Monday, November 15, 2010

Tying A Quilt By Machine

Tying a quilt - I know sooo 1980's, but I wanted the quilts I am making for my girls this winter to be super warm and comfy. A quilt is nice, but snuggling under a poofy comforter at night is The Best. I used 4, yes 4, layers of polyester batting in their quilts and with that amount of thickness machine quilting is not really an option so I decided to "tie" it.

To tie a quilt by machine baste the quilt as usual and mark where you want your ties. I was going to "tie" at the corners so I didn't mark. Set the sewing machine on zig-zag with the maximum width and an almost 0 length -

Zig-zag back and forth 15 to 20 times moving forward and back just a bit.

Then lift your presser foot and move to your next tie.

When you are done machine tying, clip your threads on the front and back.

Simple, fast and comfy. I have done this on other quilts and they hold up great. That is the secret for how I got the second quilt quilted so fast. :)


  1. What a great idea! I never would have thought of this myself. I WILL try this someday soon. Thank you!

  2. Wow, I love this! When I think of tied quilts, I think of a baby quilt I had from the 70s that was tied with orange yarn in little knots with the ends sticking out - LOL. So this is a really nice update on that. I also would not have thought of multiple layers of batting to make a quilt warmer (duh!) Thanks for the tips!

  3. I was wondering about doing by machine. Thanks for the info on how you did it.

  4. A great idea-can't wait to try it out!

  5. Love this method... I did a similar stitch on a thick quilt that had minky backing...was easier than machine quilting/meandering. And yes, as you said, FAST.

  6. I have also used a one of my machines decorative circle stitch to do the same thing to tack down larger areas after I have stitched in the ditch.

  7. not a quilter but wondering do you need to lower feed dogs on machine when doing this or keep them raised as you can tell really not a sewer or quilter just getting ready not sure if lower feed dog or keep them raised ? have tried tying a quilt before and after having mulitple surgeries makes it very difficult to do so this is so much better and quicker thanks for all the info

    1. You will need to lower feed dogs so you can move the quilt around.

  8. Good idea! I just got through hand tying one and it took a while to get it done!

  9. I did not lower feed dogs...just set zig zag at widest. If you lower, you have to move it back and forth ain which case zig zag setting zig zag is not operative. I position about a 1.5" length of thick wool yarn and secure with zig zag at the center of that. I tried setting my Bernina at 0 straight stitch for a few stitches,], then switch to wide zig zag then back to straight stitch at 0 to secure. The wool yarn will ball up when washed which is a look I like

  10. Hi Leila, the tutorial is great; I will try it.
    Do you know the link dosn't work from your tutorial page?
    (Found it by looking harder)