Backing and batting

to quilt vb. to stitch numerous layers together as one 

In my last post I mentioned that snail mail had delivered a very special quilt top to my house.

I've spent some quality time with it, checking and pressing seams, and now we're both ready to move onto the next phase of our relationship. 

Let's get cuddly!

Quilt batting or wadding comes in different compositions such as cotton, bamboo, polyester, wool, silk or a mixture of these. 

Different compositions may require the quilting stitches to be closer together. The quilt shop you buy your batting from will be able to advise you best.

My favourite-est batting ever is a fusible 100% cotton batting, to which I can iron the quilt top and the quilt back. The wonderful thing about this is that it saves me having to pin baste the whole quilt. 

However, a nice quality fusible batting can be as easy to find as a husband who says, 
"Honey, your favourite quilt shop is having a sale! Here, take the credit card, I've just increased the limit. And don't worry about dinner, I'll have it ready for you when you get home".

So if I can't source the fusible batting? My go-to choice is a 100% cotton batting. 
I like it because :
- it's the same fibre content as my quilt top and backing 
- it's not super- expensive 
- it has a nice drape and 
- it's usually easy to find. 

I admit I much prefer to baste a quilt together using a fusible product, than pins. The fusible spray doesn't stab me for a start. 
This spray-on fusible product is my favourite for basting (when I can't find the fusible batting). It costs a bit more than some other brands but I find it holds the quilt sandwich together more efficiently, especially when my quilt sandwich has to sit for a few months or more when waiting for me to find time to quilt ... cue a very, very sad face.

 A pretty quilt back ... whoohoo!

When choosing a fabric for the backing, you might consider if it needs to be extra sturdy cotton for a picnic quilt, extra cuddly flannel or minky for a super-snuggly quilt, or quilting cotton.

Quilt backs can be made using :
- extra wide fabric- up to 108 ", which has been especially created for backing quilts
- bed sheets
- left-over fabrics from the front of the quilt. This strategy has the added benefit of making one feel smug, as one has been very frugal with one's fabric. So smug in fact that one deserves to reward one's self for this cleverness by going to the store to buy more fabric. 
 Or a quilt back can be pieced together using narrower widths of quilting cotton which have been pieced together.

Ideally, I like the quilt backing and batting to be about 8 " longer and wider than the quilt top. Otherwise there isn't anything to hold on to when quilting the edges. 
Now that I have assembled all the parts of my quilt, I can put them together.

Firstly I lay the quilt top down with the Right Side facing the floor.
Then I spray the wrong side of the quilt top liberally with basting spray.
Next, I bribe, beg or threaten whichever family member has the misfortune to be at home at the time to help me lay the batting onto the quilt top.
Then I spray the batting liberally with basting spray.
Finally, another family member (the first one having gone into hiding with Witness Protection) receives their opportunity to spread joy and happiness and helps me lay the quilt backing onto the batting.
Some smoothing of fabric and a little tweaking ... one quilt sandwich to go.

There are heaps of different ways to put together and baste a quilt sandwich. Books and the internet make other quilters' ideas readily available. 
I'm always learning new ideas to help improve what I do. 

I hope this post gives you a little insight into how I do things  ....
at this point in time anyway :)

Happy quilting,



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