Backing is a piece of fabric (lining) attached to the back of the blanket to make it warmer & cozier. It creates a very neat finish to any project with stranded color work floats on the back. If you ever tried to add a fabric lining to your knit or crochet blanket by simply sewing it around the edges, you might’ve noticed that the 2 layers of the blanket do not stay together nicely as your quilt top stretches differently than the backing fabric, which creates a mess & heaviness. Keeping that in mind, all layers of the blanket need to be sewn together around the edges as well as to be secured throughout the entire surface. This process is called quilting. Quilting is easy & fun, let’s do it together!
- Self-healing cutting mat
- Quilting ruler
- Rotary cutter with a 45 mm blade
- Fabric scissors
- Skip-cut (or skip-stitch) rotary cutter blade (45 mm) for wide space cuts
- Wonder clips or any other clips (optional)
- Fleece, Soft N Comfy, or Minky fabric – slightly larger in size than your finished blanket
- Lint roller (optional)
- Curved basting pins or safety pins
- Tapestry needle
- Sewing machine (optional)
- Crochet hook 5 mm (H)
- Worsted weight yarn (Medium/4)
- Wet block your knit or crochet blanket before adding the lining. This will help to keep the edges straight and will balance the shape of the quilt top.
- Napped fabrics like Minky need to be placed on the blanket with the nap running down for more natural feel & look.
With the wrong sides together, lay out your knit/crochet blanket & the backing fabric. Line up the top right corner of both pieces & the perpendicular edges that meet in the corner. Then fold & cut the excess fabric along the opposite edges. The backing should be the same size as your blanket, no seam allowances are required.
NOTE: A sticky lint roller would be very handy for keeping your working area clean if you cut any fabrics with nap.
Change the blade in your rotary cutter to the Skip-cut (or skip-stitch) blade. Position the quilting ruler 3/4″ (19 mm) from the edge of the fabric & roll the skip-cut blade along the edges of the ruler to create perfectly-spaced perforations. Repeat around the entire edge of the backing fabric.
Use worsted weight yarn & 5 mm (H) crochet hook to finish the edges of the backing fabric.
Stitch summary (US terms):
Beg – beginning; Ch – chain; Sc – single crochet; Sl st – slip stitch; St – stitch.
Make a slip knot, then insert the hook from front to back through the perforation a few inches away from the corner; yarn over & pull it through the perforation; yarn over & pull through both loops on the hook (first sc made). Work around the perforated edge, folding the fabric edge towards the wrong side as you go –> *[Ch 1; sc in next perforation] repeat to the corner; (sc, ch 1, sc, ch 1, sc) in corner; repeat from* all the way around; sl st in top of beg st. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
With the wrong sides together, line up the edges of the top blanket & the backing. The backing should be slightly smaller than the quilt top after the edges are finished. Place clips evenly along the first edge to prepare the layers for sewing. You can use basting pins instead of clips, but try to avoid straight pins as they can easily get lost in-between crochet stitches. Using a tapestry needle & the long tail from finishing, back stitch along the clipped edge, removing clips as you go; then repeat the process around the remaining edges.
Basting is a common technique used for holding the layers of the quilt temporarily while it’s being quilted.
Flip the quilt to the right side & flatten out the layers. Pin both layers of the quilt, by placing basting pins about every 3″-5″ (7.5-12.5 cm) & working your way around the quilt.
Now let the fun begin, we are ready for quilting!
To begin the machine tacking process, clear your working space around the sewing machine, prepare the matching top threads & bobbins, then set your machine’s stitch length to 2. Insert the quilt in the machine & start quilting. Place your sewing machine needle in the spot where you have one of the basting pins; remove the pin, & secure the layers by stitching forward 3-5 stitches and reverse several times. You can also use a zigzag with a zero stitch length. Now, depending on your machine, you can automatically cut the thread & move to the next pin, or move to the next pin without cutting the thread. Cut all thread floats & ends after you finish quilting.
Here is my short video of the quilting process, see how easy it is?
If you do not have a sewing machine, not to worry! Instead of machine tacking, you can simply tie your quilt as it was done by our ancestors using a matching yarn or embroidery floss. Just thread the needle with the floss, then insert the needle from back to front through the quilt layers & then back up through a stitch away from the initial spot, leaving a 2” (5 cm) tail. Repeat one more time to reinforce. Cut thread, leaving a 2” (5 cm) tail. Tie the tails together with a double knot on the back side of the quilt. Trim the tails to approximately 1” (2.5 cm).
IraRott® Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Blanket Patter can be found at IraRott.com