Layering a Quilt ready for Quilting

Did you know that 90% of successful machine quilting is in the pinning and layering? That alone tells you how important it is to take your time and do this right.

You need to do layer your quilt on a flat surface. A vinyl floor is ideal or a large table.

Before layering can begin, make sure you have all necessary quilting lines drawn onto quilt top using a quilter's pencil or similar, that will fade away. It is much easier to do any drawing before the batting is under the quilt top.

Step One: Firstly, press all seams flat on the quilt top. Press the backing well also.

Press seams flat or open

Make sure there are no loose threads on back of the quilt top, especially dark threads that lay on white fabric. If they remain there, they will be visible from the right side after quilting.

Remove loose threads and fraying edges

Step Two: Lay the backing, wrong side facing up, on a flat service. Use masking tape to secure in place so the backing is smooth and taut.

Tape backing taut

Keep tape in line with the grain of fabric, not on the bias as this stretches the backing out of shape.

Tape on straight of grain, not bias

Note: For large quilts, clips can be used by clipping the quilt over the edge of the table and then the quilt can be pinned in sections.

Use large clips for quilts larger than table area

Step Three: Now add the batting, do not stretch it, just smooth it in place.

Smooth batting over backing without stretching

Note: Back fabric and batting should be larger than quilt top.

Step Four: Place the quilt top smoothly over batting, right side up, again making sure not to stretch it.

Smooth quilt top in place

Step Five: Using safety pins baste the three layers together, starting in the centre and work out. Avoid pinning across quilting and seam lines. Place the pins approximately 3” apart or closer for thick batting.

Pin approx. 3" apart

When finished, remove tape and turn over to the back. Run your hands over the backing, there should be no fullness backing up against any pins.

There should be no fullness backing up against pins

If there is none, you are ready to begin quilting.

Happy Quilting!

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