Using a Laser Level for Quilting

July 15, 2023


Not all quilting tools are purchased in a quilt shop. In the last post on loading I promised to write about using a laser level to square my backing fabric. I also use the laser level to get nice straight cuts when taking batting from a bolt or roll. (Straight cuts make it easier to load on the frame and eliminate waste from the roll).  I cut some batting for a quilt the other day so I was able to get some shots of the process. You’ll use the same technique when squaring your backing fabric. Disclaimer: To get the lasers to show up, I had to turn the lights off in my studio. So the photos are not the best. But I’m sure you’ll get the idea.

Supplies needed:


Your choice of batting. I like batting on a roll or from a bolt. It has far fewer creases and wrinkles than packaged batting. You can use your laser level to trim packaged batting as well. It works for everything.

Tape measure

I use a metal carpenter’s tape measure. Over time, dressmaker’s plastic or cloth tape measures will stretch and no longer be accurate. I want good accuracy when measuring a quilt top. Especially when I plan to use an edge-to-edge design with Pro-Stitcher. Those of you who use Pro-Stitcher know that you need an accurate measurement of the length of your quilt top to create your area.

Handi Batting Scissors

These are great for cutting batting, but also perfect when you are squaring your backing fabric. You’ll see why soon.


Laser Level

I know you’ll be curious as to what brand this is and where to purchase it. My husband bought this for me somewhere online. He doesn’t remember where. And there are no identifying marks on the device itself.

You can purchase a laser level at just about any big box store and many online outlets. I was able to find one that looks very similar to mine at The features you need are: It has 2 beams at 90 degrees from each other. And it’s able to be placed on a horizontal surface and have the beams stay where you want them. (Some levels will only work vertically). You do not need an expensive one!


Using Laser level for Cutting batting

Measure your quilt top and determine how much batting you’ll need. Don’t forget to add 5-6 inches to the length. And as I said in the previous post, your batting needs to match the width of your backing fabric to prevent drooping as you work your way through the quilt.

Unroll the batting. Place your tape measure so that the measurement you need is at the cut end. And the start of your tape measure (zero) is where you will cut.


Place the laser level so that one beam is tracking down the folded edge of the batting. And the other beam is going across the batting and lined up with the end of the tape measure.


Use your batting scissors to cut along the laser beam. It’s really easy to do since the laser beam will shine right along the long blade and handle of your batting scissors. That makes it super easy to cut straight.



Use this same method for trimming backing fabric. Fold the backing fabric in half length-wise. You will be checking and trimming BOTH ends (top and bottom)of your fabric to be sure they are straight and square with the fold.

I do this on the floor. That way I can lay things out nice and flat.

Will you give it a try? Let me know in the comments.

Quilt Every Day.

by Mary Beth Krapil


Written by

July 15th, 2023

Not all quilting tools are purchased in a quilt shop. In the last post on loading I promised to write about using a laser level to square my backing fabric. […]

12 responses to “Using a Laser Level for Quilting”

  1. What a great idea! With wadding it’s usually at least 90in wide of course, so this should save some messing about lining it up on the other side of where I make my initial little cut. I can do it from the same side. (That might not make sense but it’s hard to find the right words).
    Now I’m off to see where to get one with those specifications. Thanks

  2. Great idea. I am short and wrestling with a roll of batting or 3 yards of backing fabric 108″ wide is daunting. This is such a cool and simple hack…I have a laser level, I used it to level my long arm…I cannot fathom why this never occurred to me…thanks for the bell ring!! Ding, ding…lol.

  3. Très bonne idée je vais l’utiliser le laser à mon conjoint et m’en prémunir dès que possible.

  4. Took this suggestion from Mary Beth several years ago and it works fantastic. Just a side note I dropped my first level by accident and it broke.

  5. This did not work with the 2 levels I bought. Line does not go down the fabric past a few inches. I’m sad, was hoping this would make squaring up easier.

  6. I finally found one and I use it to help keep the edges of my quilt top straight on the longarm frame starting from the top edge and left and right sides of the quilt as i baste it in place. then as I roll the quilt, it helps to keep the sides as straight as possible going down the quilt.

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