Tuesday, August 24, 2010


No ... not a physical ailment. Anyone who has ever done much quilting with a machine on a frame ... long-arm, short-arm, mid-arm ... it matters not ... you've probably had this moment. That final roll, that final pass - HURRAY - not so fast.

What's this? The backing is shorter than the quilt top? How can this be? Measure, measure, measure and ... oh no - the backing is shorter than the quilt top.
I recently got an evening phone call from my friend Starlyn who had this happen to her ... what to do? I talked her through a solution, gestures included (but we were on the phone so only the Cute Husband really understood the hand signals). I did tell her that I'd never actually tried this before.
I certainly did NOT expect to be trying it out 5 days later ... but it did work! Cut a chunk of fabric that you know is big enough in length and width for this project. Fold the quilt top and batting up out of way. Lay the new backing piece (right sides together) with the original backing still pinned to the leader. Pin the new piece to the leader, keeping the original one there too. This is being added from the underside. You'll have to pin the other edge up to the quilt to keep the whole thing neat and tidy. Then run a stitching line across, close to the leader/pins. See the stitching? I unpinned the other edge so you could see it.

Take out all the pins on the backing fabrics and repin the new backing edge. The seam allowance will be there, just finger press it down. Smooth the batting and top back into place and keep on quilting.
The frustrating part of all this was that I was only 1.5" short. I could have trimmed the border shorter and it would have fixed the problem but I didn't want a smaller border. I had already quilted some really cool spider webs in the top border and wanted the same on the bottom.
The quilt top? I'll show that off as soon as it gets a binding. Later today? tomorrow? soon - I promise!

1 comment:

Donna Turner said...

That's exactly what I did when I ran into the same problem unexpectedly. My customer was a very experienced, long time quilter, so I didn't double check her backing size. I always measure the backing as well as the quilt now, no matter how experienced the client is!