Making the Quilt Sandwich

Now that I have the quilt top and quilt back completed, the next step is to start actually quilting the 2 together.  To do that well, I start by creating a good quilt sandwich.  In addition to the top and back, I need batting to give the quilt warmth and softness.  For this quilt, I used a twin size Quilter’s Dream Natural Select batting that I cut to be just bigger than my quilt top.To start off, you need a large enough space of flat hardwood or tile floor.  If you’ve got dogs, make sure to sweep and mop beforehand or your dog’s fur will be part of the quilt (which, in retrospect, may actually make the quilt warmer).  Once you’ve found your workspace, roll out the batting.  Don’t worry about getting all the wrinkles out yet, that will come later.  Just get it relatively flat.

Next, spread the quilt top on top of the batting like so…

Then, starting from the top, roll the 2 together and set aside.

Next, lay the quilt back down with the right side facing down.  Also make sure that the top and bottom are oriented correctly.

Then, take some masking tape and tape the edges.  Pull the fabric somewhat taut as you go so there are no wrinkles, but not so much that it becomes warped.  We are NOT trying to channel Joan Rivers’ plastic surgeon here.  I find that the best way to do this step is to start by taping the top.  Then, I work down the sides together.  Then I end by taping the bottom.  You will probably want to use enough tape to cover almost all the edges or else it may not stick to the floor well as you’re putting tension on the fabric.

Once your quilt back is taped, starting from the bottom, roll out the backing and quilt top.

Here it is all the way rolled out…

Now the final part of this step is to pin all 3 layers together.  I use curved safety pins because they make it really easy to grab all 3 layers.

I like to start in the center and spiral my way out.  The key to this step is to smooth out the quilt top as you pin so that you get rid of the wrinkles but not so much that the fabric becomes warped.  Again, NO Joan Rivers!  It’s ok to sit/kneel on your quilt during this step.   This is probably one of the most tedious steps in the whole quilting process, but once you’re done with this step, you can untape the quilt and carefully put it on your lap and imagine what it will be like when you are done with making the quilt.  Remember to not go super crazy with your excitement of trying the quilt because it may undo some of that smoothing you just spent time doing.   I like to leave a couple of inches of batting and the quilt back extending beyond the quilt top.  I think that that makes the quilting process a bit easier.

Next up will be the quilting itself.

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Filed under Crafts, Quilting, Sewing

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