How to Tie a Quilt


how to tie a quilt

how to tie a quilt

Learning how to tie a quilt is so simple, but gives a really great finish to your quilt – especially if you are not confident with your machine quilting, or are short of time to finish a quilt.

When I was quilting the Arts and Crafts quilt, I used a lot of stitch in the ditch to stabilise the various areas of the quilt, I quilted  a flower motif in the larger squares and used a series of loops for the filler quilting on the white sections.  I delibarately left the green squares unquilted (apart from the edges) because I felt that some open spaces would help the quilt.

Not for the first time in my life, I was wrong.  The green squares did not look right and they also bagged slightly with all the heavy quilting around them.  So I decided that I would show you how to tie a quilt while adding an extra design feature to the quilt.

Make a 1/4" stitch

Make a 1/4″ stitch

How to tie a quilt

I began by marking both diagonals of the square.  That showed me where the middle is.  The particular one that I am sewing in the photo is not in the middle of the square, but that’s because I didn’t take enough photos of the central one, so I put another temporary one in just to show you how to tie a quilt.

I used embroidery thread – it was originally six strands so I cut lengths about 18″ long and split these into two lengths of three strands each.  You can use many different types of thread for tying quilts, but just bear in mind that you need it to be thick enough to show up as a design feature but not so thick that it’s difficult to pull through the three layers of the quilt.

Repeat the stitch

Repeat the stitch

Tie the two ends twice

Tie the two ends twice

Making the knot

Working from the top of the quilt, push your needle down through all three layers and up again about 1/4″ away.  Leave a trailing end of at least 2″.

Push your needle back into and out of the quilt in the same place to make an extra stitch above the first one.

Tie the two ends of the thread twice to make a double knot.

Trim both ends to about 2"

Trim both ends to about 2″

Trim both ends to about 2″.  That’s the first knot completed.  Now you can move on to the next one.  In general terms, if you are using hand tying only for your quilt, you need to place the knots no more than about 4″ away from each other in order to keep the three layers of the quilt from moving against each other.

I hope that’s helped you see how to tie a quilt if you haven’t come across the technique before.  When I made a mess of my first attempt at free motion quilting, I lost my confidence and hand tied several quilts before I plucked up the courage to try free motion again.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.


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  1. Hi Rose, that was interesting and made me think about embellishing… thanks.
    Do you tie a reef knot or a granny not – or does it not matter?

    • Hi Toni. I’m guessing probably a reef knot, but I’m not sure what I do. Whichever one will be more secure, I suppose. (Sorry – the real answer is that I don’t know!)

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