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Thread: Why the 3 to 6 inches?

  1. #1
    Zoo
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    Hey All,
    In everything I've read you must leave 3 to 6 inches of extra batting and backing fabric around the quilt top before quilting it, I know the theory is that some of this extra will get drawn in as your quilting. But from what I've read about machine quilting you stitch in the ditch around the quilt blocks first, (then quilt the insides of the blocks), which I would assume keeps the extra batting and backing from being drawn in after stitching in the ditch?
    Or am I doing this wrong?

    I'm almost done my lap quilt and have just cut off the extra 5" and am wondering why I needed it in the first place?
    Zoo

  2. #2
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    When I quilt on my sewing machine, I leave about 2 to 3 inches. I always start in the middle and work outwards. It doesn't draw up very much that way and the back is nice and smooth.

    On the other hand, if you send your quilt top to be quilted at a shop, they need that extra to pin onto the leaders to roll the quilt to sandwich it. Also on the sides so they can pull it taught with straps so when it is quilted, it is nice and smooth and pucker free.

  3. #3
    Suz
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    Zoo,

    I add 1-1/2" to the measurements of my project which I find to be amble if you are hand quilting. However, if the project is to be machine quilted on a longarm, they need the extra in order to stretch the fabrics/batting onto their equipment. Machine quilters will quilt off the edges of your project which I find helpful when binding.

    I recently had a wonderful experience with a longarm quilter who obviously had a stitch regulator on the sewing machine. She did an excellent job and the turnaround was quick. She charged $88 for a queen and also paid the postage to return my quilt. She had an excellent variety of patterns from which to choose. I will repeat with her.

    If you are interested in her name and email, please PM me and I will provide same. You will not be disappointed.

    Suz

  4. #4
    Zoo
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    Sorry, I don't think I was clear enough. I was speaking from the point of view of if I was going to machine quilt on my domestic sewing machine, not sending it out to a long arm quilter.
    I just finished a lap quilt and cut off the extra 5" of backing and batting that I left and am wondering why everything I read says you must leave between 3 to 6 inches?
    Zoo

  5. #5

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    Believe me it's so much easier to cut off 5 extra inches than it is to get to the bottom edge and need to add 2 or 3 more inches...that sucks plus it doesn't look very kosher either.

  6. #6
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    most people sew their binding to the front, trim away at the seam allowance, then flip and attach the binding to the back. having the extra makes that whole process easier.

    i try to leave between 2" and 3" as a safety zone. if nothing else, it gives me the option of throwing on another border if i decide the quilt really needs one.

    5" does sound a bit much if you aren't going to put it onto a frame for quilting.

  7. #7
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    And if you want a wider binding, the extra batting and backing gives you that option...though 2" to 3" ought to be fine for that, too.

  8. #8
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    I always leave at least 2-3" all the way around my quilt of the backing and binding...
    Just incase something goes wonkers...then I have it there.
    Then just trim it all up and I am ready to put the binding on the front, flip it over to back and handstitch...
    Hope this helps.
    K

  9. #9
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    And that's another question.....patterns say that after you quilt it to trim the excess off, then, sew binding on and whip it down. If I do that the back will ALWAYS be short :cry: Now I quilt, sew binding on top side, then trim the excess off and whip the back. What am I doing wrong that the backing will always be short if I trim it off before putting the binding on :?

  10. #10
    Zoo
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    Thanks for the input ladies! Next time I'll keep the backing/batting to 2 or 3 inches.
    Zoo

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