized. It turned out fine. I don't think that tying or quilting makes a difference as far as warmth is concerned. Tying really isn't hard to do, but I do tie mine a lot closer than most people.

  7. #7
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Before I discovered a wonderful gadget called the Walking Foot, I used to tie all my quilts. It works well if you are using a thicker batting, or making it more like a comforter than a quilt. It doesn't hold up as well in the wash, especially on baby quilts that are washed frequently.

    I also used 6-strand embroidery floss (easier to thread the needle than yarn). As far as a method, not much different than sewing on a button, just tie it on top and leave the ends however long you want. I usually left less than 1 inch. How far apart depends on your batting and the design.

    Personally, for a king size bed quilt, I'd quilt it, rather than tie it. Just my preference.

  8. #8
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    I used to tie, but now I just machine quilt them to the best of my ability. But, the largest I have done is a queen and on a regular machine, that was very difficult to do the middle. I cannot imagine a california king! Tying or quilt as you go might be your best choice.

  9. #9
    Jamie's Avatar
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    To answer Maride's question, You can not find a piece of batting big enough, you can however sew, and fuse two pieces together to make one very big one.
    As for the quilt as you go, this would have worked had I just started planning it, but I am 90% done with the top piece....
    While I was sitting here asking this question, it came to me that I could do a brick wall type pattern on it, instead of quilting it, sew it. Since it is all various sized strips sewn together I think that may be kind of fitting..I will have to post some pictures later today, once the kids are off at school.

  10. #10
    Jamie's Avatar
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    janRN, Frequent washing can effect a quilt that was tied. Esp. if I am using two pieces of batting fused together. It's got more of a chance at bunching..but it certainly isn't going to be easy to quilt either..
    why I was asking, was more for fluffy, or comfort purposes. When you quilt it tends to be a bit flatter, more stiff, when you tie it, it's poofier, and fluffier, I was trying to decide which would be prefered. I guess I will have to finish the top, and let the quilt tell me what it wants. The woman who is recieving the quilt, know absolutly nothing about this kind of stuff :) So I am sure she will love it either which way.

  11. #11
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    You are so ambitious! I think you have to be very careful about reading the batting description before tying - some have very different requirements. Good luck with it.

  12. #12
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Is there a longarm that will quilt that size?

  13. #13
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    If you want fluffy and warm, A high loft (bonded) poly batting is your best choice, and in that case you will have to tie it.

    I have been quilting for 24 years, and my adult sons still prefer a high-loft quilt. The second one loves his old "two sheets and a puffy batting tied together" quilt, and the youngest has a pieced duvet cover for his feather duvet. The oldest (30) has a regular quilt on his bed, but I think that is because his wife wants it.

    As for regular "quilted" quilts... cotton quilts just aren't warm enough in our northern climate. Poly quilts are better, and I just made a wool blend one. I am hoping that one will be warmer.

  14. #14
    MelissaK's Avatar
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    I like to tie it b/c it stays fluffy! I tie baby quilts a lot. I would never quilt a Cal King on my little sewing machine. If I had a long arm, yes.... but sending that to a long arm would cost a fortune too. A Cal King in my house would end up tied.

  15. #15
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    If you decide to tie, remember you need to use a square knot. If you are not sure what a square knot is, ask a boy scout. I have tied & quilted at different times. If you use the square knot, you won't have to worry about it coming apart. One quilt on my boy's bed lasted several years. I don't think quilting or tying will make the quilt warmer. I do know that the more you quilt the heavier & stiffer the quilt will become.

  16. #16
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have tied a few quilts in the center of the main square as added support. The remainder of the quilt was done SID. I don't know how well a large quilt quilt will hold up in the wash if it is "just" tied.

  17. #17
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie
    Is there a longarm that will quilt that size?
    Yes.

    The tin lizzy will quilt that big if you get special 13 foot rails for it. Some people think you need a second midspan support. But it will do it. I have my TL set up with 7 foot rails, have the ten foot rails ready to go on when I am finished this practice quilt, and will soon be doing my QS quilts. There are no plans to do a KS or CA King.

    tim in san jose

  18. #18
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    I have tied several Trip Around the World quilts. They are made of small squares and have held up very well. I wanted the fluffy look also and I used a fat batt. I did not use embroidery floss. I used crewel yarn and did the X thing on each joint and then channeled between the material to the next junction that needed a tie. The crewel yarn is very strong and you only need one piece of it .You need one of those really long needles with a big eye. If you have any question PM me about it. I made my X very tiny and they can't be seen really. My son is still using one I made 20 years ago as a spare cover when we come to visit. It looks a bit shabby but it's still warm.

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