Longarm quilting doesn’t require basting the top, batting and backing together. It does require the fabric for your quilt back to be square. Here’s a great video by Cindy Carey that covers the basics:
Our new handout for the Introduction to Longarm Quilting classes includes a link to this video, as well as the 10 steps to squaring your back.
How to square a quilt back
- Press the backing fabric.
- Lining up the selvedge edges, fold the fabric in half, allowing it to hang from your fingertips as if it’s hanging on a clothes line. If your backing is large, ask someone to help you hold the length of the fabric.
- Look at the fold line dangling at the bottom edge. Is it wavy, gathered or curving? If so, use your fingertips to shimmy the selvedge edges to the left or right. You want the bottom fold to hang straight and flat.
- When the fabric doesn’t have any puckers, place pins every six inches at the top of the selvedge edges.
- Lay the folded backing fabric on a cutting mat and table. Smooth gently, keeping the fold line flat and bump free.
- Bring the fold line up to the selvedge edge (the back is now folded in quarters). Check that the fold line and selvedge edges are still pucker free and lying flat.
- Line up the bottom edge with a horizontal marked inch line on the cutting mat. Place a quilter’s ruler near one edge of the backing fabric, perpendicular to the horizontal lines of the cutting mat. If your back is folded in quarters and the ruler doesn’t extend past the selvedge and folded edges, either fold again or add a second ruler.
- Check that all layers of fabric protrude past the rulers.
- Using a rotary cutter, glide along the ruler edge to slice off excess fabric.
- Repeat steps 7 – 9 to square the opposite side.
At Laurena’s Longarm Quilting, we’re happy to make and square backs for you. Prices depend on the size of the back. Just email or call us for a quote.