I have just finished a table topper for my holiday table and I need to quilt and finish it. What are my next steps?
I need to piece a quilt back for the table topper. I went to my stash of fabric and the fabric I chose was not big enough! My topper measured roughly 30″ X 30″. The batting and backing need to be 2″ – 4″ bigger than the top on all sides. So I need a piece of backing that measures 34″ X 34″. My backing piece measured 30″ x 42″. So I needed to add 4 – 8 inches in one direction.
When I was first learning to make quilts I just seamed two pieces of fabric and placed the seam down the middle of the quilt back. This is one option and an easy one!
Piece the Quilt Back
However if you want to make a quilt back differently you can do a couple of other options. I have done giant sized blocks that mirror the blocks on the pieced front. You can see an example of that here.
But for this holiday topper, I decided to make Flying Geese Blocks and place a strip of them in the centre of the backing. So using the scraps from the front, plus some from my stash I pieced about 15 Flying Geese blocks that measures 3.5″ x 6.5″. Get my Flying Geese Tutorial here.
I then arranged them so that they formed a diamond shape in the middle and stitched them all together in a long strip. Then I decided to add a 3″ fabric strip to each side of my geese in a row strip.
Then I cut my backing piece in half the shortest direction and stitched my newly pieced geese strip to both pieces of the backing fabric. After pressing it all I was ready to make the quilt sandwich.
Put It All Together and Finish
To make the quilt sandwich you place your backing fabric on a flat surface wrong side up, then your batting and lastly your pieced top, right side up Now during this process you have to baste the quilt together either with spray baste or some kind of pins so the layers stay together until you have it quilted.
Now that you have your 3 layers all together, you have to quilt the quilt or topper. Quilting is the stitching that keeps the layers together and adds a decorative touch to the finished quilt. On this topper I used all straight stitching with my machine and adjusted the stitch length to a bigger stitch. Mostly I used outline stitching and some grid stitching.
Once the quilting is done, trim your backing and batting to the same size as the top. Then finish it with binding. I am using strip pieced bias binding and you can find my tutorial for it here.
My holiday table topper is now ready to use! Making a quilt back really is as simple or complicated as you want to make it. I like to use simple options.