Learn to Quilt! – Part 4 {The Layers}

Learn to Quilt Series

Part 1 {Supplies You’ll Need}
Part 2 {Making the Squares & Assembly}
Part 3 {Sewing}
Part 4 {The Layers}
Part 5 {Binding}

How To Quilt


Welcome back to my Learn to Quilt! series.  I’m so happy to see you.  Now that you have your quilt top, you are now able to put all of your layers together.  Exciting!  You are getting close to a completed quilt.

Before we put the layers together, there is a very important step that is way easier to do during this step.  Trust me!  I didn’t do it, but I highly suggest you do it at this time.

Take your quilt top, a water based fabric marker (one that disappears when it comes in contact with water), and your acrylic ruler.  With the ruler and marker, draw Xs on each square.  This is where you will be quilting to piece your quilt layers together.

 Outlining the quilt topX on quilt








There are 3 layers in a standard quilt- quilt top, batting, and backing.

Like mentioned in part one, you will need 1.5 yards of a backing fabric.  I chose a navy blue pattern.  Anything that coordinates with the quilt top is just fine.

If you go to a fabric store, even Walmart, there will be tons of batting to choose from.  Choose which one you like the best.  If you want your quilt to be light, use thinner batting.  However, I suggest getting batting especially for quilting.

I like to use Fairfield Soft N Crafty polyester batting.  It is inexpensive for the amount of batting you get.  

Fairfield Soft N Crafty Polyester Batting


Before you get started, iron your backing so it is nice and wrinkle-free.  Also, cut off the salvage (edging of the fabric.)

Cutting the salvage

Next, lay your batting on a smooth surface and lay the quilt top over it.

Batting and Quilt TopCut the batting so there is about 1/4″ extra batting on the sides.

Layering quilting1. Lay the backing and smooth it out so there is absolutely no wrinkles.  It is very important to have it smooth so when you go and quilt everyhting is even.

2. Lay the quilt top and batting on the backing.

3. Cut the backing so it is the same size as the batting.

4. Put 4 heavy objects on the corners to hold everything tight.  I used books.

The next part can be a little tricky.  The key is to take your time and make sure the fabric is smooth.  Take lots of safety pins, open them, and pin all layers together on each corner.  

Pinning quilt layers

Start from the center and work your way out.  Readjust the books to keep the quilt “tight.”

Once that is done, you can choose what you want your “backing thread” to be.  It can be any color you so wish.  Just make sure that it coordinates with the colors of your quilt.  I went simple and chose white thread.  A nice bright yellow who work for this quilt, also!

Take your layers and sew over all the Xs you made, going row by row.  This way, your lines will be continuous.  This is an outline of one row for example:

Guide for quilting

Repeat for all rows.  It will be difficult when you get halfway because the fabric will get packed on the right side of the sewing machine.  It can be hard, but don’t give up!  Each time it gets easier because you find what works for you.

Quilting the layers

And make sure to take your safety pins out before you sew over the corner! 

When you have completed this step, you should see nice little boxes all over!

Stay tuned for Part 5 which will be the last installment.  It will be all about edging.

Happy sewing,

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