Awhile ago I was perusing some home goods websites (aka Pottery Barn and West Elm) and stumbled upon the most beautiful plaid quilt. It was red and black and had fluffy faux fur backing. It was gorgeous, and I knew that Siracusa would be the perfect quilt to do it with!
Fur can sometimes be scary, it’s thick, a little unruly, and may not be quilted like usual quilts. Before embarking on my furry adventure, I researched all the quilty forums and came up short. It seemed like faux fur wasn’t used or discussed that often. I found one site (from 20 years ago) that mentioned a “blanket style binding” and that’s it.
I thought through my options while I worked on making the Red/Black Siracusa quilt top. I knew I wanted batting, but questions still swirled:
- How do I attach the batting?
- How do I attach the top to the fur?
- Binding or no binding?
Ordering the Fur
After completing the quilt top, I came up with a plan. I ordered my fur (which you can purchase HERE) and after patiently waiting, receiving the wrong order, patiently waiting again, it finally arrived. My advice is to go with the softest, most luxe fur that you can afford. Scratchy fur will only take away from your beautiful quilt top.
The fur was soft (perfect) but also had a thick, somewhat firm glue backing. This made me double down on my decision to add batting, despite the thickness of the fur. I hoped the batting would provide a layer of softness between the quilt top and the thicker fur backing.
My Plan of Attack
- Quilt the quilt top to the batting
- Sew the quilt top/batting Right Sides Together with the fur, leaving a hole
- Flip right sides out
- Hand sew the hole closed
- Add a secure stich/knot every few inches to the whole quilt
I started by ironing on fusible 80/20 batting (which you can buy HERE, and honestly, I fell in love with it so much I might just only use this from now on, I should do a blog post on how wonderful it is) to the quilt top. I used an ironing mat on the floor (first time doing that, and it was so much easier than taking it to the ironing board, but my back did hurt, so you might want to visit your chiropractor later that day) to secure the top to the batting. I quilted my desired pattern, for the Siracusa I usually do a plaid-inspired design (basically lots of lines).
Sewing the Layers
After that was completed, I moved on to Step 2, sew the whole thing together. Pro tip: before beginning, trim the quilt top/batting so there is a 1” (or less, I think mine was ½”) overhang. Lay the fur down, fur side up. Lay the quilt top/batting down, quilt top side down (batting should be up). Pin the edges like your life depends on it. Leave a 10” (ish) hole on one side to ensure you can flip the quilt inside out. Trim the fur so that there is a 1-3” border on all sides.
Take that beast to your sewing machine and start stitching! I lengthened my stitch length (because fur is fur) and found that stitching was easier if I kept the pins in to hold the layers together until the foot’s edges were over the pin, and then remove it before the needle passed over it. Just make sure you’re stitching over the quilt top and batting and not just batting.
Once finished, check to make sure the quilt top and fur backing are correctly sewn (I flipped mine to do this and made sure no batting was showing).
Completing the Fur Backed Quilt
Trim the fur to 1/4” seam allowance on all sides and flip it right sides out. Then hand stitch the hole closed in your preferred method. Honestly, the fur covers most of the stitches so no need to worry about invisible stitches, unless that’s just how you roll!
Finally, lay the quilt flat, and smooth out all the wrinkles. You can pin if you like (not much of a pinner, so I skipped this step!) and stitch a small knot every couple of inches to secure the faux fur to the quilt top/batting. This step is optional but will help hold the quilt together to prevent uneven wear/tear on the batting.
This quilt was SO FUN to make. I love the fur, it’s such a unique addition to the Modern Siracusa Quilt and I’m happy that it turned out so beautiful. Let me know if you try fur backing on your next quilt! I am excited to see how it turns out!