Backings

Using Glue to Match Seams

Karen brought over a quilt top with a real "Go Green" theme to it.

She found the fabrics at Timeless Treasures, and I'm sure her daughter will love this one! The backing fabric needed to be pieced together, so I thought I would take pictures along the way so you could see how I used glue to make the process much easier! There were motifs and lettering on the backing fabric that had to match up perfectly, and the glue is the secret to doing this project. Here's the process:

Fold one of your pieces of fabric under 1/2 inch, and press, being careful not to stretch the folded area as you press. Set this piece on top of your other fabric piece, matching the pattern on both sides.

Working in small areas, use a small line of Elmer's School Glue on the folded portion of your fabric. Squeeze a line of glue approx. 10-12 inches long on your folded seam allowance, then set the fabric in place on top of the flat area. Press with a warm iron (no steam). This will set the glue, and keep things from sliding around. When you are sure that the glue is dry, you can turn back the edge of the fabric to check on everything. It should look like this:

If you used a little too much glue, some may have leaked through to other layers.

Don't worry! It's easy to run your finger along the area, and gently pull the glue apart.

If your seam is long, you may want to add a few pins along the area before you carry your fabrics to the sewing machine. The glue is fairly strong, but not enough to support a lot of weight.

After stitching the entire seam line, run your finger along the glued area to open the seam.

As you can see, the glue did a great job of holding the layers together.

Press the seam open.

The selvage edges must be removed from both pieces of the backing fabric before putting the quilt backing on the machine. You can do one side at a time with a rotary cutter, or just use scissors.

Turn the backing over to the right side, and press.

The glue really helps with the process!

Square both ends of the backing, and you're ready to quilt!

Flannel --- my favorite alternative to muslin

Quilts are meant to be snuggled under --- right? So often we treat the back of the quilt as an afterthought. It's easy to use muslin, because it matches everything. And who's going to see the back, anyway? The answer is --- you are! If you will be using the quilt on a bed, or in your family room to snuggle under, you really need to put a bit of thought into the back side of your quilt. There are a lot of alternatives to the plain beige muslin of yesteryear. Now we have tea-stained muslins to choose from, and some of them are beautiful. Keep in mind that you may have a seam in the center, so take that into consideration if it will have an effect of the way the back of the quilt looks when it's finished.

Another alternative is a wide back fabric that is becoming more available every day. These fabrics often have gorgeous prints --- but you may have trouble finding one that matches your quilt top in color tones.

That leaves us with the third choice of using one or more of the fabrics from the front of the quilt. Now you have a perfect match --- but did you plan ahead when you bought the fabrics for your top so that you would have enough to piece the quilt back? You can always piece together the leftovers from the front, and hope that the back looks like it was planned that way...... but do you have the time or the energy to do that?

My favorite quilt back has become flannel. It's widely available in solids and prints, reasonably priced, washes well, and the best part is that it's SNUGGLY! The quilting looks wonderful on the back of the quilt, and you may find yourself enjoying the back as much as you enjoy the front!

My friend Karen has been using flannel on lots of her quilts, and I really enjoy the final effect! She will be able to enjoy snuggling under this quilt all through the holidays!