Saturday, November 12, 2011

Smooth operator

When I first started quilting last year I had some problems sandwiching the quilt together. I often seemed to end up with a wrinkle in the backing.

I know some people tape the backing to the floor and then add the other layers, but I have problems crawling around on the floor and not messing up the quilt!! OK, maybe it is just me!
I drape mine over my kitchen counter and for the last couple of quilts, I have been more attentive  and think that the secret to a wrinkle free quilt back is taking more time to smooth!

I am fortunate to have a very large kitchen island counter, so I can drape the quilt over it. I start with the batting down first and smooth backing over it, matching the edges. Then smooth it some more....and then smooth it again.
Once it is all smooth, I flip it over and start smoothing again....till the batting is smooth as possible...

Then I spread out the top and start smoothing it out again. After I think I have all the ripples smoothed out, I smooth it out some more !! Although it takes time, it is time worth spending.

I actually roll the quilt as I work, big loose folds.. so I can move the quilt to get all the way across it. I often flip the whole thing over a couple of times to be sure that I have smoothed out all the little ripples.

Then I pin it.  I know some people like to spray baste, but I don't like the idea of the fumes, or the extra garbage that it produces, so I stay with my simple safety pins. Guess I am just old fashioned that way! just need to get this one quilted !


  1. Thank you for sharing your process. This is such a stunning quilt and can't wait to see it finished.

  2. My goodness have you only been quilting for a year. I thought you must have been doing it for a long time.
    Your quilt looks lovely.

  3. Well done Flo - more steps forward. Love this quilt. I pin my quilts on my kitchen table. To keep the backing smooth I tape it to the table with masking table and stretch it just a tiny bit then put the batting and quilt top on and like you said, smooth, smooth, smooth! You are right, time taken at this stage is well worth it. Now, Happy quilting.

  4. Sounds like you have a plan Flo..nice quilt and I am anxious to see if since I hand quilt; I don't have to worry so much about all that smoothing...haha. Put it in the frames; stretch, and it takes care of itself. But I do love to play with the FMQ when I get the chance. And I usually spray and pin...if there is any size to it. Because I am not used to machine quilting at all yet...though I do love the look of it. But I plan to do more of of these days.

  5. If I'm working on a small quilt, I iron the three pieces together before pinning - the fabric sticks to the batting and it really helps.

  6. I think that is where some of us (me) get so anxious to get pinning that we don't take the time to prepare the sandwich properly. My island is smaller but that is where I pin too, easier on the back.

  7. Thank you for sharing the smoothing/pinning/table sandwich process you are now using. Sounds good to me.

  8. I use a similar process. Have you ever tried ironing your batting? It definitely helps my wrinkles.


  9. What a nice quilt! I believe that fabric is Origins? I made a quilt with it during the summer, and I just love that fabric. Thanks for sharing your basting method. That is such a tricky part of quilting. I am a tape it to the floor kind of quilter. I like to use the grout lines in my tile to keep things square as I go.

  10. Taking the time to do it right definitely makes it turn out better! Do you hand or machine quilt? Love the patchy back!


Please leave a comment or just say hello....It's nice to know I am not talking to myself!