1. Lay the finished quilt top down on the floor. Stand 3 or 4 feet away and look at it with furrowed brow, until the exact dimensions of the quilt miraculously pop into your head.
2. If this does not happen, compare it (mentally, of course - don't bother, you know, getting up or anything) to a finished quilt you remember making recently. Recall that you probably bought, oh, I don't know, about 2 yards of fabric for that one.
3. Buy 1.5 yards of fabric.
4. Lay quilt top back down on the floor. Unfold the yardage you just purchased and lay it on over the quilt top.
6. Pull out the quilt you remembered making, and realize that it took acres of fabric, cut into puzzle pieces, in order to fit a 60 x 60 inch quilt.
7. Consider that quilting is kind of like childbirth. You swear that you hate it and will never do it again, but then that cute fabric comes along, looking all sexy and inviting, and here you are again, screaming obscenities and begging for drugs.
8. Go to internet for inspiration and advice. Fail to be inspired when every article on the subject insinuates that you are either a criminal or a moron if you cannot square up the quilt top before you even THINK of making the backing.
9. Decide to start quilting advice column: Dear Bitchy Stitcher.
Dear Bitchy Stitcher,
Do I need to square up my quilt top before I make my backing?
Fuck, no! Did it turn out spherical? Do you need Dramamine when you look at it? No? Then you're fine. Have a mojito and watch a George Clooney movie instead.
10. Order several yards of neutral 108" wide fabric that you will now use for EVERY quilt.
11. Have a mojito. Watch Out of Sight for the forty-seventh time. Make vasectomy appointment for husband.