Saturday, November 26, 2011

Does anyone but me pin baste anymore?

Basting - 1 tape down the back

I was basting the ROYGBIV quilt this morning and the back looked so interesting upside down. So I decided to take a bunch of pictures and make a pin basting tutorial. Lately I have heard people get puckers in their quilt backs when quilting and that does not happen to me. Also, it seems that more people are spraying glue at their quilts, which I don't do. So I thought maybe I would share my low tech, chemical free method.

Basting - 2 adjust the tape

First I move aside the furniture and tape the back to the floor with painter's tape. The taping process takes a few minutes as the aim is to get the back tight without stretching or misaligning it. You need to adjust the tape a bit to get rid of the puckers, all the way around.

By the way, doesn't the back of the giant log cabin look interesting all nicely taped out.

Basting - 3 place the batting down

Then I carefully place the batting, so as not to disturb the back. I try to lay it straight on one edge and then place it over the entire back.

Basting - 4 smooth the batting out

This photo is an attempt to show you the smoothing process. Once I have the batting laid out, I sit or kneel in the middle of the quilt toward one end. I carefully smooth the batting onto the back with my hands, moving from the centre to the edges. This process needs to be done carefully so you don't pull the backing away from the tape. Also don't stretch the batting, just smooth it so it sticks to the back. You do get rolls like the one in the picture as you go. I move my body carefully down the quilt and keep smoothing from the centre to each edge.

Basting - 5 the batting is smoothed and trimmed

When the batting is all smoothed, you can see the seams on the back. This back was a great one to use as an example because it has so many seams to see. On this back, once I had smoothed the batting I also trimmed the batting to be the same size as the back rather than leaving the batting bigger than the back. I wanted to try to keep the top straight on the back so I needed to be able to see the back's edges.

Basting - 6 place the top on the batting

Then carefully place the top onto the batting. I started in the top right corner and worked to keep it straight along the top and the edges. It is important to do this gently so as not to mess up the batting.

Basting - 7 smooth out the top

Then I smooth the top in place, just like the batting. I sit or kneel on the top, and gently smooth from the  centre to the edges. Again being careful to not distort the top or the batting. All this smoothing causes the batting to adhere to both the back and the top so that when I am quilting, there is far less likelihood of any puckers.

Basting - 8 the top is smooth and in place

Here are all three layers, ready for pins. It is far easier to baste when the back is about 3" - 5" larger than the top. I have that amount at the bottom of this quilt sandwich but you can see there was only an inch to spare on either side (you know, I forgot to measure twice, that skimpy back was not on purpose). I don't recommend a back with this little to spare, it is a bit tricky to keep everything that straight.

Basting - 9 Pin the layers

Then I get my bowl of pins and pin the layers. Again, I sit or kneel on the quilt and pin from centre to the edges. I pin all I can reach and carefully move my body so I don't disturb the layers.

Pins make the quilt sandwich heavy and that extra weight makes the quilting harder, so I do not use more than necessary. I place them about a hand width (4" - 5") apart and stagger each row. I use quilters safety pins, they have a curve bent in them to make it easier to pin from the top of the layers.

Basting - 10 All done

And here it is all pinned. After this, carefully remove the tape from the back and the floor, fold or roll the sandwich and head off to quilt it. Oh, and I also put the furniture back.

This process took me 1.25 hours, including the time to take the photos - it is not that long. I do recommend getting up part way through the pinning and having a good stretch once or twice.

I have to admit that I really like this quiet, chemical free, process of readying my quilt for the quilting. I hope to spend the evening quilting this one, and likely tomorrow too. I have watched Rhonda's, from Quilter in the Gap, videos from the Duo QAL for all her pointers and the plan is for an all over stipple on this quilt, so I am ready to go.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Best,

Leanne

38 comments:

  1. Great write up on your basting process. I love that quilt - both sides. Looking forward to seeing it finished!

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  2. This is exactly how I do it. i have never used basting spray. I know it can't be good for your lungs.

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  3. The back and front are beautiful by the way! I can't wait to see it finished.

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  4. **raises hand!!** I pin baste!!

    Great tutorial, and - may I just say WOWZA to that quilt!!! Top AND back!! So so so pretty!!

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  5. This quilt is so stunning - can't wait to see your stipple!

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  6. it is such a pretty quilt. i can't wait to see it finished!

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  7. It`s such a gorgeous quilt Leanne! I pin baste and find it much easier than sewing the besting, which I detest. I have never used spray as I can`t buy it here and haven`t bought any online. I love your shiny wooden floor too!

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  8. Great tutorial, and your quilt looks stunning! Unfortunately I have neither the room size nor the knees to try it that way :-(

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  9. I love both the back and front of your quilt!
    I tried basting spray but I prefer pin basting and have gone back to pinning.

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  10. Lol Leanne, this is exactly how I have always basted till today when I had my first try at spraying. Love your tute it's great and while I loved the spray, it is expensive and I think I will reserve for the really BIG quilts. Can't wait to see this finished it is going to be fab!

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  11. The back of that quilt all pinned and ready to go looks beautiful!!! I've never pin basted, I don't have that much patience. Great tutorial.

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  12. Love your quilt - it is going to be so beautiful!! I am pin baster too and spent Friday crawling over the lounge room floor doing the same thing:)

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  13. that beauty, both sides of this quilt is spectacular, congratulations

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  14. Thanks, Leanne. I usually pin-baste but have occasionally sprayed. I really don't enjoy either. But your method is pretty much what I do too. Nicely done & can't wait to see that quilt quilted!

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  15. I pin baste and I have used spray. I really don't like doing either although spraying is much quicker. I just pin basted a quilt yesterday, but I basted it on the dining table, my knees don't love me crawling around on the floor.
    Both the front and the back are amazing, it;s going to be an absolutely stunning quilt.

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  16. WOW...that is one AWESOME quilt! I was wondering why you were doing it backwards...then I realized that was the reverse of the quilt...it's all amazing.

    I've spray basted...though last time the can was being a pill...and left drips which didn't wash out. And just tonight I was pin basting, so I guess I still do it...you're not alone. =) I've not done a quilt that large though...so not sure if I would pin baste or not. I'd have to buy more pins, that's for sure! =)

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  17. I pin baste too, but I have to anchor the back to carpet with safety pins stabbed into the carpet. I do everything else just like you do. Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

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  18. For big quilts I sew basting lines. For smaller projects I use a basting gun that pokes plastic staples in, like the plastic fasteners they use to attach price tags to clothing. Recently I tried out some fusible batting on 14 inch quilt-as-you-go blocks. That stuff is awesome.

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  19. I spray basted a small pillow once and it was a disaster. I also tried a combination of the two on a small table runner, which was quite successful and didn't require so many pins. But I normally pin baste and will continue to do so. I find the process quite calming - although I can't usually walk afterwards!
    Love the ROYGBIV quilt - such patience to piece the back as well as the front.

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  20. I'm afraid I'm a spray basting convert - but I love your method of pinning. The quilt is absolutely stunning! Jxo

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  21. I use both methods...depends on the quilt. I really like the fusible batting for the smaller quilts too. Great tutorial and thanks for the mention.

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  22. I pin baste just this way. It always takes me forever if I'm doing anything larger than a baby quilt. I don't haven't had any pucker problems since the first couple of times I tried it. I definitely prefer sore knees from my hardwood floor to breathing the spray fumes or paying for the cans of glue!

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  23. the giant log cabin looks great from both sides, thanks for showing it from the other side, too.
    I pin baste more or less in the same manner if the quilt fits my not so very big space in the bedroom or if my kind friend lends me her floor.

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  24. This quilt is gorgeous!

    I only pin baste. I use enough chemicals setting charcoal drawings that I don't want to use more for quilting, especially when pins are available. :)

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  25. I'm even more old fashioned - I stitch baste my quilts but may have to change as it may be easier to machine quilt this way - only used to quilt by hand before!

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  26. I also only pin-baste! LOL I fins that it works very well.

    Mary
    http://www.quiltgenius.com

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  27. I also use this method to sandwich and pin baste including the moving of furniture :D Great tutorial! Your quilt is lovely.

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  28. I just discovered this post through the giveaway-blog hopping - And I really like the idea about pins - I was taught to use a "upholstery" needle as thei are bend into almost a half circle to do what you do with the pins with a thread, it takes ages ... and its fumbly making the knot not too firm or loose
    Will have to put those pins on the wish-list

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  29. And here I am thinking that everyoe is pin basting but me. BUt I thread baste. :-)

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  30. Pin basting strikes me as the best way to go. Thanks for te tute!

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  31. Pining always seems to me like the better way to go. I enjoyed reading about your process, thanks!

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  32. beautiful quilt! Just saw it at Quiltstory. I use the exact same method! The process is almost a meditation for me! Except for the sore back.

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  33. Thanks for the tutorial, it came up first on google. I just pin basted my first quilt and wanted to make sure I had enough pins.
    I think I'm a convert, but we'll see how quilting goes. =) My quilt was smaller, so it wasn't much more time or effort, and A LOT less messy than spray basting has been in the past.

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  34. How do you pin without messing up your hardwood floor when the quilt it taped to the floor?

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  35. My wife and I pin bast. I tried the spray bast and hated the messy sticky crap that it caused in the machine pin basting all the way for me.

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  36. Great tutorial! But I'd like to repeat debshoe's question... how do you get the pins through all 3 layers, and then back up, without 'stabbing' or marking your wooden floor? I find it very tricky to get the pins through when it's taped down. Any tips for that part of the process please?! Thanks

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  37. ps: your quilt top and back are both amazing!!!

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