Tips for hand tying a quilt?

I am making a quilt for my mom to replace the too-small donated quilt from one of the social services in her town. And it’s rather a bland simple squares quilt, no batting and hand-tied.
She does not want any batting, just the two layers. I hesitate to machine quilt it, thinking the hand-tying would be more personal.
Any tips?
There will be off-white sashing added. Overall size is approx. 35 x 45


I wonder if she is thinking of the thicker batting. I use very thin batting or fusible fleece…it is very easy to quilt using larger patterns and not all over…if it is going to be washed a lot, I don’t know that hand tying is going to hold up as nicely. It seems two layers would also not drape as well…you put together that quilt so nicely for her…much brighter and happy than what she got, I am sure. The last quilt I hand tied was a very small one for my doll, so I have no tips.

I don’t have any tips either, but your quilt looks like it will be very cheery. Great fabrics; love the kitty!

I have a queen size quilt my mom made me years ago that is hand tied, has held up to lots of use and many washes. I also made one for my son, didn’t use batting but used a sheet between the front and back for extra bulk, that has held up wonderfully.

I used acrylic yarn, just one knot and trimmed fairly short. I made my knots very tight but didn’t pull it tight against the fabric, if that makes sense. If your blocks are 12 inches, I’d put 8-9 ties per block.


Do you remember what kind of knot it was? I love the look of hand tied quilts but it seems the ones I had lost many of the ties…perhaps I untied them as a child…lol…I was fiddly back then.

I sometimes use a blanket inside the quilt as batting too, or a piece of fleece. It stays flat & in place perfectly, good for a tied quilt. Everything has to be hot washed & dried though so nothing shrinks at different rates & makes things go wonky.

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It’s my mom’s request. She keeps the house warm and only uses the quilt as a bit of extra draft protection. So I got an emphatic “NO” to batting :upside_down_face:, just the front and back and nothing in between. She just wants something a bit longer and prettier. I considered just adding to the one she has, but really, you can’t put lipstick on a frog (they are too slippery). The old one is about 32 x 32.
The fabric is raided from her storm cellar of fabric storage and she doesn’t sew anymore. Plus some of my fabric plus the solids. And it’s a bit of an I Spy as well, different kinds of flowers, shapes, a cat. She used to make most of her clothes and my stepdad and mom loved to travel, mostly to warm places, so tropical prints abounded.
I love this “Everything has to be hot washed & dried though so nothing shrinks at different rates & makes things go wonky.” I agree, everything has been washed (I think) at least once. I’ll wash and dry the backing when it arrives. Iron the silly thing and give it a go.

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It will be perfect because you are making what she wants…

And I just researched knots online and I think I’ll use floss and a surgeon’s knot. It’s a super square knot.

Grandma always tied the quilts she made for the grandkids out of feed bags. Mine fell apart 30 years ago after hard wear.

My mom is very neat (not like me) and it will probably hardly ever get washed. I don’t know how she does it. I tend to get dirty leaving the room after dressing.

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I knot by going up-down-up-down so there’s a loop as well as the tie, and use a square knot. Yatn tends to be not slippy & if it’s wool it even felts up a bit.


Now that is a useful tip–using wool so that it felts the knot even stronger!! I knew I saved all those tiny pieces for a reason…lol.

I used just a regular knot, like I used to tie my laces together when I was a kid, and so did my mom. Nothing has ever come undone on either quilt.

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I had elastic ties on my shoes… :laughing: