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Tying quilts?
LynnS Send a Message
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!
9/16/2008 7:54:31 AM
Suzquilts Send a Message
Aurora CO
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.

9/16/2008 8:33:48 AM
Kittyquilt9292 Send a Message
eastern PA
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
9/16/2008 9:46:31 AM
Marilynsgrammy Send a Message
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....

9/16/2008 5:44:19 PM
Evie Send a Message
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.
9/17/2008 4:55:31 AM
CaroleJ Send a Message
Ramona, CA.
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!
9/17/2008 5:58:24 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.

9/17/2008 11:28:46 AM
sunsup Send a Message
Thank you Lynn S, for asking, cuz I'd been wanting to know too. And thanks to all of you for the instructions.

9/17/2008 6:50:57 PM
Quiltmom Send a Message
Defiance OH
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.

9/19/2008 6:25:01 PM
morgans4 Send a Message
Kansas City, MO
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.
9/29/2008 12:40:09 AM
CaroleJ Send a Message
Ramona, CA.
That's why I have a cheap dining room table...LOL! There are even a few chunks missing from the edges from rotary cutter mishaps! Not to mention the damage DH has inflicted with computer parts over the years!
9/29/2008 5:44:03 AM
LisaSims Send a Message
Topeka, KS
My grandma had rolls of cotton twine in different solid colors, yellow, peach, green. They were not bright colors (they were dull) and had no sheen to them. They came on thick cardboard rolls about 6 inches tall. She used them for tying her crazy quilts when I was with her in the 50''''s and 60''''s. I looked for them at Walmart, at a local quilting supplies store, at Michael''''s, and at Hobby Lobby. None of them had any cotton twine other than crochet floss or bamboo twine (very expensive). After looking on the internet, it appears what she had was "bakers twine". It looks like the cheapest prices on it might be on the "Just Artifacts" website #around $3 a roll#. Walmart has it on their website, too. She tied her quilts with two thicknesses of the twine and "granny" knots! She left about 1 inch of twine past the knots.
10/10/2017 10:03:55 AM
LisaSims Send a Message
Topeka, KS
By the way, I heard "granny" knots are stronger than "square" knots because square knots can fail if only 1 of the "tails" is pulled. May not be a problem in tied quilts though.
10/10/2017 10:26:17 AM
morgans4 Send a Message
Kansas City, MO
In the early days, Eleanor had us tie our quilts. She made surgeon's knots. It's like a square knot, so imagine that you cross one side over the other and when you take it under, go under it twice. Then, do it again, just as you would to complete the square knot.
This is especially nice when tying Christmas packages. You don't need an extra finger while you make the bow, because only doing it the first time will hold it in place.
I hope this makes sense. It's difficult to explain. lol.
She always used all 6 threads of embroidery floss, and a curved needle is really helpful, but I didn't always have one.
12/6/2017 9:41:33 AM
TracyF Send a Message
W. suburban Chicago
This thread is so helpful! I have never tied a quilt before. My grandma always used yarn and I know I don't want to do that. My question is, when using embroidery floss, don't the strands separate and fray? Do you tie a little knot at the end of each strand? That sounds impossibly fussy.

TIA for any advice!

12/9/2017 12:40:10 PM
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