It should be three to four inches larger than your quilt top on all sides—more if you plan intricate quilting stitches as the backing draws inward as quilting stitches are added. Here you see examples of what it looks like to have it too small and how the quilting machine doesn’t have room to work. I've had the back fold under and get quilted in with the top, if that makes sense to you. Size: you want your batting to be slightly larger than your quilt top (front) and slightly smaller than your quilt back. Unclamp everything and readjust the quilt so that unbasted areas are now on top of the table. Then, if youre planning to quilt the project yourself, youll baste the layers together, using thread if youll be hand quilting or safety pins if youll be machine quilting. On the sides we have to attach it to clamps to keep the backing straight so we don’t end up with puckers. This does’t cost you anything extra, but it does help me greatly. The reason I tried it was that I wanted the quilt to be much warmer than a single layer of warm and natural would have been. High loft batting is thicker and fluffier, usually polyester and used more often for tied quilts. No, I need to load each layer onto my machine separately so they should remain apart. It just sticks out past the quilt top barely a half inch. And this last image shows what it looks like if you have plenty of backing fabric at the bottom also. You can learn more about batting in this article I wrote here. I cannot stress this enough! They are curved which make it easier to pin How busy is your fabric and/or quilt top. 100% Polyester is lightweight and will keep that smooth polished look even after it's washed (particularly if you pre-wash your fabrics). Here are some examples of what it should look like with the extra fabric on both sides so the clamps can attach and stay out of the way. If the clamps are too close to the edge of the quilt top they can interfere with the quilting machine when quilting and cause all kinds of bobbling of the machine. Painter’s tape Flatter smoothing spray or some type of starch. Kind of confusing, right? Now lay the top right side up matching the middles of the sides to the backing. What if you don’t have enough fabric to make the backing bigger than the quilt top? This is a close up of the Quilting Safety Pins that we use. But it also means that same quilt could be stiff if you added lots of quilting to it thanks to the batting’s stable properties. Prepare and press the quilt backing. We ask for 8" larger, which is outlined at Quilting Services Process. Smooth out the pieced quilt on top of the other two layers. Most longarmers ask for a backing that is 8-10" larger than the quilt top in each direction, which provides 4-5" of excess backing all the way around the quilt. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! How much do you want to see the quilting design? The batting is cut and placed on top of the backing, smoothed out and the bottom end is tucked under the roller bar. This measurement would then be multipied by the price per square inch (ppsi) to calculate the cost of machine quilting before thread, batting and tax are added on. Your quilt back should be a MINIMUM of 3-4" bigger than your quilt top on each side. By visiting our site, you agree to our privacy policy regarding cookies, tracking statistics, etc. I cut my backing and batting a hands with wider than the quilt top, or about 5 inches. Did you know that the thickness of your batting determines how much larger than your quilt top, the length of your batting should be cut? I can always trim the batting if it is too large but harder to make it bigger if too small, although I have pieced batting together as needed with satisfactory results it is always best to do that before sending it to the longarm quilter. Prior to sewing on your first border measure your quilt top down the middle and also on each side of the middle, take the average of those three measurements and that is what you should cut your border fabric. I receive a small monetary compensation for any purchases you might make thru links on my site. I know if you are quilting by hand or on a domestic sewing machine you don’t have to have the backing and the batting larger because you’re pinning the layers together, you don’t have it attached to the machine itself like we do with the longarm. This is one of the single most important things you can do when constructing your quilt to ensure a finished product that you'll be happy with. Your backing should also be pressed especially if it is heavily wrinkled. That depends on a couple of important questions. Try to avoid placing the pins where you'll be stitching. In other words the backing should be the biggest. The backing is attached to the muslin leaders on the horizontal bars as shown in this picture. Just follow the 6" bigger or 8" bigger rule. Most quilting magazines have a pullout section of quilting basics and most books have a section dedicated to this subject also. *LOL*  Unfortunately no we are not. Lay the backing fabric right side down on your work surface. High loft means ¾” - 1” thick and will be great for thicker comforters and blankets—anything you want to make warmer with the extra thickness of the batting. Make sure your batting is larger than the quilt top. It is best to start with a quilt block. In this first of a series of blog posts I would like to address some questions that I’ve heard people ask about long arm quilting. (They both just need to be a few inches larger on all sides than the quilt top.) 1. To pin baste the quilt layers: 1. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Especially if you are loading it lengthwise. The batting also needs to be larger than the top but not larger than the backing. The sides should be trimmed evenly and square (no jagged edges or sections that are longer than other sections). The more space you give around the edge of the quilt the easier it’s going to be for the longarm quilter to attach it to the longarm quilting machine. Be sure to place it within the boundaries of the quilt top not the backing or it may end up half on and half off the quilt when finished. You calculate square inches by multiplying the width by length. The backing is another 2” on each side, adding another 4” to the batting size (and 8” to the pieced top size) so it is 48” x 68”. *BACK SIZE QUEEN or larger: Cut your backing and batting at least 4” wider and longer than your quilt top on EACH SIDE. The backing needs to be at least 3” bigger than the quilt top on all four sides because of these leaders and clamps. The batting should be larger than the top to account for any shrinking of the top due to quilting. It should be 6" larger overall  than your quilt top. Place the batting on top of the backing fabric and trim it to fit. Next the batting goes down with no wrinkles. This is a personal decision based on the finished look you want to achieve. I try to give myself at least 2 inches or more. Find the center of your quilt side (where you are going to attach the border) and mark it with a pin. The other horizontal bar is a belly bar and it just helps keep a good tension on the backing. Yes, this is not a problem for me. Do the same for the border fabric. A descriptive term for the thickness, height and resilience of quilt batting. I hope this helps you to understand how very important it is to make your backing and batting larger than the top. For example if your quilt measures 60" wide by 72" long then it would be equal to 4320 square inches. That is because your quilter will use that fabric to attach the quilt to the bars and side clamps of their frame. If the quilt is 24″ by 30″ then you could use a 8.5″ square-up ruler, and your longer ruler could be 10-15″. Trimming threads, pressing seams, measuring & cutting borders all go a long way in helping turn your quilt top into a lasting heirloom to be enjoyed by many generations. Tools for trimming a quilt to prepare it for binding. fold back the top and batting and smooth the back into place. For example, the lap-size top is 45″ x 66″. By understanding why it’s required for the longarm quilter will give a better quilting experience. After you have your size and materials mapped out, it’s time to start thinking about your design. This is because the batting is held on the machine by rolling it onto a bar/roller. Ask your quilter -- she might want more. You'll need enough pins to put one every 4-5 inches all over the quilt. Should I press my quilt top and back prior to having it quilted? Secure the backing fabric to the surface at regular intervals. You should also press open any seam allowances in the backing. That type of binding is not as durable as double-fold binding but is an option for quilts that won't receive heavy use. Measure your quilt top vertically and horizontally. If the quilt top and the backing start out the same size it simply is not possible. Your backing and batting should be at least 3" larger on each side than your quilt top. Your pieced quilt top, backing (pieced to fit, if needed), and batting (backing and batting is at least 4 inches larger than your quilt top on all 4 sides). Of course, if you are binding a smaller quilt, you should adjust the size of your rulers to fit the project. With a sit-down machine you can get along with only a couple of extra inches all around the quilt. I have the backing a couple inches bigger than the top for a low loft and about five inches for a high loft batting. Now let’s talk backs. 2. As you quilt the presser foot actually pushes the quilt top out a bit further. This is a great option for quilts and comforters. Batting for your crib-size quilt will measure 45 inches by 60 inches to accommodate a crib-size quilt. ake sure your back fabric is facing out. Definitely, it is actually best if you press as you sew on your quilt top and then give it a final pressing when finished. One of the big things that people always hear from the longarm quilter – I must have the backing 3 to 4 inches bigger than the quilt top on all 4 sides. Stitch. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. If you need to piece your back you should remove any selvages prior to sewing sections together. You want your batting to be larger than your quilt top (front) by about 4″ bigger than the length and height and slightly smaller than your quilt back. The quilt sandwich consists of backing, batting, and the quilt top. If you choose to send your quilt out to a long arm quilter, they may want a larger square, requiring as much as 4-6 inches of extra batting on each side. The batting needed is 51″ (45″ + 6″) x 72″ (66″ + 6″). Example – 60” x … That means your backing should be at least 6" to 8" wider and taller than your quilt top, more if you prefer (and even more backing) to fold it and bring it to the front of the quilt to create a self-binding. You don't want to add fabric in a way that will look awkward. Use scissors to trim long stray threads. (8” total. This is a fact that you may have never crossed your mind. So 3 to 4 inches more on the top and 3 to 4 inches more on the bottom than the quilt top is absolutely necessary just to get it loaded on the machine. Your backing and batting should be at least 3" larger on each side than your quilt top. 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