Batting and Backing Preparation and Requirements
1) Only select 100% cotton for your backing fabric. If your quilt top pieces have been pre-washed, you should pre-wash your quilt backing, as well. This will result in a more uniform rate of shrinkage later, when you launder your quilt, and minimize wrinkling and puckering after laundering.
2) Do not use bed sheets for backing. Both thin and high count sheets carry their own risks of failure in the quilting process, and in the future.
3) Printed fabrics which coordinate with your quilt top yield the best results, and help to blend thread starts and stops in the quilting process.
4) Choosing a backing fabric color that allows for the same closely matching thread to be used on the top and bottom will always look the best on a finished quilt. It will help to eliminate "pokies."
5) When you need to piece the backing together to make it large enough, it always helps if you place two seams parallel to and equal distances from the top and bottom (horizontally), rather than one single seam across the middle. Avoid vertical seams, if possible, because they can cause distortion when quilting, and again later when you roll for storage or transport.
6) Remove all selvages from all edges, then join pieces with a 5/8" seam allowance, and be certain to back-stitch at the beginning and end of the sewn seam to secure. Press seams open.
7) Cut your backing and batting a minimum of 4" larger than your quilt top on all sides, so...you measure your quilt, then add 8" to each measurement. If you are sending a roll of batting, you don't need to cut it, just be certain that it meets or exceeds these minimum size requirements (size + 8"). You can see in the picture that the printed backing and batting are quite a bit bigger than the quilt top, in order to sew off the edges without stopping or pulling.
8) Please indicate the center of the top with a safety pin, just like on the quilt top. But don't pin them together. This is just as a directional guide.
9) Iron and fold carefully for shipping, with attention to preventing wrinkling and bunching during shipment.