One of my readers mentioned she’s attempting to make a baby blanket for her niece from a pre-printed panel. She wants to hand stitch the design.
Do I put the top, batting and back together, then do the hand stitching through all three layers. Or do I just stitch the top layer, then put it together?
Then she wonders, if she puts them together to stitch, how does she secure them.
ANSWER: You can quilt it either way…quilting just the top piece of fabric or quilting through all three, depending on the effect you want.
If you hand sticth just the top (the pre-printed panel), you might want to use contrasting thread for decorative effect, then put the three layers together.
However, to give the quilt a quilted, somewhat three-dimensional effect, quilt through all three layers before binding. You may or may not want to use a contrasting thread. It’s your choice.
About securing the layers, if you quilt through top, batting, and backing, use a fairly thin batting. And you have at least two ways to secure the layers.
Some quilters use safety pins (nickel ones that won’t rust) and pin the layers together with as many as needed so there isn’t slippage.
Or you can use basting stitches and sew the layers together with large running stitches which you remove after you’ve done your quilting.
A newletter I just received from Penny Halgren addressed this topic of pin and thread basting. Penny explains this topic thoroughly on her web site, How To Quilt.
You may want to check out her article at: http://www.how-to-quilt.com/articles/5101-pin-basting-thread-basting.shtml .