Monday, November 11, 2013

Why Remove The Selvage?

I've been asked why I remove my selvage when I prepare my quilt backing?  The reason why I do is because selvage shrinks differently than the fabric and is a much different weight so potentially it will show through on your backing.  When you wash your quilt (I'm a washer - as soon as the quilt is bound I want to wash it) the fabric will shrink a little and when you've left your selvage in your backing material there is a potential to be able to see it.  

Preparing the backing of a quilt seems like it would be a pretty simple task especially if you are sending the quilt off to be long arm quilted.  Most long arm quilters (myself included) are willing to prepare the backing for you but will charge you a minimal fee to do it.  I thought it was a good time to share with you how I go about preparing backing for a quilt.  Here is how I prepare a backing for a twin size quilt.
My first step is to take the fabric and fold it in half length wise, then I cut (actually rip) it in half.  The next step is to refold it right sides together being careful that if it is a directional fabric everything is going in the same direction.  Then off to my sewing machine I go!

I sew rights sides together and I sew a seam that is at least 1"!  I like to sew it a little over an inch and use my sewing machine's sole plate as my guide.

Once I've sewn the pieces together I carefully fold the backing into quarters and then get out my trusty Creative Grids Ruler and my rotary cutter.

For some unknown reason (I'm not certain if someone told me this or not) but I like a full 1//2" seam allowance on my backing.  Like I said I'm not certain exactly why but I do!

Mission accomplished!  The selvage has been removed from the pieced seam and I've left the selvage on the top and the bottom.  This backing is now on it's way to the ironing board so it can get attached to the Long Arm!

Happy Quilting!