You have pieced your quilt top and now it is time to assemble the quilt sandwich. It sounds scarier than it is.
First, lay your back fabric out on a large flat surface such as the bed or floor – any space large enough to flatten out your quilt. The right side of the fabric should face down.
Batting is the next layer. You will notice that if you are working on a large project, the batting width might not cover the width of your project.
If you find that your batting is not large enough, just stitch the edges of your batting together to form one single piece of batting that is wide enough and long enough for your quilt project. Bump the edges of your batting together, but don’t overlap them.
Be careful the sections of batting don’t become overlapped as you stitch them together because this will make some areas of your quilt thicker than others.
I generally make sure that my backing and batting extend about 2 inches beyond the quilt top on all sides.
The top layer of the sandwich is your quilt top and it goes right side up.
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Now you are ready to baste your quilt.
If you plan to hand quilt, either pin or thread basting is the best method. The idea is to secure the layers of your quilt so, as you do your quilting, it will be free from puckers and tucks.
For machine quilting, you can use pins or basting spray to secure the layers. It’s easy to remove the pins as you stitch. The basting spray will either wash out or wear out with use. But if you thread baste a quilt you are machine stitching, removing the basting threads can be difficult.
At this point, your quilt sandwich should be secure enough to quilt either by hand or machine. No matter which technique you plan to use, you will need to keep your sandwich pulled taut as you quilt.
If quilting by machine, your sandwich will be rolled toward the center on both sides. The sides can be clipped or pinned to stay in place as you quilt. It is important to control the sides of your sandwich so the excess fabric will not pull on the area in which you are quilting. As you continue quilting through your project, you will simply roll and unroll the sides, re-clip or re-pin, and continue.
If you choose to hand quilt your sandwich, you will still need to keep the fabric taut and out of your way as you work on a particular section. You do this by using a quilt frame or hoop. There are many types of frames from which to choose and what you choose is a matter of personal preference.
Many beginning quilters choose lap frames. These are generally less expensive than larger frames and allow the quilter to manipulate their project with a little more ease while learning the craft.
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