‘Summer Bouquets’ – how to layer up the quilt

a double-bed quilt in pink, dark green, pale aqua and white, entitled 'summer Bouquets' by Amanda Jane Textiles
The 'Summer Bouquets' quilt on a bed

This post is part of the 2021 Quiltalong. The plan is to complete a double-bed quilt by the end of the year. The fabrics used here are from ‘Summer Bouquets’ collection, available from Spoonflower (here).

The starter post with all the fabric requirements is here. Cutting instructions are here. The first block is here. The second block is here. Making the columns is here. Adding the sashing is here. Adding the internal borders is here. Adding the outer borders is here.

The quilt-top is complete. Now it is time to layer up the quilt.

Preparation of the backing and wadding

You may need to join fabric to get the required width for the backing. Make sure that you remove selvedge edges before joining lengths (they are woven more tightly than the rest of the fabric and will not ‘give’ in the same way as the rest). The backing fabric should be at least 4″ (10cm) bigger on each side than the quilt top.

Your wadding should be at least 3″ (7.5cm) bigger on each side than the quilt top. You may need to join the wadding, too. There is a useful post here to help you.

How to lay up the three quilt layers

1 The first task is to press the quilt top well, using a dry iron (not steam). Ensure that all your seams are lying correctly. Trim off threads to about half an inch (12mm). Do a careful check that there are no stray threads adhering to the back of the quilt top. This quilt using white fabric in some parts – any dark threads would show through!

2 Next press your backing fabric. Find the centre of each side (by gently folding it – without adding any new creases!) and insert a marker pin at right angles to the edge

3 Lay this on the floor, with the right side of the fabric facing downwards. If I am working on a hard floor, I tape each corner to the floor with masking tape and then hold the sides in place with short strips of masking tape. If I am working on a carpeted floor, I insert an extra-large pin (angled like a tent-peg!) into each corner to hold the fabric in place, with additional extra-large pins on the sides. The idea is to hold the backing flat but not to stretch it. This is important. If the backing is stretched, you will get wrinkles when the quilt is finished.

4 Now find the centre of each side of the wadding, by folding and inserting a marker pin as you did before.

5 Lay the wadding on top of the backing fabric so that the pins at top and bottom of the wadding line up with the pins at top and bottom of the backing. Then check that the marker pins on the sides of these two layers are aligned also.

6 Insert a marker pin at the centre of each side of the quilt top, as before, and then lay the quilt top, right side up, on top of the wadding layer. Move it gently until the marker pins on each side are aligned with the wadding and backing pins.

It is much easier to do this with someone else, if you possibly can, when you are dealing with a large quilt.

Joining the three layers

There is a useful post here which outlines the four choices for securing the three layers together so you can do the quilting. The choice is yours!

Next month on the blog (11 October 2021), you will find suggestions on how to quilt the ‘Summer Bouquets’ quilt.

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am a quilt-maker, designer, writer and teacher.

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