How to Tie a Quilt with Yarn, Without a Frame, Using Machine & More

Why have an ordinary, store-bought blanket to keep you warm when you can have a hand-made, sustainable and unique quilt? Quilts are so underestimated! As I’ve posed in the question, quilts are comfortable, good for the environment, and a personal item to give to someone. Kudos to you for wanting to start on your quilt-making skills, and here, learn how to tie a quilt. 

Quilting is the term that describes the process of joining various pieces of fabric together to form a larger part (whether used for decorative purposes, a bed cover, or as a blanket). These are typically three layers of fabric together. People can either stitch manually using a needle and thread or using a sewing machine or a longarm quilting system (a more special machine). 

There are different ways to tie a quilt, depending on your tools or equipment. Hand tying may be the best technique for beginners of this craft. Read on and see what tying tutorial may work the best for you!

Do you have a particular question about tying a quilt? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

How to tie a quilt without knots?

Tying a quilt can be done in different ways, but one of the most popular and easiest ways is to tie a knot (explained in the next section). But if you are using this method, a tied quilt may not be so pleasing to look at.

Alternatives to hand tying a quilt are free motion, walking foot quilting, and just hand quilting. The last one is the traditional method of hand-stitching the quilt layers together by just using a sharp needle. The best thing to do is to practice stitching in a straight line to clean your finish.  

How to hand-tie a quilt?

The simplest way to finish off your work is, of course, through a hand-tied quilt, given that you do not have a machine at hand. Here, we will knot a quilt. The distance between your knots depends on the kind of batting you have decided to use. Quilt batting is the center of your quilt layers. It is also known as quilt padding or wadding.

Just think of it as the insulating layer of fabrics that provides your piece with thickness, dimension, and warmth. So, the distance is typically indicated on the label of your batting (so read the instructions of your materials for the batting). A basic rule is that you should work with 4-5 inches. For quilts without batting, place the knots consistently and along with the design of your quilt. 

First, choose what side you want your knots to be on and place the quilt on a flat surface. Mark the areas you wish to place the knots with a pencil. Thread the needle with your yarn and cut off 20-24 inches. Start off in the center of the quilt and then move outwards. Pierce through your quilt layers and bring back the needle out about a quarter of an inch away.

Leave 2-3 inches tail on the side and repeat this stitch one more time (close to the last hole but not directly the same one). Cut the thread with a pair of scissors on the needle side, leaving a second tail (same length as the first one).

Finally, tie the tails together, doing so with a surgeon’s knot, then trim the excess yarn. Repeat this step for every spot you marked for your knots. Quilt tying is easy to control because you are doing it all by hand. 

How to tie a quilt by machine?

Another way to achieve tied quilts is, of course, using a machine. The advantage of having a sewing machine is that you can complete and finish off your projects faster and cleaner. You would just need to prepare your quilt the same way, and once ready to seal, place your machine’s needle on the exact spot you want to make the ‘tie.’

Make four stitched moving forward and then four stitches back. Repeat to ensure it stays in place. After, just cut the loose threads.

How to tie a quilt without a frame?

Wanting to quilt, but you do not have any frames around you? That won’t be a problem when it comes to finishing your project and tying the quilt. You will just need the basics of scissors, a tapestry needle, and your thread. The first step is to make a “quilt sandwich,” which is the process of holding the layers of a quilt together.

Lay your fabric on a surface (a floor will do), and tape each of the four corners to the ground so that it is tight. Spray a thin layer of basting spray and then slowly lay down your batting, ensuring that it is smooth and flat.

Do the same process until you have three layers basted. This way, you can remove it from the floor already, then you can start your quilting with the middle first then outwards. Do this throughout until you have bound all your layers. As you can see, no frame is needed! The process of taping on the floor should keep it all tight for you to easily do the quilting action. 

Tying a quilt with yarn

The good thing about quilting is that it allows you to use a variety of fabrics, colors, and materials. Yarn is no different, and you can for sure use it. A heavy yarn can be used to go through the quilt’s many layers.

In fact, a thick/heavy piece of yarn is just what it needs to keep everything together. And ensure they are permanently tight. Especially when you eventually knot it all over the quilt, the yarn can help secure that even when used many times or washed. 

How to tie a quilt with embroidery thread?

As with yarn, quilting with embroidery thread should not be different. You can use this thread with a home sewing machine or a longarm quilting machine. Polyester embroidery thread is often a popular choice because they are available in a wide range of colors. Plus, they are known to be good for smooth sewing. 

Best tie quilt patterns for beginners

It is often needed for beginners to look at others’ work for inspiration and have clear tie quilt instructions. The choices, designs, patterns, and styles are really unlimited, and it is up to you to be creative. There are many tie quilt patterns you could do.

But when looking for patterns that’s the best for beginners are those that are easy to assemble (with basic shapes such as rectangles and squares). The second type of pattern you should be looking for is the ones made using precuts. Precuts are fabrics that can save you some time as they are ready to go. These are all easy to purchase from Etsy, Amazon, or Craftsy. 

Alternatives to tying a quilt

Quilting is a lot of hard work, especially if you decide to create a large piece. So, are there any alternatives to tying a quilt or doing a knot quilt? The easiest solution would be to use a machine, as it saves time and energy than manually tying it.

As mentioned above, there is also doing it by free motion. You have to use a darning foot and dropped feed dogs to guide your fabric in this method.

This allows you to have more control over where stitches are made. There is also the walking foot method where you sew through all 3 layers of your quilt following the quilt’s seams that are on top.

Credits: photos by Canva

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