Monday, August 9, 2010

How do you baste your quilts?

I love quilting. From buying the fabrics (or dreaming of the ones I want!), to designing, piecing the tops and hand stitching the binding, I love the thrill of watching it come together. BUT....I gotta say, the actually quilting step stresses me out a bit. By this point, you have invested a lot of time and effort, and, let's face it, the quilting can make or break it. What style of quilting? what color thread? Some quilts "speak" to you more than others.

I am still pretty new to this quilting thing, and had not yet tried free motion quilting. It was time to take the plunge. So I tried it. The top looked great! Then I flipped it over.....

Oh. Fudge.

A couple nasty puckers. So I ask you quilters out there- how do you baste? What works for you? I usually baste with pins much like described by Crazy Mom Quilts here. This time I admit I starting quilting from one end and quilted to the other, instead of starting in the middle as I nomally do. Anyways, I have a stack of tops and backs from my holiday waiting to be quilted and I want to avoid this again....pointers, please!


Mary said...

I can relate - the quilting part stresses me out too! It really does make or break the quilt, and picking out hundreds of stitches isn't my idea of a good time!

I also haven't been brave enough to try free-motion. I pin baste with those curved quilter's safety pins, but I wonder if they'd be difficult to work with for free-motion? I've been curious to try spray basting for smaller projects, like potholders or doll sized quilts, but haven't tried it yet. I'll be curious to see what others suggest!

Little Island Quilting said...

Excellent photos...they look like the back of several of my quilts ;-)
I spray baste - was getting fed up with the pin basting.
After have spray basted, start quilt in the middle, smoothing out as I go and every so often I stop and look under the quilt to see if there are any lumps and bumps forming and if there are, you can reposition all three layers to get it smooth. I found it too difficult to do this when it was pinned.
This is a really good video that I watched to get me in the groove ;-)
Good luck.

Mama Pea said...

There is a great tutorial on spray basting on The Quilt Show website ( I think it is available for everyone...I don't think you have to be a member to see them. If you aren't a member, it's worth joining. There is so much information and stuff going on. Just thought I'd mention it, because I think spray basting seems to be the way to go. (I send my stuff out for quilting, so I don't baste much.)

sewali said...

I use 505 spray adhesive, it's the best thing invented since the rotary cutter LOL! Here is an explanation of how I use the spray adhesive (I've copied it from a forum I posted on):

505 only needs a light misting to stick the layers together. If you're working on the floor or table you should lay some plastic or newspaper alongside the area you're spraying, just move it around as you go, so you catch any overspray. Also, you should spray the batting, not the fabric.

Lay your backing fabric down (wrong side facing up) and tape/pin it to the surface you're working on. Make sure it's smooth and well anchored, but not stretched. Next lay the batting on top and get it smoothed out. Then fold half of it back on itself (this is where 2 people make the job much easier) and spray lightly with 505, holding the can about a foot from the batting (remember to move your plastic bag / newspaper around next to where you're spraying to avoid overspray). Fold the batting back down and smooth/pat it down without stretching - this only needs a light touch. Repeat with the other half. Lay the quilt top down and get it smoothed out so you can check it's in the right position and doesn't have any glaring lumps & bumps. Again, fold back half, lightly spray the batting and fold the top back down. Smooth lightly to stick, make any adjustments needed to get the top flat and square, the glue is only tacky and you can lift and reposition the fabric. Repeat for the other half and hey presto, one sandwiched quilt! Magic stuff!

I hope you can make sense of this explanation. We do all our quilt layering at our local village hall, they have nice big tables and the hall rental is very reasonable. If you have some friends who also want to layer quilts, it's worth hiring and then you also have your helpers!

Magnolia Designs said...

Kristie, I have always spray basted until recently when I started pinning. I DEF like the results spray basting gives better, but I used the wrong spray once and had a stiff stuck quilt after didn't let go. That's when I tried pinning...both are okay, but spray it better!