So Cynthia and I ( Victoria) have noticed something in the past few weeks. While we have been putting our name out there, answering posts of FB of people looking for someone to make them a T-shirt quilt.
The Thing that we have noticed is that some of the other people who answer and have posted pictures of their work. Have just "Tied" the quilts. Now you may be wondering what is "Tied" and what makes it so different.
"Tied" is something that can be done to quilts to put all three layers of a quilt together. This is typically done with a yarn of some sort. While it looks really cute and yes it does complete the quilt it is not very efficient and in the life span of your quilt it isn't going to add years to it.
The way that it doesn't add years to it and shortens the life span, That when you wash it the ties do not hold everything in place. The ties can't hold it all in place because there is generally to much space between the ties. With so much space between the ties the batting and the outside move against each other causing the batting to "ball up". This "balling up" make spots that are lumpy in the quilt. Also when this friction occurs during washing the seams that hold the front pieces together pull on the fabric. The pulling on fabric makes it weaker and makes the fabric fall apart faster.
Now knowing what "Tied" is and how it works I want to explain what "Quilted" is for our readers. There is a very big difference between the two that can easily be seen, especially if samples of each were laid next to each other.
"Quilted" means that you stitch all three layers together. These stitch lines can be anywhere from 1/4 inch apart and up. General rule of thumb most quilters abide by is 2 inches apart. This 2 inches apart isn't very far, its less than the length of your thumb. It is close enough that it doesn't allow much friction at all to occur during the washing cycle. Which is how it adds years to your quilt. It also keeps the batting from really moving around inside the quilt keeping away the lumps. Also this stitching reinforces the seams of the fabrics that form the top. By that a lot of the time the stitching goes across the seams. when it doesn't go across the seam it can be close enough that there isn't much pull that can happen to the seams. Again adding longevity to the quilt.
While there is no wrong way to make and finish a quilt. There are ways that will help your quilt last longer and help it see many more years. This is just one way that can make a difference.