One of my latest quilts was a long table runner; it was so fun to sew it (pattern here)…
I did a quick and easy quilting, and then it was the time to photograph it. I tried to align one of its long edges with a long line of my floor, and to my surprise, I could not do it, because the edge of my quilt wasn’t straight! Obviously, I did not square it up perfectly, but there was one more reason for this situation.
I remembered that when I laid the quilt top over batting, because it was so long, I thought that I should use something with a long edge to help me keep the outside edge of quilt top straight- but I was in a hurry and I skipped this step.
Now that I know, I will not check the edge of the quilt with a ruler when it will decorate my table but …
here I am, basting a new quilt, not so long as the one above, but this time I thought to do it right!
If you want to follow this process, here is what you have to do:
- if you use (safety) pins to baste the quilt, lay the backing and batting on the floor and keep them in place with some masking tape.
- if you spray baste, do this now, so you keep the batting and backing together; tape the double layer on the floor.
Then you have to draw two lines on the batting, as shown in the picture below. I used a permanent thick marker; use also a square ruler to make sure you have a 90 degree angle at the corner.
You see below the tool that I used to draw the long line; it’s an aluminium strip I bought from the hardware store; it’s very long – 2 meters, about 6.5 feet. It doesn’t have any mark on it, but I love its perfect straight long edge.
I use it in conjunction with a square ruler when I square up big quilts (of course, I did not use it on the above table runner!)
Then all you have to do is to align the edges of the quilt top with the drawn lines. Use pins near the outside edges to keep it in place. Smooth the top over the batting and add pins as needed.
Use the long metallic strip and check the bottom edge too, to make sure the other long edge of the quilt will be straight.
I have to finish quilting!
And here are a few of my other zigzag quilts, made with my new pattern.