LaRueSews-Quilts- Quilting and ME Working Together

Yes, friends of Ann The Gran, Quilting and Machine Embroidery are great partners.  They can be used in ways other than making a quilt with machine embroidered blocks.  The two following photos are the first of a number of photos what will appear on LaRueSews-Quilts in the not too distant future.  That sounds a little like a news lead on the 11:00 P.M. news.  "Stay turned, more information in your local news at 11 o’clock." Big Smile WinkYup, that’s what it is . . . a lead-in to the blogs that will appear after my return from an absence from my next two blogs.  I will be gone for a little while, but when I return, you get to see the finished product and other things happening in the life of LaRueSews and Company.  The first photo is my stitch-out.

quilt 1     quilt 2

What comes next in making a quilt . . . That next step is getting ready to assemble all the pieces for your last step before actually layering the quilt to get it ready for quilting.  I know that sounds like an extra step, but it’s an important one.  That step is making sure that you have all the “ingredients for the recipe.” When you are cooking, many cookbooks, especially beginning cookbooks, tell you to assemble your ingredients before you begin.  The same thing goes for getting ready to layer a quilt.  A description of layering is probably a good place to start.  When we “layer” a quilt, we are laying out all of the materials that we need to put the quilt together. (Also called a quilt sandwich) Have you ever been in the middle of making a cake and found that one or two of the basic ingredients are not on your pantry shelf?  In that case, you have to stop, run to the store and buy those eggs, or baking powder, etc.  If we don’t have some masking tape or a measuring tape, the same thing happens.  For me, that means a two or three hour round-trip to a sewing store to buy that thing I need to get the job done.  I’m really glad that is not the way it is for everyone.  Even Walmart has stopped selling the basic tool for sewing.  I noticed recently, that they do carry some of the basic quilting tools, but one of the things that quilters and other who sew often use is blue water soluble markers. Can you believe that the last two Wal Marts I have been in no longer carry those pens?!

I will list the things you will need to have to layer your quilt:

  • Fabric for backing, pressed.
  • Backing and batting should be two or three inches bigger in length and width than the quilt top.
  • Batting of your choice.
  • Quilt top, also well pressed.
  • Masking tape or large clips.
  • Non rusting-quilting safety pins.
  • Optional, basting thread.
  • Large table or use the floor.
  • Measuring tape.

It’s a good idea to unfold the batting a day ahead of layering, to let the batting relax and breath for a few hours. Since I don’t have a project in process to show a full size quilt for layering,  I will show you my mini version.  Just put your imagining hat on your head, and think along with me and my mini version. The first photo shows the backing that is taped to a flat surface. The second photo is the layered backing, batting, and quilt top, in order.

quilt 3quilt 4

Layering and basting a quilt is a whole lot easier and more fun if you have a buddy who is willing to lend a hand.  (Goes faster too, and easier on the back) Be sure that you have a space large enough to layer the entire quilt on a flat area.  I have a large cutting table that works great for most quilt tops.  If you don’t have that option, you can baste on the floor if your knees can handle it. First, lay your pressed quilt backing.  If you are using a table, you may use large clips to secure the backing to the edge of the table.  Smooth out the backing, centering it on the table or floor.  It needs to be fairly taut so that it is somewhat tighter than the quilt top when finished.  Tape or clip the backing to the table or floor.  Now lay out the batting, center the batting on top of the backing.  Smooth it out over the backing, making sure all bumps and creases are gone.  Next comes the top.  Center the top on the backing and batting.  There’s no need to clip or tape the top and batting.  By now, you have decided whether to thread baste or pin-baste.  Thread basting is pretty straightforward.  Using long pieces of thread and long needles or curved needles, use long running stitches to hold the layers together for quilting.  Basting parallel to the edges in both directions is better than basting on the diagonal.  If you are pin basting, use quilting safety pins.  Quilting pins have a curve in the middle, making it easier to push the pins through the layers of the quilt.  Shop for quilting pins that are the non-rusting variety.

quilting pinsquilting pins 2   

Temporary adhesive can also be used, layering in the same sequence.  I haven't used it on small projects, but it works great for wallhangings.


When you are finished basting, remove the tape or clips.  You can turn the edges of the backing over the edge of the top and batting to avoid tearing the backing and batting while you quilt.  When I finished basting my Indigo Sunset quilt, I basted packaged wide bias tape to the edge of the quilt to protect it while I quilted it.  With this quilt, I knew that quilting would be a long process and I wanted a protected edge during the quilting process.  It was a great idea, and worked very well.

I have included this link that shows the layering process.  Thanks to

Ok, Friends, that wraps it up for this time.  I’ll see you back here at Ann The Gran-LaRueSews-Quilts after a short break.

Stitches to you, and see you later,


Comments (11) -

What a beautiful pattern.  I cannot wait to see the finished product!

We will miss your smiling face!!!

Pat 5/9/2009 8:19:10 AM

Thanks LaRue for your easy to follow direction. I did not know there were quilting safety pins! I can see where they would make the job easier. I do more ME than quilting, but really enjoy your blogs and learn something every time.

Nancy in IN

The taping looks great and makes sense.  Will it work on queen and king sized mattresses?  I really get frustrated when putting the pieces together as they often slip even when pinned.  Doing small quilts is no problem, but the large have been so frustrating that a local quilter uses her big long arm quilting machine for over $100 per quilt.  At 72, the big and bulky quilting is really difficult even when the front appears to be done with lots of skill.  Have made around 50 quilts for my kids,grandkids, great grands and friends.  I will try your great idea.  C

Hi LaRue, I purchase my blue water soluble marking pens from here in Australia, the name of the pen is ELIZE. They are AUD$5.00 each. I have even ironed over the markings and they still wash out, but of course it should be tested on a scrap first.


This post looks like a winner as usual, LaRue! Great job!


Thank you as usual for staying with LaRueSews.  It's always nice to "see familiar faces".  The project is well on its way.


Yes, those quilting safety pins really are a big help.  It's amazing how much easier it is when you use them.  Thanks for your comment.

Using the taping method can be done on large size quilts.  In my quilt guild, we have access to large banquet talbes.  We can push them together to make a space large enough to lay out the whole quilt.  This method works well using binder clips to attach the backing to the edge of the table, instead of taping.  The only problem here is reaching to center of the quilt for basting, but it can be done.  I forgot to mention in the blog that you should start basting at the center and work toward the edge.


Thanks for the tip.  You do have good tips for us.  Too bad your tips come from Australia, a bit too far to go for quilting supplies.  I did find the double miter ruler on line here in the U.S.


Thank you for your comment.  It's nice to know that you are keeping an eye on us.

Stitches to you,


I have used just one banquet table and pinned a king size quilt on it.  Lay the backing down pull real tight, use the binder clips, put down the batting, lightly spray with temparary adhesive, put down the top.  Then pin or baste, when this section is done undo the clips, move the whole quilt, pull the backing tight again clip and do the next section.  You can do any size quilt this way.  I used to lay them on the floor but Oh My the knees won't take it any more.



Great blog as usual.  You are al ways full of such informative information.  I like the idea of taping the backing down.  I have 4 quilt tops I  need to quilt so I think your blog will be very helpful for me.

Linda J


Thank you for the tip.  It sounds workable to me if you don't have the option of several tables.  Come on back when I return.


You are keeping busy with the quilt tops, now you need to get them quilted.  How about at least one by the time I return.  Or you will end up with ten tops and no quilts.  Just kidding, cause I know you.

Stitches . .



I have some of these pens (new) I can mail one to you if you like, email me at with an address where to send it to. I am sure you will love it. Judy at the website I posted ships worldwide. The $ exchange rate here is still down and if you find them as good as I do and give a good report ,maybe some of you in the U.S. could get  together and share the postage.



Sorry, gave wrong email, it should be


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