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Thread: Help with Centering Backing with Front of Quilt

  1. #1
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Unhappy Help with Centering Backing with Front of Quilt

    I need some help with this situation. I have backing that is not big enough to cover the back of my quilt top. I am going to add some borders around the entire length & width of this backing to make it fit with the top. My problem is - how do I make sure that the back of the quilt is centered with the top of the quilt. I do not want borders that are not the same width all around when it is sandwiched with the quilt top. Since the backing is face down when I start the sandwiching & then the batting is on top of that - how do I make sure that I end up with everything centered when it is finished? Is it just trial & error or does anyone have any tried & true method to make sure everything is even when done? Any help would be appreciated.
    Dance like no one is watching

  2. #2
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    Iron a crease on the outer edge at the center of both the backing and the quilt top. Just an inch or two will do. Crease both vertically and horizontally so you have 4 matching points. Just line these up when sandwiching.

  3. #3
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    Ditto what LavenderBlue said and if I may add. If you fold the quilt top in fourths, you can line it up in one of the quarters then unfold it. That should do it. It especially works with large quilts on small tables. A video with Katie Amelie shows how.

  4. #4
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    Instead of adding borders, consider adding the needed width and length through the center of the quilt. Even off center when added other than the edges will give a pleasing appearance. Centering front and back with outside borders is not easy but can be done however if it is important that all borders be even you might be better to use another way to enlarge the back.
    jackie

  5. #5
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    That's great advice Lavender Blue, I have always wondered how to do that. Your way makes perfect sense. Since I didn't think of that, I just never center anything. I make my lap quilts 48 x 72. (Domestic machine) I take the 42" width and cut about 12" off. Then I use either simple blocks of the front prints to add width or reject blocks stacked to make the back wide enough. I am actually beginning to prefer simple squares. As someone pointed out on another thread, if anytime the front gets damaged, there is identically worn fabric on the back to repair the front.

  6. #6
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    I like to mark with my Frixion pen both the top and the back in the seam allowances. I then put a pin through the marks so I can feel where the mark is and match up the registration marks. I need the pins because the batt usually extends beyond the fabrics. This will help you get it evenly spaced but you might still get some distortion from the quilting process.

  7. #7
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    The video is "HOW TO SANDWICH A LARGE QUILT ON A SMALL TABLE". Katie uses skewers but the folding in fourths works best for me.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I fold the backing, batting and top and mark with safety pins. I line them all up I also mark the center - wrong side on the backing, right side on the batting, I make sure the centers are even before I remove the pin on the batting. I then make sure the top and backing pins are lined up. After I pin them together, I take out the pin in the backing.
    I have also lined up the border onto the backing and worked over to the other side and match those. I recently did this on two baby quilts I made. I try to avoid all of this by adding fabric down the center or use the same backing fabric added to make the back larger.
    I try to use backing fabric, this is the easiest.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  9. #9
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I have done a lot of quilts and have been short on the backing on more than one occasion. I prefer to do some sort of piecing on the back to make it more interesting. You have to be dead on accurate to get it to look perfect. This is what I did with a charity quilt I was short on the backing. Sometimes it takes a day or two of brainstorming to come up with a solution that you will be happy with.
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  10. #10
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    I looked at all the ideas mentioned by these generous QB members & have decided to do an off set addition rather than try & center it. It seemed like the most logical & easiest solution to adding some pieces to the backing. I want to thank everyone who sent me suggestions, they really helped.
    Dance like no one is watching

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