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Thread: Lining Up Top,Batting & Back

  1. #1
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    Lining Up Top,Batting & Back

    Ok this is only my 3rd quilt and the 1st one that I am completely on my own. I am unsure as to how to accurately line up everything so it isn't crooked. The quilt top is about the size of a toddler bed. I have it all layed out & my backing & batting is at least 3 inches bigger then the quilt top. What is my next step? Thanks.
    Sue

  2. #2
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I usually just eyeball it to see if it all looks even. I try to lay it out on my cutting table and walk around it, evening it out. Make sure you use lots of pins to hold the three layers in place. I hope that helps some.
    Heather

  3. #3
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    So far, so good! At this point just make sure that each layer is secured (either individual layers or all 3 together) to some flat surface. I use my cutting/craft table and larger binder clips. Next step is to baste all 3 layers together. You can use either safety pins or thread. Start in the middle of your project and smooth as you go. With either method, I usually put my pins/thread about a hand-width apart in each direction. I only hand quilt so I don't know what method will work better for you if you are machine quilting. And depending on your quilting pattern, it may be better to mark your complete design before quilting. I usually mark as I go but that works best for hand quilting as far as I know.

    Holler if you need more help/info. And good luck. Sounds like you're doing fine so far.

  4. #4
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    I just was watching the craftsy class on this. She folds her layers in quarters to get a cross grid in the fabric for lining up. She also tapes bamboo skewers to her table where the cross she fall so she has a way to feel if they are lined up too.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your encouragement! One more question, the backing is all squares. Will it matter if it is not perfectly square or lined up evenly?
    Sue

  6. #6
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    If the backing is all squares, just be sure the seam lines are somewhat parallel to the edge of the top so it doesn't look like it's crooked. I use the craftsy method - fold the top in quarters to find the center and then center that on the backing and batting.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Is the backing all one piece, not plaid or stripes? If so then it won't matter if it isn't exactly straight as long as you have enough extra around the edge before quilting. If you are using a back with a seam. stipes or plaid and you want to be sure to get everything lined up well, mark the center of the length and width of both the quilt top and back. I use pins at these points and I can feel them to line things up properly even through the batt. Are you using pins to baste the sandwich together? If so it is best to smooth out and anchor the back to a flat surface before adding the batt and top. Some people use the binder clips on a table to do that but there are many different methods to do this. A marble place under the back will give you enough space to get the pin into the sandwich and back up to close it. Roll the marble to the next spot and so on until done. Some people use 505 basting spray so they don't have to pin. I like to use Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt that you iron. There are lots of posts on Qb on all the different methods. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Yes the backing is all 1 piece. Should it be larger then the quilt top like the batting is or the same size? It is laying over my ironing board right now until I have gained enough confidence from everyone's advice. I do have the fusible batting that you iron also. No basting spray but lots of safety pins. Here I thought I only had 1 question!!! Everyone here is just so helpful & I really appreciate that.
    Sue

  9. #9
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    I usually have the backing about 4" larger than the top, and the batting about 3" larger than the top. That way I can see the backing with the batting centered on it. The backing is either clamped or taped down real taut. I mark the center of the bacling/batting with tape or a pin and fold the well-pressed top in quarters. Then I align the folded edge of the top along the center line of the backing/batting. I smooth the top down as I open it. Lastly, I pin about hand-width apart, trying not to place pins in my path of quilting.

  10. #10
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    If you have fusible batt then you can iron the sandwich together. I get a smoother sandwich if I can iron it flat. A big table covered with a protective cover like a mattress pad will work. I use the old carpet in my basement to lay down the backing, smooth out the fusible batt on top and then center the top on the batt and the backing fabric. I find that an inch all around is good. I iron the top well and that is enough to stick the sandwich together with the Hobbs batt. I then flip to sandwich over on the carpet and iron the back well too. The Hobbs allows you to peel it up if you have any wrinkles and re-iron it in place. I usually place a few safety pins around the perimeter in case I catch the edge when I FMQ the quilt to prevent peeling up the edge. Caution: Hobbs fusible batt is water soluable so don't have water in your iron or use steam.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    One thing I have learned to do is to mark the middle of each edge before layering. In other words, fold the quilt top in half and mark the halfway point (I like to iron the mark in and then add a pin; have found that pins alone tend to get lost on me by the time I need them. You can also use small pieces of blue painter's tape). Then fold in the other direction and mark those mid-points.

    Do the same with both the batting and the backing.

    When you start layering, line up the mid-points. That way your batting is centered on your backing, top is centered on your batting, etc.

  12. #12
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Positioning the top layer and getting it just right is always a challenge. A small quilt isn't too hard, but I have my husband help me with this step. It is so much easier with two people to center the top and then to pick it up and move it just a little if needed.

    Best wishes with your project! Each one you do will become easier.

    Dayle

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