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Thread: Tie vs stitch

  1. #1
    Senior Member marcycn's Avatar
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    Tie vs stitch

    Does anyone here tie their quilts?

    Is it considered less of a quilt if it's not machine quilted or at least hand quilted?

    Yarn vs DMC thread vs crochet thread if you do tie?

    Do tied quilts hold up for a long time?

    I'm new to all this but I have 4 finished tied quilts over the last 2 months with 4 more tops ready to sandwich. My goal is 10 by Christmas and then work on one for me.

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Tying your quilt does not make it less of a quilt. I like DMC.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  3. #3
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I like DMC or crochet thread. I do not prefer yarn. It is harder to pull through and turns to a fuzz ball after a few washings.

    The important thing with tying quilts is to have a secure knot. I work with charity quilts, and some of the ones that come in are tied with granny knots. I can pull them out with no trouble, so they will never stand up to normal use or washing.

    Dayle

  4. #4
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    I have some very old, very well used quilts that were tied.

    The important things to me with a tied quilt -

    1) The knots are secure

    2) Depending on the batting/filler/middle - there are enough knots to hold it together and to keep the middle layer from shifting around - if one is using flannel or warm and natural batting, for example, one knot every 10 inches would probably be adequate. If using a fiber that is sort of 'loose' - a knot every four inches - read the packaging label

    3) I prefer the knots to be 'arranged' - not scattered willy-nilly. It probably doesn't affect/afflict the utility value of the item, but I like the knots to be arranged in fairly straight lines and fairly consistently spaced.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Sewhappytoquilt's Avatar
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    I LOVE the process of tying a quilt. Call me silly. Plus, the quilts come out so soft, not stiff like some "over-quilted" machine quilting that I have done. I use two or three strands of DMC floss. I have used yarn and it is soooo very hard to pull through. The floss makes it a breeze.
    Loretta Sewhappytoquilt

  6. #6
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I LOVE my tied quilt! I used perle cotton and have no problems with "undoing" or fraying. It gets washed often and was done 2 1/2 yrs ago.
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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  7. #7
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    I use pearl cotton to tie. You can tie it a few times to secure it or zig zag a few stitches to secure it to quilt, then tie. I do not like yarn either, especially on baby quilts.

  8. #8
    Senior Member marcycn's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I was beginning to think tied quilts were the lazy way of doing them. Personally I like them better. :-)

  9. #9
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    I just helped my daughter finish a quilt by tying it, it was a tee shirt quilt and it was wonderful. She loved tying it, thought it was "was more fun"

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I think it's a matter of personal preference, and a tied quilt does not make it less of a quilt. This gets into Quilt Police territory, IMO. If anyone tells you it's not a "real" quilt, just turn and walk away, lol. The only opinion that counts is yours.

    I've always been more a fan of quilting vs tying, but I saw a quilt that Kaffe Fassett did that was tied with French knots - and it was drop-dead GORGEOUS. Now I'm contemplating which one of my unfinished tops I should tie with French knots! lol!

  11. #11
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    You can also tie with the knots to the back, if you don't want anything cluttering the front of the quilt. Just put a long pin in from the front where you want the knot to be, then turn over and tie from the back.

  12. #12
    Senior Member PiecesinMn's Avatar
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    I love tying quilts with fat batts. Good luck in machine quilting with the thick batting. The fat batt makes it so warm and cozy to snuggle with. I have enough love of all things quilted!!!

  13. #13
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    All the quilts I remember my grandmother making were tied. They all were thick, and so warm. I remember thinking as a kids how pretty all those little ties on top were. I don't remember my mom tying one, and I haven't either, but I would like to try one.

  14. #14
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    For me it depends on the quilt whether I tie, hand stitch or machine stitch it.

    Some quilts just beg to be tied IMO. I like to be a little different and use ribbon for tying. On ones for little girls I use the narrow satin or grosgrain ribbon and may even make the tails long enough to tie a little bow then tie the loops together for security. For the corduroy one I did I used a wider variagated nylon (?) ribbon that matched the colors of the quilt and had about 1" tails.

    I tend to think a hand pieced quilt should be either hand quilted or tied. Somehow machine quilting just seems wrong if it has been hand pieced.

    In general if it is machine pieced I think tied or machine quilted is usually most appropriate.

    Just how I view things as a rule of thumb...each individual quilt is considered as it happens...LOL!
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  15. #15
    Super Member humbird's Avatar
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    Pickish, would you know if there is a picture on line of the quilt Kaffe Fasset did with French Knots? That sounds so interesting, and I would love to see it. Thanks

  16. #16
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I say it is a personal preference! I used to tie everthing until I learned to hand quilt

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humbird View Post
    Pickish, would you know if there is a picture on line of the quilt Kaffe Fasset did with French Knots? That sounds so interesting, and I would love to see it. Thanks
    There are a few pics, but they're kind of hard to get to - they're in book previews. The book is "Quilts in the Sun" and he did 2 versions - "Jane's Diamonds Pastel Quilt" and "Jane's Diamonds Lapis Quilt".

    Hopefully this link will work - you'll have to click through the book, the pastel one is on 89, and it's on this quilt that you can see the french knots. The lapis one is on page 93. The page numbers are at the bottom right.

    http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1305572

  18. #18
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    I'd be more likely to reverse and say handquilted, or at least machine quilted than the other way around.
    Tied quilts are as old as handquilted. And, they are both rightly called quilts.

    I do alot of repro fabric (early 1800s - early 1900s) quilts and sometimes the quilt just calls out to be tied. So I do.
    I have a postage stamp quilt I made and tied 20+ years ago, frequently washed; the fabric is wearing out; the ties are still fine. I used 2 strand embroidery thread on it.
    I'll use perle cotton now. I would not use yarn.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by humbird View Post
    Pickish, would you know if there is a picture on line of the quilt Kaffe Fasset did with French Knots? That sounds so interesting, and I would love to see it. Thanks
    The book is available from Amazon for just under $17

  20. #20
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    I like both--tying is fun and I use it on fun-type quilts like primitives. I use perle cotton, sometimes through a button. Old time ladies sometimes liked to tie with wool yarn because it felts in washing, making the knot more secure. Some make-do quilters used string they saved, like the string closing on feed sacks, to use as ties.

  21. #21
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have a tied quilt that is about 75 years old- has held up to much use & laundering.
    since a quilt is 3 layers- sandwiched together = secured with some sort of stitch - tied is still a quilt- 3 layers- the ties count as a stitch
    i prefer perle cotton- it is just easy to use and comes in tons of colors...very economical
    some batts are recommended for tied quilts- others are not- read the batting packages and choose a batt that is recommended and follow the guidelines for distances. tie good square knots- so they hold up.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  22. #22
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    I love the idea of the French knots!!

  23. #23
    Super Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo View Post
    The book is available from Amazon for just under $17
    Thank you Pickish and gollytwo. I looked up the site you posted Pickish. The quilts were beautiful, but I was not able to enlarge for a close up. Will have to look up the book. Told myself I would not buy anymore books, but may have to change my mind! thanks again.

  24. #24
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    My husband doesn't like the look of ties, so, this far I've quilted all "our" quilts. But my grandmother tied each and every one of her quilts and I have one that went all the way to Viet Nam and (thankfully) back with my uncle - the fabric is threadbare in spots but all of the ties are intact! She tied hers with yarn; usually leftover strands from latch-hook rug kits, because NOTHING was wasted! She used a really wide needle with kind of a spade shaped head on it to make it a little easier. (Not sure what type of needle that is.)

    To me the ties do give a sort of vintage or 'country' look - I think it's charming and makes me think of my grandma so I like ties even though so far I haven't made a quilt with them.

  25. #25
    Senior Member sandilee's Avatar
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    I have some quilts that DH's grandmother made back in the 1930-1940's. They are fluffier. I
    am going to make my nieces/nephews quilts and I am going to tie them. Gonna try using the perle or embroidery thread this time. Have always used yarn and I think the thread will look better and will hold up better than yarn.

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