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Thread: How do you get the pieced backing straight with the pieced top?

  1. #1
    Junior Member JudyMN's Avatar
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    I just finished a pieced top then ran out of fabric and had to piece the backing. I made a large rectangle then sewed strips around the edges until I had the correct size. Now I am having trouble getting the top and back straight in order to quilt it.

  2. #2
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Stick a straight pin through the quilt top at a border corner seam & then peek under the batting to see where it lands on the backing. Then shift the top & batting so that you get equal distribution or placment to the backing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Hi Judy,

    Your backing should always be 3-5 or more inches bigger than your quilt top. You should also have your batting to be larger than your quilt top. If you need to you may have to add another border around the edge for this quilt's backing. It's best to spend the extra time to add another border to the backing, as this will make the quilting much easier.

    There are several tutorials listed here and also some You Tube videos about basting a quilt both by pinning and by hand basting.

    Have you pre-washed, ironed and starched your backing? Have you iron and starched your top? Have you laid your batting out to let the folds relax?

    You don't mention how you plan on quilting the quilt. Are you machine quiting your self? Are you sending out to be long armed quilted?

    Good luck with your quilting project and keep us updated on your progress.

    Pam M

  4. #4
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i have my backing and batting 4 inches larger then my top and i mark the centers and then line up the center marks.

  5. #5
    Junior Member JudyMN's Avatar
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    Thank you for the tips. I am a self taught quilter and plan to meander the top myself in a regular sewing machine. the backing is flannel (for a baby) so I didn't plan to starch it. Actually I have never starched anything. I didn't know that was recommended. I did prewash the flannel backing. I gave up my plan to stitch in the ditch when I couldn't figure how to get the two to line up.

  6. #6
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I divide the back, batting and top in quarters then put a small chalk mark or
    baste with thread then open and match centre to centre. For good measure
    you can also mark middle top and middle bottom and middle sides to match.

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Next time it will be easier if you don't make the pieced backing symmetrical. That way you don't have to worry about exactly lining up backing and top.

    For example, run one or more strips of pieced blocks diagonally through the back (not corner to corner, but edge to edge). This will make the backing piece longer, but you won't have any matching to do. (If you don't want the last blocks cut wonky, you can use a piece of the backing fabric at each end of the strip to "float" the strip in the backing fabric.)

    Hope this was a little clearer than mud......

  8. #8
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabric_fancy
    i have my backing and batting 4 inches larger then my top and i mark the centers and then line up the center marks.
    This is also how I do it on the frame, on the floor for tying and on the floor for basting before machine quilting at the cabinet. I have never (crossing my fingers) run short.

  9. #9
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    You could say you set it on point if the tips above don't help. It's called artistic license. :)

  10. #10
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I mark the center of the top and back/batting with pins, then match them up. I don't worry if they don't exactly match...I'm the only one who'd notice if it's of a smidgen.

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