The fastest way to secure the layers of a quilt (top, batting, and backing) together is to tie them. Thread a needle with a long piece of embroidery floss, yarn, or pearl cotton. At regular intervals (every four inches, at most) take a single stitch through the three layers of quilt. Tie the thread in a double square knot and trim the thread to a consistent length, usually 1/2 or 1 inch.
If you prefer, you can tie your quilt by machine. Baste as usual. Place the quilt on the machine and make sure all the layers are smooth. Set the stitch length and width at 0. Take several stitches and then increase the stitch width to a wide setting. Make about eight stitches and return the stitch width to 0. Make several stitches and clip the threads. Repeat until the quilt is tied at regular intervals.
To make the ties more decorative, make little bows from six-inch lengths of ribbon and stitch them in place, using the zigzag stitch as just described. Alternately, if your machine makes decorative stitches, use a decorative stitch instead of the zigzag stitch.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Tying quilts by machine requires a little extra work to create a decorative effect.