Preparing quilt tops for quilting can make me feel like some kind of a contorshionista!
Dear Friends and Readers,
Dealing with a large expanse of backing fabric and batting and of course not to mention the quilt top itself can lead to some physical challenges. The amount of acrobatics and level of difficulty may well increase with the size of the quilt top .
And talking about backing, well, that is a whole deal in itself. I suppose if you buy “Widebacks” or equivalent, when it comes to backing a large quilt, this will be helpful. …
Here is another idea for “Widebacks”
and here is more about this product
With this in mind, today, I just wanted to share my recent thoughts on backing quilts.
My usual go to, is to join two lengths of fabric. Having some space to do this is very good especially for pattern matching. Once I have prepared the backing fabric, I believe that it is easier to then centre the quilt over the backing and batting as I can feel the centre seam and lay out the quilt top so that it will be centered.
About the batting. For the most part, I use cotton batting. I like yo buy a whole roll and then use it all. If it will be a very special quilt, or, if I am seeking extra warmth, I will use wool. Although wool is more expensive, it is lovely to use, it is a fire retardant, breatheable, and from personal experience washed beautifully.
Being Australian, it would be remiss of me not to mention this wonderful wool batting…
If it would be a quilt which I wanted to be very light weight, I have used bamboo. I don’t choose polyester, I tried it once in my early quilting days, when it was super thick, well…. I guess that put me off a bit….
Getting back to being a “Contorshionista”, I do like to lay it all out on a clean floor. I wear clean socks and that way I can literally crawl over the surface of the quilt and the layers to smooth it out as much as possible. Actually, knee pads would be a good accessory at this time! If you don’t like the floor, a big table is a good alternative. Also, please see Cindy’s comment below for another great tip for laying out your quilt sandwich! Then, I will begin pinning. I usually pin at quite big intervals. I deliberately do not overpin at this stage as I have found further adjustments are always necessary.
I have to admit that after a few hours I felt quite a sense of achievement, as a few more quilt tops are closer to becoming an actual quilt.
Here is more detail of the process
So nice to pick up this stack of “quilts to be”. I really do think it has turned out to be more efficient to sandwich a few quilts at the same time. I will definitely have another “Batting Day”.
I have quilted the largest one,
Happy Quilting and Happy Mother’s Day!