Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Awesome! A new way of basting a quilt (small or large)

I've raved before about how great YouTube can be for learning new quilt techniques and tips. (Had to track down how to do a scalloped binding recently.) I'm sitting here with four baby quilts waiting to be basted and quilted. And basting is a sore spot for me.

It's a bit of a problem for a lot of people. Bigger quilts are tough to find enough space for. And if you do them anywhere but the floor, it's hard to reach them middle. Tape doesn't stick to carpet, pins scratch hardwood floors, tables are never quite the right size. Sigh. The issues are endless.

And no matter what I try, I seem to end up with puckers in the back. Boo.

Since I'm mostly working on baby quilts right now, I had the idea as I was trying to go to sleep last night to get a piece of plywood, 4'x4', and use it as my "table". The backing for most of these quilts is pretty close to the 48" range, so it would easily cover and clip to that size of board. Which means I could finally get it smooth and flat and hopefully pucker-free. I could put it on my dining room table without fear of scratching anything or on my narrow cutting table without sacrificing width.

But then ... . I started poking around to see if anyone else had tried this. And ran across the below video/technique in my searching.

I am in love with this idea. Heading out right now to get some boards so I can try it with these quilts. (And some longer boards to test it with the bigger quilts that are clogging up other drawers because basting is just so challenging for us perfectionists.)

You're going to want to watch these, but big tips I picked up:

  • Starching the back - I never use starch on anything, but going to try this at least the once.
  • Quilter's knot for the end of the thread - Oh my. How did I not know how to do this? Been sewing for a bajillion years and never seen this!
  • Herringbone stitch - I do this already, so more just glad to have the confirmation that there's a good reason for it.
  • Cut the basting for the section you're working on.

This is a hand-basting method. I prefer using thread over pins anyway, but I don't see why you can't use the general rolling method but then pin instead of sew. I've never had a problem doing machine quilting with thread basting, but I don't tend to quilt so heavily that going over a thread now and then is a problem.

I'll let you know how it goes! Anyone else ever tried this method before?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Beth Moore said...

Hi, I am just curious to know if you have ever tried using adhesive spray to baste a quilt? I have used it on full and baby quilts with no problems. When I washed the quilts, all the residue came out.


lewister said...

I never have used the basting spray. I'm not a big fan of spray anything because of the control and dang it, my finger gets tired pushing that button for a long time. (My attempts at spray painting anything have been disasters. :-) I know lots of people love it, but I've just assumed I wouldn't like it. Maybe I should give it a whirl once at least.