Monday, 26 October 2009

Putting it all together (basting tutorial)

Today's the day when I'm finally going to get a chance to put the Paris squares quilt 'sandwich' together.

I've tried hand basting (but frankly, I lose the will to live.) I've tried safety pins (sheesh, I can't be doing with the hassle having to remember to remove them while I'm quilting.) I've tried no basting at all, with just a couple of pins (works fine for very, very small quilts,) but the method that suits me best is a spray and currently I use 'Sullivans' (only available in the USA). I agree it's rather messy as the glue spray does travel somewhat (I've learnt to use it more and more sparingly) I lay sheets down around where I'm working and they go straight into the wash when I'm done. Some people ask if it 'clogs up' my sewing machine - no, not at all. I usually stick my quilts in the washing machine after I have made them anyway, so any glue residue is washed away. I must admit, I don't wear a mask, but I try not to breathe the stuff in either. On BQL the Sharon Shamber method of basting was talked about and looking at her (very good) videos, I sort of use the same method, just with a can of spray rather than hand stitched basting. Here is how I do my basting (on the dining room table to save my back):
I like to use a spray starch (Faultless)on my backing fabric (it's a tedious job ironing a huge piece of plain fabric.)I lay the backing fabric, right side down (if it has one) on the table (I wash the table afterwards with a dishcloth and fairy liquid, sheets are placed on the floor around the table to catch any stray spraying) My wadding is rolled on to a cardboard tube (from a curtain shop) and laid on the backing fabric, so I know where to start. I then roll the wadding back and spray very lightly, in a line across the backing fabric. Lay the wadding onto the sprayed portion of backing fabric, spray another section of backing fabric and roll on some more wadding, smoothing it out as you go. Keep going until you reach the end of your backing fabric. Then roll your quilt top right side down on to the cardboard roll.Decide where you want to place the quilt top and lightly spray that piece of wadding. Lay the first part of the quilt top on to the sprayed wadding, again smoothing out any wrinkles as you go. Keep spraying and unrolling a little more of the quilt until the whole top is completely rolled out. Remove the cardboard tube, pick up the quilt top and go and quilt. Remember to clear up any excess glue that has strayed - a little bit of washing up liquid and some warm water cleans my table top off. The sheets that were on the floor, go straight into the next white wash. Apologies for the very blue tinge to all the photos - I have no idea why that is, the photos were all taken early in the morning, but not that early!

P.s. Nothing to do with basting, but for anyone who has Ikea sofas and chairs you can get new covers for them here


  1. Hi Kandy,

    Thanks for stopping by a little while back. I am such a tease that I haven't posted on my blog since you came last time... 24 hours in a day are not enough at the moment.
    Can't wait to see that lovely Paris quilt finished though
    Take care,

  2. What a wonderful idea for how to spray baste!! I am going to add it to the class that I teach on Machine Quilting!!!