Finding the Fabulous in Finishing Your Quilts

Do you have a quilt top in your house that needs finishing? Do you have more than one? Don’t feel badly. This is common! Maybe you’re waiting for the muses to inspire you, or hoping someone else will finish it, or it’s just plain procrastination!Whatever the reason, now’s the time to get those quilts finished!

 

Long-Arm Quilting and Batting

If you plan to take your quilt to a long-arm quilter, refer to my post, How to Get the Most from your Long-Arm Quilter. Most long-arm quilters will have batting you can purchase, or you can provide your own batting.

My favorite batting is 100% bamboo. It is fairly new to the market, and it is fabulously soft and has a beautiful drape. I also like 100% cotton and some of the 80%-cotton/20%-polyester battings.

For long-arm quilting, thick batting isn’t a good choice because it’s difficult for the machine to quilt through. If you are taking your quilt to a long-arm quilter you don’t need to do the following steps.

Layering and Basting

You can choose to quilt your projects by hand or home machine. Whichever method you choose to use, the quilt top, batting, and backing will need to be layered and basted together.

  1. Press the backing fabric and quilt top. Mark the center of the quilt top and backing on all four sides.
  2. Spread the backing, wrong side up, on a clean, flat surface. Use masking tape to anchor the backing to the surface without stretching the fabric.
  3. Center the batting over the backing, smoothing out any wrinkles and making sure it covers the entire backing.
  4. Center the pressed top, right side up, on the batting and backing. Align borders and straight lines of the quilt top with the edges of the backing, smoothing any wrinkles from the center out.
  5. You may choose to baste with needle and thread starting in the center of the quilt; baste a grid of horizontal and vertical lines 6? to 8? apart. Another way is to baste the layers with #2 rustproof curved safety pins. Place the safety pins about 6? to 8? apart, away from the areas you intend to quilt, and remove the pins as you go.

Finishing Your Quilt

Finishing Your Quilt

Layered quilt backing, batting and top ready to baste.

See Quilt Making Basics: Binding your Quilt for binding instructions.

 

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