Tying, or tufting, is a quick alternative to hand- or machine-quilting. Tied quilts have a puffier look than those that are quilted.

A tie is a stitch taken through all three layers of the quilt sandwich and knotted on the quilt top surface or, occasionally, on the back of the quilt. For extra puffiness, use a thicker than customary batting or multiple layers of batting. Use perle cotton, sport-weight yarn, or narrow ribbon for the ties and a darner or chenille needle.

TIP: Make certain the batting you select is appropriate for tying, because there will be large unquilted areas between ties.

1. Make a single running stitch through all quilt layers, beginning and ending on the quilt top and leaving a 3" tail.

2. Make a single backstitch through the same holes and all three layers, ending on the quilt top.


3. Clip the thread, yarn, or ribbon, leaving a second 3" tail.

4. Tie the tails in a square knot (right over left, then left over right) close to the surface of the quilt. Avoid pulling too tight and puckering the fabric.


5. Clip the thread tails as desired.