What Are The 3 B’s of Quilting?

Making quilts using quilting machines involves the same basic process no matter what the finished product looks like.

When preparing to stitch a quilt on a long arm quilting machine, one of those steps involves the “3 Bs of Quilting” to prepare the quilt sandwich.

Remember the 3 Bs when readying to mount a quilt onto the quilting machine to achieve perfection with every quilt project. 

Learn About the 3 B's of Quilting

The first and most notable part of every quilt project is cutting out the quilt piece and then assembling them with a quilting machine to create the quilt top.

This is the process that gets the most recognition from novice quilters as it involves stitching together all of the fancy top fabric, but this only creates the top.

It is the next step where the 3 B's come into play, where the quilting magic actually happens!

  1. Backing - The backing fabric is the base of every quilt sandwich that will eventually get stitched with a quilting machine. It should be laid out on the floor with the right side down, cut at least 4 inches larger than the size of the assembled top quilt, then pinned together if multiple pieces of backing fabric are required to make up the size. 
  2. Batting - Once the backing is sized, laid out, and pinned, the batting must be laid on top. The batting is essentially what creates the quilting effect between all of the quilting machine stitching sewn through the fabric layers. Cut the batting so it is smaller than the batting but slightly larger than the quilt top, then lay it in position, centered on the larger backing. Lay the quilt top on top of the batting, centered on the batting and backing. 
  3. Basting - After the quilt top is in place right-side up on top of the batting which is positioned squarely on top of the slightly larger backing, it is time to baste the layers together so it can be stitched on a quilting machine. Specifically using quilt basting pins, start pinning in the center of the quilt, working around and outward until reaching all of the edges. Place a pin every 3 to 4 inches throughout the whole quilt sandwich to secure the layers and prevent them from stitching.

With the 3 B's complete and the quilt sandwich fully basted with basting pins, it is time to carefully transfer the layers onto the long arm quilting machine frame for easy stitching.

Remember the 3 B's for getting through the quilt sandwich making process, then enjoy sewing it all together with a quilting machine!