I stretch the top and bottom. They say not to do the batting. I have actually done one or two with no middle and backed it with polar fleece. It works well and makes a pretty warm blanket. And it washes well, at least the fleece I uses. My favorite is 10 oz alpine fleece. I get it from a wholesaler in Edmonton. It is a learning process. Luckily I learn fast. So far I think I have done 6 quilts on the table. I have to fix my poles as they keep loosening on me. I like the phaff machine though. It is fast. Needs a lot of oil though. It keeps sucking it up. Though with what I put it threw I guess it deserves it. I have more pictures to post when I find the camera. I think one of the kids had it in the house.