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Tying quilts?

Stuck on a block, confused about directions, or have an incredible tip? Try this forum if you're looking for help or guides to improve your quilting techniques.
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Tying quilts?

Post by LynnS » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:54 am

I'm considering tying a quilt that I'm going to make for Relay for Life (American Cancer Society). It will be raffled.

What do I use to tie it with? I have heard both yarn and embroidery thread can be used. How many strands of embroidery thread do I use? Also, what type of needle is best? Once the thread is through, is there a special kind of knot to tie?

Alot of questions, so thanks in advance!

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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by Suzquilts » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:33 am

I have also used slim ribbon -- used a tapestry needle to get ribbon through and then tied with a simple knot. Mainly on kids quilts since they love to feel textures.


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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by Kittyquilt9292 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:46 am

Generally I think it is suggested to use the full 6 strands of embroidery floss. Yarn is also good to use. And the crochet cotton, like sugar n cream or pearl cotton. I would use whatever size needle is needed for the yarn or cotton, etc. Many people like to sue a curved needle.
There are a number of forum people who tie quilts regularly, so they could probably give you more exact information, I'm giving you what I've heard and read. carol/kittyquilt

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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by Marilynsgrammy » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:44 pm

I recently tied a quilt... I used 3 strands of embroidery floss and a regular needle, and just tied a square knot....

I like Carol's idea of using crochet cotton... just a tad thicker...

I also have a quilt made many years ago and my GMIL used plain old yarn... it kind of balls up after years of washing and use... so there are all these balls kind of like cotton balls over the top.... but it is my favorite and the most precious one I have....


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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by Evie » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:55 am

When I was a kid we always used the crochet thread. It comes in different colors. Tied it the same way as shoe laces only twice real tight.

Play around with all the suggestions and see what looks best for your quilt.

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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by CaroleJ » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:58 am

Lynn, tying quilts is my specialty :-)

I use embroidery floss because it comes in so many pretty colors and is easy to work with. I use the full 6 strands and a darning needle, taking a bite through all the layers between 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. Then I tie them with a surgeon's square knot: right over left TWICE, then left over right TWICE.

I use leather thimbles to protect my fingers from the darning needle. The first few quilts I tied made my fingers pretty sore. I tried a couple different things to pad them and found I like the leather thimbles the best.

As to where to place the ties, generally a tie at each corner and one in the center of each block will do it, depending on the size of the blocks. Depending on the borders, you may want to put ties around the border as well. Sometimes I will use different colors of floss in different areas of the quilt...because I can...and I think it gives a fun look.

Happy tying!

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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by khowardquilts » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:28 am

I like crochet cotton for tying. I learned this from another quilter who taught this to my then 10 year old daughter.

Baste your quilt first will thread or pins. Thread the proper sized needle with a long piece of crochet cotton (I like a medium sized). Then take your stitches diagonally across the middle of the quilt until the thread is used up. Go back and tie square knots; cut the string after you tie each knot the length you want. After a few you will know how much of a string tail to leave for tying (about an inch).Then continue until the strand is used up. This wastes very little crochet cotton or floss.

I tie an extra knot if it is a child's quilt. I have seen ties of yarn, but I have seen them break after a long time. Maybe moths got into wool yarn.


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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by sunsup » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:50 pm

Thank you Lynn S, for asking, cuz I'd been wanting to know too. And thanks to all of you for the instructions.


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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by Quiltmom » Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:25 pm

I recently made a Civil War reproduction quilt for my son who is a Civil War re-enactor with the Kentucky Orphan Brigade. In my research I learned that the Confederate women used to tie their quilts so that they could get more of them done for their soldiers. I tied my son's with Cotton Perle embroidery thread from DMC. It worked great. My son is taking it with him to the Battle of Chickamauga Re-enactment this weekend to use. I also gave him a skein of the thread and some large eye needles so if a tie tears out he can fix it easily.


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Re: Tying quilts?

Post by morgans4 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:40 pm

Sometimes, rather than tying a quilt, I find it much quicker, (and children are unable to take these apart, like they can when it is tied) I used a decorative stitch on my machine and make a little flower or whatever, at the places where I would have tied it. So much easier and faster than all that tying, plus, I have scratched my dining room table with those curved needles! I really think this is a better way.

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