How to sandwich a quilt for domestic machine quilting, the easy way

All week, I have been explaining the process of making a quilt to showcase the beautiful Banyan Batiks Jungle Rose Cool Banyan fabric. Yesterday I pieced my quilt together and now I’m ready to demonstrate my method of quilt sandwiching.

For smaller projects and in particular this Fireside Modern Drunkards Path lap quilt. It’s great to use my domestic machine as I love the peaceful time of just sitting at my sewing machine and quilting. I love being able to focus in close and isolate just the area I’m working on. It gives me a real sense of control and focus over my quilt as compared to standing at my long arm machine.

The sandwiching of the quilt is always a bit of a challenge because you have to spread it out on a big surface and make sure it’s totally stabilized before quilting. I have a few great tricks I think will take the work, mystery and stress out of sandwiching a quilt.

Steps to sandwiching a quilt for domestic machine quilting

1.  Make sure the backing is ironed.

2.  Make sure the quilt top is ironed.

3.  Make sure the batting is relatively wrinkle-free. TIP Place the batting with a damp tea towel in the dryer for 5 minutes on high heat to remove excess wrinkles.

4.  Make sure the backing and batting are at least 4″ bigger all around the quilt top to allow for quilt sprawl (the quilt will expand slightly as it is quilted).

5.  Lay the quilt backing right side down onto a large floor area or table(s) and tape the edges of the backing down with masking or painters tape. You’re taping to keep it flat but not to make it taught. I tape one side and then the other and then the top and the bottom in an alternating fashion ensuring the backing is flat. Notice how gorgeous the Jungle Rose Cool color #80410-63 backing is? It also has no wrong or right side because it’s batik fabric making it easy as pie to lay out.

Banyan Batiks Jungle Rose Cool color #80410-63 backing for the Fireside Modern Drunkards Path quilt

Quilt laid out on a clean flat surface (my studio floor) and taped

6.  Get out some quilt basting spray. I use SpraynBond Basting Adhesive. What’s awesome about SpraynBond Basting Adhesive is:

  • It’s a temporary basting spray manufactured to baste fabric layers together.
  • It’s repositionable so I’m not in a crisis if I sandwich layers and need to move the fabric. What a great feature.
  • There’s no arduous task of getting down on hands and knees and pin basting through 3 layers with this method. It’s so much faster than pin basting.
  • Spray basting is a time-saver, a body saver (no sore knees) and a physical energy saver.
  • This spray is also ‘sewable’ and will not gum up needles.

Safety Note: Remember, with all spray products, only use them in a well-ventilated space.

SpraynBond Basting Adhesive

7.  Spray the backing all over, holding the can 12″ away from the fabric and move your hand and the can quickly, a little goes a long way. Try to focus on the quilt backing only so as not to overspray onto the surface area. You don’t need a lot of spray for it to be basted sufficiently.

Spray basting quilt backing with SpraynBond Basting Adhesive

8.  Roll the batting up starting at the top width (it will look like a large pool noodle). Lay it down on the spray basted quilt backing starting at the top as shown below.

I have used Fairfield Quilter’s 80/20 Quilt Batting, it’s a super-soft needle punched quilt batting preferred by hand quilters for it’s easy needling and smooth drape. What I have also found out by years of using 80/20 batting with machine quilting is the 80% cotton and 20% polyester blend yields a beautiful antique look and is an ideal batting for machine quilting and clothing. This batting has a nice loft from the polyester blend holding the cotton together and allowing it to bounce back. It’s also warm and breathable.

Fairfield Quilter’s 80/20 Quilt Batting

The batting is rolled out onto the backing as shown. The rolling trick is so easy and so effective because the batting naturally rolls out nice and even and smooth with this method.

Batting rolled up and layed down at the top of the spray basted backing fabric

9.  Keep on rolling, rolling the batting towards the bottom of the quilt. Roll the batting out smoothly and rub with your hands to remove any wrinkles if necessary.

Batting completely rolled out and smooth

10.  Spray the top of the batting with SpraynBond Basting Adhesive as was done with the backing (12″ away from the batting and moving hands quickly). Less is more as the saying goes.

Spray basting the batting

11.  Roll the quilt top up as I did the batting (rolling so the quilt top is facing upwards) and starting at the top of the batting, roll the quilt top towards the bottom as shown. Remember the basting spray is repositionable and it can be moved if necessary so the quilt top is smoothly rolled out.

Quilt top being rolled out on the spray basted batting

12.  The basting process is complete. The quilt is now ready to be taken to a machine to quilt.  Remove the tape off the surface and the quilt backing and pick the quilt up.

The basted quilt, the fabric is so pretty! Jungle Rose Cool from Banyan Batiks

Come back tomorrow when I discuss how to appliquilt this quilt and suggest some really neat quilting options to complete this quilt.  My favorite part….. the creativity involved with quilting this Fireside Modern Drunkards Path quilt with Banyan Batiks Jungle Rose Cool fabric and some awesome quilting options. Can’t wait to show you.

I hope you are having a lovely Thursday!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: In this fashion, piecing a drunkards path quilt is a breeze!

Go to part 5: Creative quilting options for Fireside Modern Drunkards Path quilt

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Gale December 8, 2019 - 12:05 am
Great tips!
Robin Bogaert December 11, 2019 - 6:50 pm
Thanks Gale , Happy Quilting!
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