Quilt – A – Long

Week Nine – Quilt Sandwich

This week we are in the finishing stages of the entire quilt process. And, I am not going to lie… this step is probably my least favorite. It is tedious and time consuming. I usually get a few quilt tops finished and layer and baste a few all in the same day.

When I was working on this quilt-a-long I had a few other quilts to prep too. So, like I said, it is not my favorite step, but it is absolutely necessary! So, lets just grit our teeth and get through this as quickly as possible!

So, I have quite a few quilts ready for the quilting stage! Right! The quilting part is fun, which will be next week… so, there is something to look forward too! And honestly, layering and basting isn’t hard at all. It is just tedious.

What is a quilt sandwich?

A quilt sandwich is the layers of your quilt. You need to layer them in a specific order. First you will lay down your backing fabric right side down. Next is your batting. Then your quilt top right side up.

Prepping your backing fabric

But, before we get ahead of ourselves you may need to prep your backing fabric. You can purchase extra wide fabric so you don’t have to piece your backing fabric together, but, you are limited in prints if you go that route.

I usually just piece my backing fabric together. I sew my seam almost an inch wide and press it open. I don’t even bother trimming the selvage since you wont see it anyway.

HERE is a very detailed post about layering and basting a quilt. Check it out if you want a few extra explanations.

Table Top Quilt Sandwich Method

I prefer using the table top method for creating my quilt sandwich. I use a folding table and large clamps for this process. I used to lay my quilts out on the floor, but this kills my knees and back. Plus, there really isn’t a good way to keep all the layers in place. I often ended up with a bunched backing fabric, which is entirely frustrating when you put so much work into your quilt top.

For the table top method I first lay the backing fabric evenly across the table. Remember to place the right side of the fabric down.

I then place clamps at each corner of the table. I place them one at a time smoothing the fabric as I work.

Next I fold the batting in half lengthwise and line it up with the seam down the center of the quilt back.

Fold the batting open slowly.

Then starting at one side reclamp catching the batting this time. I reclamp one at a time smoothing the batting as I work.

Fold the quilt top in half with the right sides together. Lay the quilt out lengthwise down the center of the batting.

Gently fold open.

Smooth out the quilt top and reclamp working one clamp at a time.

The quilt sandwich is now complete.

Basting a quilt

Since you are working with so many layers you will want to use something to hold them all in place as you quilt.

I prefer to pin my quilts.

So, now that we have all are layers together it is time to pin. I like to use curved safety pin. Place pins at the very least a fist length apart. This will help keep all your layers together and prevent shifting as you quilt.

As you probably noticed not all of your quilt is on top of the table. Pin the area of your quilt that is on top of the table then unclamp. Shift the quilt to one side, reclamp one side, smooth everything out and reclamp. Pin everything on top then unclamp and shift to the unpinned side.

HERE is another detailed Table TOP quilt sandwich post.

I also did a YouTube video showing my table top method.

If you have any questions about this step please reach out to me in the comments! I would be happy to help!

Next week I will be sharing how I am quilting my quilt!

Bye for now.

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