Thursday, June 6, 2013

fit to be Tied

This morning I joined 20 quilt-as-you-go log cabin blocks with 1/2" seams.  Now all those seams are pressed open and voila - an already quilted quilt top!

fit to be Tied

This soft, understated palette and regimented block style would probably never have survived if I was working alone.  I had help!  These blocks were made by members of the Love circle of do. Good Stitches.  Every month our virtual quilting circle makes a quilt to be donated to children through Wrap Them in Love.   When it was my turn to lead the quilt last, I asked for quilt-as-you-go blocks.  I admit, it was kind of cheating.  I mean, I don't even have to quilt this one!  But, I love the look and have long wanted to give it a go!

I'm going to sew up the quilt back today.  After that I'll tie this quilt to secure the quilted top to the backing.  I'm thinking red yarn!  So, I poked around my house to see what's at hand.  Here's the line up:

the line up

From left that's pearl size 8 thread, then a slightly thicker random thread, next a lustrous silk-blend yarn and lastly a thick, flat worsted weight yarn.

Churn dash tied with Pearl size 8

So, every time I've tied in the past I've used pearl size 8 thread, by Anchor or DMC.  It's been an easy choice since this finer thread fits easily in my go to size 24 Chenille needles.  See that folded Chicopee Churn Dash quilt on the shelf?  It was tied with pearl size 8.  I like how the thread ends unraveled and puffed up after a washing.  Hopefully, it's still plenty secure?

I really like the look of thick yarn ties.  Have you ever tried to use real yarn to tie a quilt?  I have...  It didn't work.  I had trouble finding a needle to accept the yarn and, when I did, I couldn't pull the bigger needle/yarn through the quilt.  I've seen yarn used to tie quilts quite a lot (in fact, here's a tutorial), so clearly there's a way.  Maybe it just is that hard to muscle the yarn through?  Though... I think I actually broke the yarn last time trying!

Do you have any tips for me?  What type of needle and what type of yarn have you had success with?

Thanks for your help!

P.S.  Interested in joining us at do. Good Stitches?  We have lots of circles contributing quilts to many worthy charities with openings coming up now and then, plus new circles forming throughout the year.  We especially needs folks to join who are able to lead and finish up quilts.  Quilters lead a quilt every 5 months.  It's quite alright if you only do straight line quilting!  Straight lines (or organic straight lines) are great!  Register for the wait list HERE.

36 comments:

  1. If you use wool yarn for tieing, it felts-up & will not come untied unless you cut them.

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  2. Check how colorfast the wool yarn is. I've felted yarn a lot and red may run.

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    1. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Good point, though! That is.. if I ever find a way to work with yarn to begin with.

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  3. I've used a balloon as a "gripper" to pull the needle through . . . that and a lot of wiggling. Good luck.

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  4. i know nothing at all about tying but I have to say that is just beautiful!

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  5. Looks wonderful! I have never tied a quilt so I am no help there.

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  6. What about upholstery needles?

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  7. Your quilt blocks look incredible - good luck with tying it!

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  8. I like to use a 'crochet cotton' thread. I am guessing the second red is one of those. I like the 'rougher' texture for holding the ties, besides hating to use the 'good' pearl cotton for this purpose. I do like the wool yarn idea too.

    Do you use the 'surgeons knot'? [where you go through the loop 2 or more times] I have had good luck with that one.

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  9. I've used acrylic and wool yarn with success, although my favorite is Pearl 8 as well. I also use a gripper to help me pull through.

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. I'll try again with a gripper. I think we have a balloon round these parts.

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    2. The one time I tied with thick yarn I had to commandeer my husband's pliers! It was worth the effort when I was done.

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  10. Yarn is the best because it gets so nice and fuzzy over time. My grandma made me me two charm square quilts both tied with yarn. I use a curved needle when tying. It has a large eye you just have to squish it a bit. Also a pair of rheostats for pulling it through help alot. I just did and Amy Butler and a Denyse Schmit charm swap and am planning on tying them both.

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    1. Thanks, Colleen. I do have a curved needle. I'll try that again...

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  11. I liked the look of yarn 3 and then saw it was silk - I always had expensive taste! Have no experience of tying a quilt, but have embroidered with quite thick yarn and a gripper is a great idea. (the quilt is gorgeous of course!)

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  12. The colors in this quilt are so unique. I love it! And stacked on your aqua shelf...I'm tempted to paint one that color.

    We tie quilts at our church charity sewing all the time. There's just a huge stack of yarn, every thickness, and an old pincushion stuck full of every different size of needle. Sometimes you really have to tug, but it always works all right. Maybe having them up in a frame makes it easier though?

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    1. Thanks for sharing that, Jolene. It gives me faith that it can work!

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  13. what a pretty, pretty quilt this is. It's going to make the recipient very happy.

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  14. My grandma taught me that if you use a poly batting, it's easier to tie/hand quilt altogether, so you can use fatter, weirder yarns, but with a cotton or wool batt, it's more stiff at first, so something thinner and smoother is easiest. (It had something to do with the density of the fibers or something) But if you're willing to use the muscle, whatever look you're going for could be done!

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  15. This is such a pretty quilt - I don't normally like yellow, but this is so warming and comforting to look it. May have to try these quilt as you go blocks myself. Can't wait to see it all finished.

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  16. I've tied a quilt with some leftover acrylic yarn from a crochet project. I used a curved needle like someone else suggested. I tied with square knots (I think) & found the needle at Jo-Ann in a pack of mixed needles.

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  17. Oooh it looks so cozy already! I know nothing about tying, but I can't wait to see how it looks when it's done.

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  18. Love the quilts with that aqua shelf! Hope these beautiful photos are starting to make you feel more glad for all the effort. :)
    Ooh, I hadn't thought of joining do. Good Stitches as a designer/quilter! I'm terrible at getting blocks in on time but I love to finish quilts.

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    1. Yes, you're right - I am enjoying the shelf quite a bit. It was definitely worth it. Still, I need a painting fairy to tackle that piano...

      I'm glad you're interested in do. Good Stitches, but I should clarify that the quilters still contribute 2 blocks per month to the group quilt, just like everyone else. So... it's still a block commitment.

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  19. Such a beautiful quilt! I love the colours so much!

    Hugs,
    Tatyana

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  20. I've never made a quilt this way but it seams like such a smart way to make a group/bee quilt! I think i will propose it to my guild!

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  21. I've wanted to do a tied quilt for a long time--my mother finishes all her baby quilts by tying. I know you will post about your in-progress, right?! :)

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  22. What a beautiful quilt! I've tried tying in the past and remember feeling very frustrated. Please let us know what ends up working best for you. xoxo

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    1. Will do! I'll post about it with the reveal of the finished quilt next week.

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  23. Beautiful quilt! I'm so glad you posted this, as I've been thinking of making a quilt from QAYG blocks!

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  24. I use yarn for tying. I use the pliers part of a swiss army knife to pull the needle through. The yarn is very secure and the ends wash into a nice fuzz ball after a few times through the washing machine. Very homey.

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  25. The quilt is just gorgeous. Have fun with the tying. That isn't something that I've tried myself yet.

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  26. I was thrilled to know this quilt will be going to Wrap Them In Love! I have been a quilter for this group since becoming a quilter way back. There are many,many great charity groups to contribute quilts to, so it was heart warming to see "my" group named here. We have a yahoo group, which I co-moderate and this year I issued a quilt a month challenge. I used regular yarn for tying my first quilt for my first son. I do not remember much other than it washed up great and has held together for 30+ years now!

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