Quilts Fit To Be Tied | Lessons

Quilts Fit To Be Tied

Need a quick finish for your quilt? Consider continuous ties or machine tacks. These speedy but effective techniques are perfect for charity quilts like those for Project Linus.

Tying a quilt is probably the quickest way to finish it. After minimal basting, the layers are joined together with thread or yarn, and the loft of the batting blossoms between every tie. A tied quilt is often called a “comforter,” one of those puffy, cozy things you snuggle under to sleep.

Continuous Ties

A simple method for tying a quilt is to make square knots that hold the layers together. The virtue of the continuous method is that you tie knots as you go without stopping to cut threads to trim tails.

Step 1

Insert the needle through all layers of the quilt and bring it back up to the surface, leaving a 2″ tail on top. Tie a square knot as follows: Hold one thread in each hand. Wrap the left thread over the right thread, pull tightly, then wrap the new right thread over the new left thread and tighten the knot. Do not cut the thread.


Step 2

Bring the needle over to the next tying location. Insert the needle through all layers, and bring it back up to the quilt surface. From the front, slip the needle under the thread that lies between the first knot and the current tie location, forming a loop. Pass the needle over the thread to the loop, as in a buttonhole stitch. Pull the thread tightly to form a knot. Do not cut the thread.

Step 3

Move the needle to the immediate right of the knot you just formed. Slip the needle from back to front under the thread that lies between the original knot and the knot you just made. Form another loop. Pass the needle under the thread of the loop and pull tightly to form a square knot.







Step 4

Bring the needle to the next tying location and repeat Steps 2 and 3, moving from each tying location to the next without cutting the thread. Keep going until you run out of thread. Then cut between stitches to form tails, and trim tails to desired length.


Machine Tacks

Another quick way to tie your quilts is with the zigzag stitch on the sewing machine. Choose thread colors that either complement or contrast with the fabrics in the quilt top and lining fabric.


Step 1

Begin by stitching “in place” for three or four stitches, then sew about four zigzag stitches right next to each other. Make another “knot” by again stitching in place.

Step 2

Move to other tacking locations without cutting the threads.

Step 3

When you have finished tacking a section, pull the quilt out from the machine and trim threads close to the stitching on both the front and back.

For cozy, warm, cuddly–and more quickly finished–quilts, tie them using one of these techniques, and then wrap them around someone you love.

–Carolyn Reardon






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