Quilt-A-Long Series - Assignment 4: Building a Quilt Sandwich

Hopefully by now your quilt top is finished. YAY!! If you are just joining in on the fun be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for the previous assignments so you can catch up!

Now it is time for the fun part... putting together your quilt sandwich!

This week we are working on creating a quilt sandwich {a "technical" term for layering your fabrics and batting together to begin quilting}.

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You will want to start by collecting your supplies. You will need your package of batting (crib size - 45"x60") and some basting spray. I bought my packaged batting at JoAnn's with a coupon. These are my two favorite basting sprays. I get them both at JoAnn's but I'm sure you can find something similar in your local sewing supply store.

Step 1:
Iron your quilt backing fabric. This should measure 36"x43/44" (again, you do not need to have it pre-washed).

Once your fabric is really smooth and wrinkle-free, lay it right-side-down on your floor or other working space. Make sure that it lays nice and smooth.

Step 2:
Steam iron your batting (if you are using 100% cotton batting. If you are using polyester... then skip to step #3). I find that if I just lightly run my iron over the batting on the highest steam setting it smooths out the wrinkles really easily.

Once your batting is wrinkle-free, lay it down on top of your backing piece. Be sure to smooth out your batting so that it lays very flat on top of your backing.

Then using a pair of sewing scissors, trim the batting on the long side... it just makes it a little easier to work with. You can use the left over batting for a table runner or other small quilting projects later. ♥

Step 3:
Roll up the bottom half of the batting. Then use your basting spray to apply a light layer of spray to the back of your quilt backing. I generally spray half of the exposed area first, then roll down the batting half way and smooth it out.

Then spray the bottom fabric that remains and roll down and smooth out the batting. Then repeat for the top half of the batting.

When you are done your batting will be lightly glued to the backing of your quilt like this. If you pick it up gently it will stay together. 

Step 4:
Iron your quilt top. You want to be sure it is perfectly smooth. I like to use a little spray starch on my quilt tops to keep all my quilt squares in perfect place!

Then lay your quilt top down on top of your batting. You will want to be really careful to get it centered on the quilt backing as much as you can. {If you look really close you can see the outline of my backing through the batting.} 

Once you have your quilt top in place, gently roll up the bottom half and use your basting spray again to tack it down in place. I like to smooth it down starting in the center and gliding my hands towards the edges so that I make sure there are no wrinkles.

Repeat for the top half of your quilt top.

Step 5:
When you are done it should look something like this {minus the piles of fabric on the floor}. 

Take your sewing scissors and trim the excess batting. You will want to leave about an inch around the edge of your quilt top because it makes it a little easier to work with. BE SURE NOT TO CUT THROUGH YOUR BACKING FABRIC!!!

After you cut around the entire quilt it should look like this. Your quilt backing should be a couple inches larger than your quilt top on all sides.

Next week... we start quilting!!! Yay!

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In case you want or need to catch up... here are the previous assignments:

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