Prepping That Quilt Backing – Come on Let’s Do It

Prepping That Quilt Backing – Come on Let’s Do It

Prepping That Quilt Backing – Come on Let’s Do It

A small backing guide for quilt makers –

Before sending to your longarmer

Hi Friends and Happy Wednesday!

So, the other day my husband and I were yacking away at each other. You know how it is, both of you telling each other about what’s gone on in your individual days, kinda just talking over each other.

Suddenly he stopped and asked, “What’s so hard about prepping the backing for a quilt?”

 

Charity quilt for this week!

I thought for just a bit.  In my head, I could see him slapping siding up on the house and driving in some nails and SLAM, BAM, THANK YOU, MA’AM!  IT’S DONE!

I mean, really, it’s just one word…backing…can’t be too hard.  But, didn’t I say ‘PREPPING’ the backing and I didn’t say it was hard.

In the over all sense, it isn’t terribly hard.  I know he has seen me wash and press my fabric.  I know he knows that sometimes there is A LOT of fabric to press at one time. But, the rest of what it takes to get A LOT of fabric ready to go onto a longarm frame, seemed to be a little vague.

To be fair, I hadn’t ever explained the details to him.  And since he is going to proofread this post for me…he can see it now.

And just so you know…if you don’t do it this way…that’s okay.  Share your method below.

Square those edges and trim that selvage. 

Come On!  Let’s do it!

I like to start with a good wash and press.  I wash my backing to get all the “manufacturing” (air quotes here) out of the fabric.  Personally, I feel it makes the needle slide better during the quilting process.  That could be all in my head (very likely, as a matter of fact), but it works for me.

Since I’ve already figured how much yardage I need and that’s what I just washed and pressed.  I’m going to get this baby cut in half width-wise.  This is going to give me the width I need for loading the backing onto the longarm.

Remember that for longarmers to have enough for loading and stabilizing during quilting, we need that extra width and length to make it work comfortably.

I will have the width I need when I sew those pieces back together along their length.

So…cut that hunk of fabric in half and let’s get busy trimming ONE of the selvedges.

Once the backing has been cut in half, we need to lay it out nice and flat with right sides together.  Now, cut the selvedge off of ONE side only.  We longarmers typically like the selvedge left on one side for extra strong support when loading on the longarm.

**Side note here:  If you happen to be using directional fabric (where the design goes only one direction), Minky or a fabric with a nap, be sure to turn one of your cuts around so the direction of the design or nap is all going the same direction.

When I’m sewing my center seam for my backing, I like to use a 3/8″ seam allowance.

This will press open nicely and lay nice and flat when rolling the backing onto the frame.

In this image I’ve moved my needle over to give me that 3/8″ stitch line.  Then I only need to move the edge of my fabric along the stoppers (using 2 these days – one is Guidelines4Quilting Seam Guide and the other is Sewing Edge.  I’ve purchased both of these items on Amazon and the links here will take you to Amazon).

If you’re anything like me you may have more length than you need.  To make it handy for your longarmer, be sure to keep you’re backing at minimum 8″ longer than your quilt top.

Please…please…make your longarmer happy!  Give her more than 8″ if possible.

 

Stitching 3/8″ seam

Do you have a quilt top you would like me to quilt for you?

Take a look at our Longarm Quilting Services page. 

Here you can see the edges are square and the backing lays nice and flat.  This means a lot to a longarmer.

You might feel like it’s just a backing.  Yes, it can be JUST a backing.

In a very big way, it’s a foundation.  This is where you work of art will lay.  This is what will protect your work of art (since it’s usually on the bottom)  It may even be the part that gets dragged through the mud by 2 year old hands.

For your longarmer, it can make or break her/his heart.  An unfriendly fabric can cause too much tension on the needle and make stitches bunch up or not become stitches at all.  This creates hours of time unpicking stitches and re-doing  designs.

No selvedge on the edges can cause fraying and stretching.  Believe me, we don’t want to do that.

I’m not saying it’s not workable.  I only pointing out that it helps.

Take the time to talk to your longarmer.  Make sure you’re hitting all she/he needs to accomplish beautiful stitching on your quilt top.

For all the longarmers I’ve ever spoken to, we want that quilt to be as beautiful as you do!

 

Do you have charity quilts or know of someone who would like them quilted?  I would love to quilt them for you.  Charities only need pay for shipping and I’ll get it done!  Plus, you’ll always have the privilege of saying you had your quilt quilted in Hawaii!  Send me a message, let’s have a discussion!

 

Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

Please don’t forget to share!

Nearly all my quilts have a story in them.  I plan to share as many as I remember with you.  The ups the downs the…”whoops!  What was I thinking”…moments.  As I move along I hope to inspire and encourage your journey in quilts.

I love to hear stories.  

Please send me your stories about your quilts or whatever your making.  Where the idea started and how it moved from there.  And if you want me to, I’ll show them off for you.   

Most of all, let’s have fun!

Thank you so much for reading!  Sign up so you don’t miss a beat. Have any comments or ideas leave them below.  Also, you can join us on our FB group Comfy Coffee Klatch.  We would love to have you!

Oh, and one more thing, if your into reading after other quilter’s out there and their adventures?  Check out the 100 Top Quilting Blogs on Feedspot.

Much love,

Carolyn

Caroyn Albright,

Quilts ‘N’ Things Addict

I admit it…I’m a quilting addict.  But, if you’re here then it’s likely you are too!  That also means we’re fabric addicts, and quilty tool addicts…this list goes on.

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Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle Finale

Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle Finale

Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle Finale

When a Quilt Makes Your Heart Sing

When a thing (whatever it may be) comes together, it makes us dance and sing!  Most of the time we don’t even notice it came together until it’s long over.

Regardless,  WE DO LOVE IT!

I LOVE this quilt!

So, I was back on my feet again (Part 2 Here)  I was able to move and sit and do quilty stuff!

But, in the back of my head I kept seeing the fabric I had bought for this quilt and my brain was not liking what it was seeing.

Matter of fact, I knew it wasn’t going to work…

See that little bit of beauty in the lower right?  And it does look great when all the pieces of fabric are like this?  Right?

It wasn’t right…  

Now, I know that you all have bought your own share of fabric and got it home and put together, only to realize it just wasn’t right.  

I was on a deadline now.  What could I do to make this better?

 

I stewed over it…I took a photo to my husband and he stewed over it.  We both knew that fabric just wasn’t going to work.

I went back to my stack of fabrics.  I went back to the pattern and I knew…I knew I was going to have to rig it.

You see, my initial plan had been to use the original border as a narrow border between the center of the quilt and the flowered outer border fabric.  So, I had already cut the smaller border.  I don’t usually do that.  I USUALLY wait until I’m ready to do the border before I cut it.  

 All I could do was rig it.  I cut more of the border fabric in the amount that would have totalled what the border was supposed to be including the seam allowance.  I sewed it together and put the border on.   

Do you have a quilt in mind you would like made for you?

Take a look at our Build A Quilt page. 

I won’t go into the details of the quilting.  The images here show a rather good rendition.

As you can see, we have a happy new quilt owner!  I got a report less that a week after completing this quilt that the new owner was very please.

She’s also very weary of being in the hospital.  She is recovering and will hopefully, be home soon!  

Apparently, she had so many compliments, her daughter decided the quilt should go home.  She was afraid it was going to get stolen or torn.  I’m just pleased that she is pleased!

 

Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

Please don’t forget to share!

Nearly all my quilts have a story in them.  I plan to share as many as I remember with you.  The ups the downs the…”whoops!  What was I thinking”…moments.  As I move along I hope to inspire and encourage your journey in quilts.

I love to hear stories.  

Please send me your stories about your quilts or whatever your making.  Where the idea started and how it moved from there.  And if you want me to, I’ll show them off for you.   

Most of all, let’s have fun!

Thank you so much for reading!  Sign up so you don’t miss a beat. Have any comments or ideas leave them below.  Also, you can join us on our FB group Comfy Coffee Klatch.  We would love to have you!

Oh, and one more thing, if your into reading after other quilter’s out there and their adventures?  Check out the 100 Top Quilting Blogs on Feedspot.

Much love,

Carolyn

Caroyn Albright,

Quilts ‘N’ Things Addict

I admit it…I’m a quilting addict.  But, if you’re here then it’s likely you are too!  That also means we’re fabric addicts, and quilty tool addicts…this list goes on.

Please join me for the fun!

Stay Up on Things

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Here are some of my favorite blogs…

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More Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle

More Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle

More Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle

Have Fabric, Will Cut and Sew

Surely I’m not the only one of us makers that sees a swath of fabric and is immediately thinking of how to cut it up and make it into something else?

 

These fabric’s are so gorgeous!

Nifty Laser Light? 

Last we talked about this quilt (To read that post click here.)  I was in a drooling state over fabric!

After receiving the fabric, it was cut up in quick order.  I cut strips of each shade of fabric as indicated on the pattern and sewed strips together.  With strips sets together, I cut them up again.  Then more sewing!

How much fun is that?

I was so worried about triangles.  But I found this really cool laser light from Hartland Quilt Shop on Etsy.  

So many cool things can be used to sew from point to point.  Often I have drawn a line from corner to corner.  Then sewn 1/4″ on each side of the line.

This time, I set the green laser line just left of the needle.  Then placed the pieces with the line corner to corner

This makes the stitch line is just barely off the corner and allows the fabric room to fold over the stitch line.

This little bitty process helped so much in keeping the blocks square and right size.  Having the right size blocks can make all the difference if you don’t like to force your block corners to match from row to row.

Maybe that’s too picky?  Maybe not…  Just depends on if you’re making for whatever or making for a client.  ( or  your OCD, like me).  When I’m sending out to a client…I’m pretty picky about what I send.

  With this add-on, I felt like I was flying along. 

The blocks were nearly cruisin’ their way up to my design wall.

Not only were my points coming out great, the blocks fit together so easily.  

I’m one that loves to give credit where credit is due and I have to tell you that Monique Jacobs put this pattern together with such perfection!  

I know I will be checking out more of her work at Open Gate Quilts.  

I know that quilt designers do their very best and I give them kudos for the time and effort they put in. 

I’m not a beginner quilter, but I am a beginner pattern designer.  The time alone is tremendous and accuracy is key.  

I love the testing out part myself.  So, when a pattern comes along that looks difficult, but isn’t, well….give it over and let me go!  I want to be first in line to give it a go!

Like I said, it was flying together and then…suddenly I couldn’t work anymore. 

If you have read by blog post A Place for Breathing More, then you know I have had back surgery.  And if you have ever had back problems of any kind, you know that there will always be a … thing(?) that’s always there.  Sit too long thing, stand too long thing, walk too long thing…you know what I mean, it’s always there.  This time all I did was bend over to clean up something on the kitchen floor and that was it.  I couldn’t move for nearly 4 weeks after that. 

Sometimes I bounce back pretty quick…not this time

I had 3 weighted blankets in the works and was trying to get this gorgeous quilt off my wall and onto my longarm machine and I was down for the count. 

My heart was breaking!  This couple needed this quilt.  The 94 year old mother had fallen.  At first she seemed okay but they soon discovered she had a fractured hip.  She had to have surgery…

Do you have a quilt in mind you would like made for you?

Take a look at our Build A Quilt page. 

Here’s what I do in dire situations.  I pray!  I prayed a lot.  My church was praying.  And even when I’m praying, I’m wondering if I can possibly do more to get this quilt finished.  I did work at doing more.  I didn’t work very well.  I just couldn’t sit long enough to do anything productive.

Many people don’t pray and they don’t believe there’s a God that is helpful at all.  And you are entitled to that opinion.  I do pray and I’ve seen the work of God in my life.  I’ve seen happenings that go well beyond my own power of control.  Therefore, I believe that my God is real and He is there for me and any others that have a need.  And he did come through.

I was finally able to get on my feet and my bottom and get the rest of those blocks and rows put together. 

Although, the border had me a bit put off…

Check in next time for the last part of the journey with this beautiful quilt… 

Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

Please don’t forget to share!

Nearly all my quilts have a story in them.  I plan to share as many as I remember with you.  The ups the downs the…”whoops!  What was I thinking”…moments.  As I move along I hope to inspire and encourage your journey in quilts.

I love to hear stories.  

Please send me your stories about your quilts or whatever your making.  Where the idea started and how it moved from there.  And if you want me to, I’ll show them off for you.   

Most of all, let’s have fun!

Thank you so much for reading!  Sign up so you don’t miss a beat. Have any comments or ideas leave them below.  Also, you can join us on our FB group Comfy Coffee Klatch.  We would love to have you!

Oh, and one more thing, if your into reading after other quilter’s out there and their adventures?  Check out the 100 Top Quilting Blogs on Feedspot.

Much love,

Carolyn

Caroyn Albright,

Quilts ‘N’ Things Addict

I admit it…I’m a quilting addict.  But, if you’re here then it’s likely you are too!  That also means we’re fabric addicts, and quilty tool addicts…this list goes on.

Please join me for the fun!

Stay Up on Things

Follow

Here are some of my favorite blogs…

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Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle

Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle

Dreamy Stars Sparkling Under My Needle

Yes I can…Yes I can
My Mantra for the Twinkling Stars Quilt
I’m sure you’ve never looked at a gorgeous quilt pattern and thought “There’s no way I’m going to get through this without problems?”

And here I’m shaking my head with that WHAT! look on my face…surprised..”Who, me?”  NEVER!

I know that’s how I felt when I picked up this quilt kit designed by Monique Jacobs at Open Gate Quilts for Bluprint (used to be Craftsy).

Yep…this was me

Caroyn Albright,

Quilts ‘N’ Things Addict

I admit it…I’m a quilting addict.  But, if you’re here then it’s likely you are too!  That also means we’re fabric addicts, and quilty tool addicts…this list goes on.

Please join me for the fun!

Triangles fill me with fear and despair!  Which is weird because I have made many quilts with triangles, and they usually come out just fine.  So why the fear?  Heaven knows.  A personal quirk?  Maybe?  This quilt pattern seems to have belayed my fears for the time being.  I can’t begin to describe just how wonderful it has been to build this quilt.

I’ve been showing on social media, photos and small video clips of this gorgeous Twinkling Stars quilt journey.  Now, let’s line it up!

Stay Up on Things

This quilt started via a dear couple at church who have family in Alaska.  I’m sure that isn’t terribly important except that I’m from Alaska, and we all live in Hawaii now.

Besides, our friend’s mother is 94, so when they returned from their latest visit, they asked me to make a quilt for her and one for her daughter who cares for her.

And who can really resist building a quilt for dear friends?

For me, making something for friends also comes with its own share of trepidation and worry.  

Is it going to be good enough?  How can I take this to the next level to make this a more than wonderful quilt?  Think about it, this mother is 94?  How many gorgeous quilts has she seen in her lifetime?

Do you have those thoughts?

I shoved my fear to the back of my brain and asked some questions.  What color does she like?  What size do you think will work best?  I didn’t have to go far with the questions before I was told to make the backing minky.  So, these were the answers: Purple, twin and minky.  (That’s another story to tell about the other half of the family and making a quilt for that side.  Another time…).  I believe most of my friends know I love to sew with Shannon Fabrics Minky.

The search was on!   Yep…I have dancing feet by this time.

I was all over the internet. Hitting up all my favorite spots such as: Missouri Star Quilt Co, Fabric.com, Connecting Threads, and Bluprint.  I did a quick search on Bluprint for the color purple and Twinkling Stars was the result!

I promptly showed the kit to my friend and she loved it!  She’s so adorable and probably would have said yes to anything I showed her!

What was I afraid of before?

I still have dancing feet…!

So I bought the kit and waited.

I’m so thankful Bluprint knows how to get the shipping done.  I dug into that box like there was no tomorrow, as if my very life depended on it.

Aren’t those colors just scrumptious?  And the fabric at the very top right is Minky from Shannon Fabrics.  I have since learned that the best way to refer to their brand of this type of fabric is Cuddle.  Shannon Fabrics Cuddle.  It’s commonly known as Minky…But, HEY…let’s get it right!

Moving on…I have been working away on this quilt.  It’s even on my longarm getting quilted right now.

Why…why would I tell you the end before telling you the middle?  We’ll get to the middle part later…

 

Photo by Maxime Steckle on Unsplash –

Anybody else see a quilt design in here?

Please don’t forget to share!

Nearly all my quilts have a story in them.  I plan to share as many as I remember with you.  The ups the downs the…”whoops!  What was I thinking”…moments.  As I move along I hope to inspire and encourage your journey in quilts.

I love to hear stories.  

Please send me your stories about your quilts or whatever your making.  Where the idea started and how it moved from there.  And if you want me to, I’ll show them off for you.   

Most of all, let’s have fun!

 

Thank you so much for reading!  There’s more to this story… Sign up below so you don’t miss a beat. 

Oh, and one more thing, into reading after other quilter’s out there and their adventures?  Check out the 100 Top Quilting Blogs on Feedspot.

Much love,

Carolyn

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