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Thread: Smooth Backing

  1. #1
    Junior Member stephaniequeen's Avatar
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    When putting the quilt top, batting and backing together, how do you make and keep the backing smooth, without wrinkles, when pinning or using spray adhesive?

  2. #2
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    1. Starch the back first, that helps.

    2. Smooth it out using my hands, a metre-long ruler.

    3. I always baste with someone to help me, so we both make sure we've got it pulled taut over the floor and then tape it down with masking tape. If you have a low-loft carpet, you can pin it instead. If you have a high-loft carpet, you probably don't want to be basting over it.

    4. Repeat the smoothing process when putting the batting on, and again and most importantly when putting the top on.

    The biggest quilt I've made is 89", and I've never had any problems with pleats or wrinkles in the backing. Admittedly, that particular quilt took rather an involved basting process as it was too big for the floor space, but that's a different story, and you get the idea. I'm probably an over-careful baster, but I'm happy enough that way and I would hate to spoil a quilt through a mistake at that stage.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I am working on an extra large queen right now. I put it on my dining room table. First I put down the batting and spray basted the backing to that. It seemed easier for me to smooth out with the backing on top. When I got those two pieces together, I flipped it over and spray basted the top. I'm 75% done quilting it and the backing is looking good.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I heavily starch the backing fabric before layering and spray basting. I have access to some large tables for spray basting. I lay out the backing fabric, then use large (easy-to-use) plastic hand clamps I got from the hardware store to secure the backing edges to the table.

    Next step is to smooth out the batting over the backing. Once I'm satisfied I've got it on straight, I pull down half the batting, spray the batting, then push it back onto the backing. Once that is all smooth, I turn up the other half of the batting and repeat.

    The top goes on the same way -- position first, then pull down half, spray, smooth, pull down other half, spray, smooth.

    This method works even if your table is smaller than your quilt; you just work in sections. The clamps are what keep everything in place so no unwanted shifting occurs.

    If the quilt back is too large for the table, you can still spray baste in sections using this method. The clamps help keep everything straight.

  5. #5
    Senior Member luvnquilt's Avatar
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    I use the blue painter's tape to fix the backing to the floor. The batting (W&N) clings to the other fabrics enough that I've been very successful with just smoothing the layers together then basting with needle and thread. It works for me... maybe not everyone.

  6. #6
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I starch my back and get all the wrinkles out. Then I STRETCH MY back! I move the kitchen table and chairs out of the dining room. Then I sweep and mop my kitchen floor. Then I lay the backing out on the floor and use duct tape to hold it down to the floor. I don't really stretch it but I do make sure that it is taught then I lay the batting over that and smooth it out, then the top. I sit in the floor and work fron the center out NEVER scoot always get up and move to the next section! After I am all done I take a hot shower and make my husband run my back! This way works for me however I know it wont work for everyone.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    I simply use lots of masking tape - backing, batting and top. Never moves an iota.

  8. #8
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    I'm for using large tables. The library allows me to occupy a conference room, and there are 4 large tables to scoot together. I can't do the floor dance anymore, it kills my knees. I don't have any clamps, and usually forget my tape but there are shelves and shelves of reference books I use to weight down one end. Because I can't use spray adhesive in the public room, I pin, starting in the center going out towards the edges.

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