Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Assembling the Sandwich

I figured while we're waiting for me to get my machine problems solved I could at least show you how to assemble the sandwich.

There are a few different ways of doing this. How you do it depends on your comfort level. I personally use basting spray because when I use pins I tend to stick them in myself more than I do the fabric. I will show you how to assemble it using the spray and then link you to another tutorial on how to pin the sandwich together if you should choose to go that route. The reason for this is that I have never pinned a sandwich together before so who am I to tell you how to do it?

Ready? Here we go!

First thing I do is lay my backing, batting and quilt top down and make sure the batting and backing are larger than the top. We don't want the fabric to shift while quilting and not have enough to cover the back.

Once I verify that they are in fact larger than the top, I remove them all and lay my batting down by itself.

I always attach the backing first. Lay the backing down on top of the batting and smooth it out as best you can. 

Fold down one half of the quilt backing. I like to tackle mine by doing half the fabric at a time. Some people like to roll the fabric up and unroll it from one end to the other as they spray. I've done that before, but I've found by doing it this way there is less chance of the fabric getting wonky on me as I unroll it.

Spray the part of the batting that is right next to where you folded the fabric down. Don't spray the whole exposed part yet. It will dry on you and you'll have to re-spray and that stuff is expensive! Just spray somewhere between 6-12 inches or so. If you're using a less dense batting then spray the heck out of it, or do the pinning method. The one time I used polyester batting it kept coming undone on me as I was quilting it. I guess with it being less dense there wasn't anything for the spray to attach to.

Start smoothing the fabric onto the sprayed batting. I like to put my hands under the fold and start pushing into the fold to where it will basically unfold onto the batting. Where you have to be careful when smoothing is if your backing is pieced (or you're attaching the top) and you have seams that you don't want folding up as you smooth. In that case, just hold the fabric up with one hand while you smooth with the other. 

Smooth it out the 6-12 inches that you sprayed. When you get to part where you haven't sprayed, then spray that part and smooth out more! Repeat this until you have that half done.

Notice how the door is open in this picture? Basting spray must be used in a well ventilated area. Please be sure to read the directions on the can before using it.

Now fold the other half down and repeat these steps until you have the whole backing attached to the batting. 


Now flip it over

You can see I trimmed off the excess batting here. Normally I wait until I have the whole thing basted before trimming, but I needed to match my top up with the row of blocks on the back so I went ahead and trimmed now so I could see what I was doing.

Attach your top the same way you attached the back.

As you can see the backing and batting are larger than my top. Go ahead and trim off some of the excess here if you'd like. Leave a couple of inches around all sides. In the picture above I wouldn't trim the bottom or sides but could trim off some of the top. 

This is what I love about the basting spray. I can pick up the quilt and just toss it onto the couch and it stays together!

Basting with pins

Now for the link to the tutorial for basting with pins. Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts has a great tutorial here:

Be sure to read some of the comments too because there is also some great advice in there. 

And as always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask! Like I've said before, what works for me won't always work for you. If you hit any snags, I'm sure someone will have the answers! The discussion group is located here

My machine woes will be solved on Friday when my new machine arrives via UPS. I have been very impatiently waiting! I'll get started on the quilting portion of this quilt along as soon as it gets here because I'm sure I'll be anxious to play!


Molly @ Me and Madeline said...

Thank you!! I've never basted with pins and it makes me really happy that you've successfully basted with the spray - that's all I've used for my small projects. I just hate the way that stuff smells. Oh well - gotta be better than pinning!

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