Saturday, August 14, 2010

I've Saved The Best For Last

Basting. (Sigh) I lied, it isn't the best. You know how in many quilt books when they get to this stage of quilting they have these instructions for basting...... either 1) Baste. or 2) Invite some friends over, serve lunch, and they will help you baste your quilt. Hah! I am convinced caller ID was invented by quilters, so they can screen calls when their fellow quilters are at this crucial basting stage.

I have tried many techniques and I'm not particularly happy with any of them (stay with me, there is hope at the end of this post). For many years I did the traditional, move all the furniture out of the room - lay down the quilt layers - and spend the rest of the day on your hands and knees approach.

Frankly, life is just too short to have to do that anymore. It works wonderfully, especially if you are hand quilting, but there has just got to be a better way. Now I've tried this floor approach with both sew basting and pin basting. Pin basting does cut down on the floor time just a little bit, but then you have a quilt studded with safety pins and you have to move or remove them every time you reposition your hoop. Not good.

Next, I purchased a quilt frame with the intention that I would use it to baste quilts.Great idea, huh? I would load the 3 layers onto the 3 different rails and SIT in a comfortable chair and baste at my leisure. If only.

I couldn't get the quilt layers to load evenly and my basted quilt was a lumpy mess.

Onto the
next solution. Someone invented adhesive spray. Yes, I admit I have used it and have used it a lot the last several years. I have been happy with the results and while the quilt is still layered out on the floor - the time on your knees is cut from half a day down to 30 minutes. Hooray!

Spray basting??!! I know. "But what about the chemicals in your quilt?" Well, I'm not sure. You can read the report on it here. I will say that I haven't had any problems with it, I don't know what will happen in 30 years or so. Nobody does. I used 505 spray. The report does say that they didn't find any problems with 505 spray.... not yet, anyway. Contrary to popular opinion, the spray does not make it difficult to needle the quilt. Not at all.

I also always wash my quilt when I am done quilting it. (Between this spray, the chalk marks, and the dog hair - it HAS to be washed) So why aren't I gaga over this product?? Well, that unknown factor does make me hesitate for my "heirloom" type quilts. I know that if you have spent time piecing your quilt and are going to hand quilt it - maybe for the first time - you have reservations too. That said, if you are making a quilt that you will machine quilt and it is one of those "use it up" type quilts.... this stuff is awesome.

So now what? I needed to find another way. Not only to save my back and knees, but to save my marriage. Did I mention that Bill helps me baste all my quilts? I believe we have had only about 5 loud disagreements in our marriage. Four of these occurred while we were on the floor basting a quilt.

I started to hear about a new technique. I watched the videos on youtube. My first reaction was that it was very similar to my "quilt frame" idea and that made me dismiss it at first. Then I watched the videos again. I believe she is onto something.





It also came recommended by quilters who really know what they are doing. You can read Janet's post about it here. I even had Bill watch the videos and he has picked out the lumber. I think her tip about the starching of the backing is key. I will post again when I baste a quilt using this technique. Dare I say, I am looking forward to it?

Laurie


32 comments:

Anonymous said...

i've tried this method and i liked it very much. i use a quilt-tak gun instead of hand basting. my husband keeps asking me what the two pieces of lumber are for that are standing in the corner of the dining room ... really need to move them somewhere else!

Janet said...

I just watched that video last night :0) I wish she showed herself basting a larger quilt with this method. It looks quite straight forward with the small quilt she shows. Your husband is a gem to baste with you. My husband would NOT help me baste in a million years.

moosecraft said...

Eureka! What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing this video! I'll give it a try on my next quilt... which will actually be a Christmas Tree Skirt... anyways... back to the same quilt I mentioned in the last comment about hand quilting... My first basting attempt was tarnished too... I used the bent safety pins... layed it all out on the floor (the carpeted room was better on the knees)... yah... you guessed it... basted the whole quilt to the carpeting... LOL!

Sue said...

This was really neat. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
I really liked this idea though I've not had too many frustrations with my hand quilting frame.

I loved the idea of starching the back as well since starch is kind of like a quilter's best friend:)

I'm sure I have some lumber I can use out in the barn :D lol

Anonymous said...

I also would have liked to have seen a larger quilt basted - how many have that much room on a table, but I was really liking the method and can see where it would be useful!! Bless your hubby for helping - got a life-size picture of mine getting involved!

Linda P in Ga

Mary Grace McNamara said...

I've used Sharon's binding method with the starch and glue on my last several quilts and finally was able to get binding to look good! So now I can give this basting method a try and see if I can have a little better success with my machine quilting as well! Thanks so much for sharing this!

MGM

Anonymous said...

I send my quilts that I am going to hand quilt to a machine quilter to have them basted. It works for me and i have done it for years-most will charge a basic loading fee. Kind of cheating almost but it is large stitches worked in a grid and easy to remove when I am ready to move it in a hoop. Enjoying the past articles on hoops, thread, needles and thimbles. TGhanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I wish I would have remembered this method--I had watched it a couple of years ago, I think. I usually machine quilt but have a project that really needed to be hand quilted. My monthly quilt group was meeting at a church in their game room and they had a ping pong table there. I was able to do my basting on the table with a lot of stretching and standing on tiptoe, but at least I wasn;t on my hands and knees. It did take at least half the day to do the basting and it was a back killer!
Our local quilt guild has a group that meets once a month at a church with large tables that can be pushed together. They are the quilt basting group and members of the guild can have their basting done if they help the group that day AND (most importantly) bring a treat to share.
Thanks for the posts--my stitches are looking better already and I am really starting to enjoy the process as long as the temps are under 80 degrees.
Karen in Breezy Point

Glenn Dragone said...

Living in a one bedroom apartment makes basting a bit of a joke. I've master the art of hanging off the side of the sofa and pinning from above.

I must admit I'm kinda getting addicted to 505. I tried it on my last quilt and it work perfectly.

I just purchased a Hobbs Heirloom fusible batting to try. Now I can iron while hanging over the sofa.

call me crazy said...

My hand quilter friend always has hers basted by a longarm quilter and loves it~ she doesn't quilt with a hoop and says she 'throws it all over the place' while quilting it and it has never shifted on her. If I ever get brave enough to hand quilt, I'll probably try her method or this one. Thanks for all your hand quilting posts! I learned a lot! :-)

Maxine said...

Thanks for all of your recent quilting tips (tutorials). I've watched the basting videos on Sharon's website. The method seems very easy even for a larger quilt. I have a Christmas quilt to baste next month, so I'd better hop over to the the local lumber yard and get those pieces of wood right away. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Janet said...

I think I may even buy one of those cheap trestle tables for basting because I was sold. The quilt I did this way was 76" square and I had no problems. Be sure to use crochet cotton or perle for the stitching though, even when stitches are snipped, they don't slip out. The long armers here in my part of Australia charge the same for basting as it would to do an edege to edge all over design.

Carol Sc said...

I've used Sharon Schamber's method to baste and was very happy with it --- much easier on the back --- and worked with a banquet table. I use spray sizing, instead of starch on both the backing and the quilt. It gives enough body to suit me. Hoping the Tigers can win one tonight--- they are making it tough on their fans.

Meredith said...

I have never had an issue with my frame. I think they are great. Mine also has a rod to hold the batting. I do not baste at all thanks to my frame.

Cyn said...

Hi Laurie,

Love this idea and it makes wonderful sense to me!

I'm working on my first quilt this summer and once I have it pieced, I am definitely going to try this method for basting.

I've also enjoyed the other how to posts.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Cynthia

Avon said...

I attended a class where the teacher thumb tacked her quilt to a frame (old method). She then basted it then removed it from the frame. She basted it much like Sharon did. I didn't ask how large of a quilt she could do, but it went quite fast for a baby size quilt.

Sandra Henderson said...

Wonderful! Turning on the light bulb moment for me... :)
I sure do miss my HUGE workroom tables, but can manage this now that I have this board method. I'm really impressed with the lady in the videos, very professional and articulate. Thank you for taking the time to do these posts, I've learned a lot. We NEVER Stop!~hopefully... :)

farmhousequilter8 said...

I am a long-arm quilter and I baste alot of quilts for hand quilters, why not try that?
Paula

Vicky said...

That was intesting, and explains why I get wings sometimes using tape or big clips. Please let us know how it worked for you. I'm like a sponge at this point because I want to learn to hand quilt so badly.

Mary said...

I tried this method on a double bed size quilt and found it just as cumbersome as the floor-basting method. First, I had to clear out a room, then I had to find tables to line up end to end so I'd have a space long enough to lay everything. I can see its benefits for small quilts, no longer than my dining table is wide, but I'll never use it again for a larger quilt.

S. said...

My DH built a frame after seeing one. It has long springs that fit into a groove in the top frame. An antique shop was going out of business and I poked around in the nearly empty basement, and there was a homemade frame, complete with the blueprints. I put some work into it. Price was $5 with blueprints! I'm a longarm quilter and enjoy hand quilting too.

Ginny Worden said...

I have tried this method, and it was very successful, and a little faster than pin basting, even with my husbands help.Good luck.

busymom said...

I have used this method on small quilts and a very large quilt. I like it so far. Saved my back and knees from hours on the floor. I love the tailor's stitch. I think it holds the layers together very well. I have been working on the large quilt for about 10 months, nearing the end and it looks great!

Sharon said...

I baste my quilts on my longarm and offer this service to others. I do it really inexpensively, because I too, remember the days of being in a one bedroom apartment, pushing all the furniture to one side and doing the back breaking work of basting on the floor. My back couldn't take it and I'd be sore for days!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone done a larger quilt this way? Sounds like the boards would have to be very long and the work area very large. I like the concept and want to try it.

Anonymous said...

BAckaches are a constant problem with me...and hovering over a quilting basting session leaves me doubled over for 2 weeks! Who wants that idea. Talk about nightmares? LOL

I have found a terrific longarm quilter who bastes for you - only $25.00 to $30.00 per queen size quilt. I am areal cheapie folks. But this is the BEST money I have ver spent on any quilting project ... ever.
I do believe basting is why there are so many old quilt tops around. As you get on, you just can not crawl all over the place. And you are so correct, friends - even the best - hide when you even think basting with a buddy!

Ann Champion said...

I've used Sharon's method to baste Queen sized quilts. I got boards that were wider(and longer of course) so the quilt doesn't have to be wrapped around as many times. I have a banquet table with a card table sitting next to it in the basement, used only for basting.
It's good to have another person around to help you do the first couple of turns, to help hold the fabrics in place. It works great!

Jennifer said...

505 Spray has a long history on fabric with out any damage. I have used it for 15 years and it has been in the commercial embroidery industry for 40 years without any damage. Hope this help with confidence in using it.

Anonymous said...

Great method. Used it on a larger quilt using the white pvc type 2x4's. The nice people at Lowe's trimmed one set of boards to 60" for me. I hesitate to starch the back because it attracts bugs even though I wash a quilt. I just don't think all the starch will come out in one washing or it might settle in the batt.

santoshi prasad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deborah Mitchell said...

God, I have finally found you again. I bought my lumber several weeks ago when I was going to layer and baste my quilt and lost this site. I have been searching over and over. Finally! I have you saved so I wont lose you again. I am hoping this works for my next quilt as I have already started quilting the other one.

Barbara said...

Laurie, I just found this blog and am new to quilting. Your posts are awesome, and I love your sense of humor and perspective, too (mad husband basting + dog hair on the quilts lol!). I will certainly continue to come back to your blog again and again!

Thank you!!

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