My grandmother made all of her 14 children (and spouses), and all of her 50+ grandchildren and a few of her great grand children (I’ve lost count) at least one quilt. I got two of them – one for my 16th birthday, and one for my wedding day.
My grandmother was an incredible woman before her mind started to crumble. Her fingers could sew so quickly, with such precision, and while watching television. Never a stitch out of place. With so many quilts to make, my grandmother didn’t hand (or machine) quilt her works – she tied them.
It is a simple process – really. Two flat sheets – one with a design and one solid bought on sale or from a garage sale will work just fine. In the middle either batting or (when I helped her make quilts for my family’s camper) a torn or stained blanket. It is helpful if there is a few inches of sheet on either side of the batting or blanket to allow for a seam turnover. Other items needed: yarn in a matching or complimentary color, a large needle that will easily take yarn, and piece of thin cardboard cut into a square if the design does not have a pattern that is easy to tie from.
If you look closely, you can see that this design has a square pattern.
Each point of the diamond is 4″ apart, so the quilt can be tied every 4 “.
(If you can’t see the photos, check out https://artbystrongheart.wordpress.com)
Wash and iron the sheets and blanket. Lay the solid sheet (good side facing down), then blanket or batting, then designed sheet (design facing up) and pull each piece tight so it is smooth. If you don’t have a quilt frame, you may wish to attach the three pieces to the table with a clip or to each other with clips or pins.
If you design does NOT have a pattern every 4-8 inches, you will need to measure your designed sheet both length and width. Subtract a few inches from each number so you don’t start tying at the very edge. Divide that number by a number between 4 and 9 until you get an even number. Take the number (between 4 and 9) that gives you a whole number and cut out of your cardboard to a square with each side that dimension.
Put approximately 6″of yarn on the needle, (3″of yarn on each side of the needle eye) and beginning at a point 2″ from the edge (in 2″ on each side) go in through the top of the designed sheet – through the blanket and solid sheet, then back up very close to where you went in. Cut the yarn near the needle, then tie a knot with the two pieces of double yarn – so you have two pieces being tied to the other two pieces – and end up with four pieces of yarn showing on top of your designed sheet.
Use the cardboard template to determine where your next tie should go. When you have finished your first four ties it will coincide with the four corners of the square.
Once the tying is done, you will need to “finish” the quilt by folding over part of the solid sheet onto the designed sheet and sew it down. My grandma did this by hand – and it would take her an hour or two to do. I’ve done it – and it takes me a LOT longer – and it is not quite as pretty. I’m sure you could use a sewing machine, also. My grandma used a 3″turnover on some, and a 1/2″on others. I think she just took what she had and made it work.
Has anyone else tried to tie a quilt?