This month you’re finishing your 9-block sampler quilt.
The finish line is in sight! If you’ve been following along, you know that we have taught you how to make nine different 12″ quilt blocks. Each one teaches a different quilting technique. Last time, we put all the blocks together into a complete quilt top. Now it’s time to gather supplies and get to quilting! In this post you’ll see how to baste quilts at home and prepare for quilting.
Lara Whiting is the quilter behind our block of the month series. The series includes 9 different quilting blocks; here are her instructions for basting quilts at home and preparing them for quilting. Huge shout out to Lara for contributing this series to our blog over the last year – her sampler quilt includes so many quilting techniques and is a real beauty!
The supply lists.
- Sewing machine
- Iron and pressing surface
- Basting pins or spray baste
- Painter’s tape
- 50wt cotton thread
- Yardage requirements will vary depending on the size of your quilt top.
Prepare backing fabric.
I scrapped together leftover yardage from piecing the blocks and made a two-tone backing. The backing fabric should extend 1”-2” beyond the quilt top on all four sides.
Clear a space on your floor and tape down backing fabric, right side down. The painter’s tape provides a strong hold without completely shredding fabric. I start with one piece in the center of a side, and then add second piece of tape on opposite side. Repeat until all four sides are secured to floor. Fabric should be smoothed taut, but not stretched.
Layer the backing fabric, batting and quilt top.
Think of it like making a quilt sandwich! You can see that the quilt backing is clearly much larger than the quilt top and batting.
Secure layers with basting pins.
Once all three layers are situated to your liking, secure them with pins. I am a fan of using basting pins with the slight curve on one side. My pins are spaced one hand width apart.
Once all three layers are secured together, remove tape and trim excess backing fabric.
Quilt as desired.
I put the walking foot on my machine for extra control of all the layers. Columns of wavy straight lines are manageable and don’t detract from the blocks.
Now that the quilting is done, prepare the quilt top for binding. It’s helpful to have a long ruler for trimming excess fabric and batting. The Omnigrid 4”x 36” folding travel ruler is extremely helpful for this step.
Square it up.
To make sure the quilt is also square and not just trimmed, line up a mark on your ruler with the border seam of your quilt top. In this photo, the 2.25” mark is lined up with that side seam, and the bottom of quilt is lined up with horizontal marks of ruler.
The trimming and squaring is done.
Make the binding.
Basted, quilted, trimmed…time to make the binding! If you prefer bias binding, the folding travel ruler is also useful in this step. Since it extends to 36” long, it easily covers the width of folded fabric to get bias strips quickly.
However, if you don’t have enough fabric to do bias cuts, normal WOF strips are perfectly acceptable. It is my preferred way to make quilt binding. Cut binding strips to desired width (generally 2.25”-2.5”). Continue with your preferred binding tactics…there are several methods out there!
Attach the binding.
Machine sew to the front of quilt, hand sew to backside.
Admire your labor of love.
Quilted, bound, and washed! Don’t you just love the texture of quilts after they’ve been washed – the quilty crinkles!
We sure hope you have learned a thing or two by making the blocks in our Carolina Sunset series – be sure to check them all out. Remember that you can make all of the blocks, or just the ones that you really love. Duplicate favorites. Eliminate the ones that aren’t your style. If you don’t choose to make a quilt, you’ve got plenty of options. Quilt blocks can be framed, made into pillows, garments or accessories.
Thanks for following along and happy quilting!