Today’s Topic: Four Ways to Baste a Quilt
Welcome to Week Eighteen of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
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Good Morning, Quilters!
I am back from a fabulous week of sunshine and sea shelling on Sanibel Island, Florida. I had a lovely time soaking in the sunshine and rejuvenating on the white sandy shores with my sisters-in-law. We thoroughly enjoyed Florida hospitality while visiting the Shell Museum, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the Edison and Ford winter estates. One of the highlights of our trip was a ride on the Thriller Boat where a pod of dolphins swam alongside us, jumping and playing in our wake! And of course, no vacation is complete without checking out the local quilt shop. We recommend Three Crafty Ladies-a small but very complete quilt and craft shop!
Photos and sea inspired tutorials to follow…
(NOTE-Today is Prime Day on Amazon…Great deals all day. Please support LKQ by using the link above for all of your shopping–at no additional cost–Thank you!)
For now, back to week 18 of our 25 week QAL based on my book, 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Quilt Basting is VERY Important
To be honest, basting quilts is one of my least favorite parts of quilting. Basting is often the rate-limiting factor in completing my quilts.
However, it is a necessary evil and an important one.
Basting improperly will lead to very disappointing results! Do not rush through this step. And whenever possible, recruit a friend. Two people can baste two quilts faster than one person can baste one quilt. (How’s that for quilting math?)
Four Ways to Baste a Quilt
Over the years, I’ve used four methods for basting my quilts. For all four methods, the quilt layers must be smoothed out, secured tautly to a surface and then layered. The difference in the methods is how the layers are adhered to one another.
The four ways to baste a quilt are: Thread, Iron, Pin and Spray.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each method.
After the layers are secured on a table or floor, they are stitched together with long basting stitches.
Pros: This method works best for hand quilting. There are no pins to interfere with hooping the quilt and threads can remain in the quilt for years (It took me four years to hand quilt a queen size quilt!)
Cons: This is the most time consuming method. The thread gets caught in free motion quilting.
Overall: Best for hand quilting, avoid for free motion quilting
Layers of a small quilt with cotton batting may be adhered by steam pressing.
Pros: Very quick!
Cons: Only suitable for small quilts (under 24 x 24 inches). Only works with cotton and some blends of batting–test first!
Overall: My favorite method for small quilts. Add pins in each corner so the backing doesn’t flip in on the edges.
Layers of the quilt are secured on a table and then pinned with safety pins.
Pros: Quicker than thread basting. Works for any size quilt. Safety pins hold the quilt very securely so no shifting occurs. Pins are easy to remove while quilting.
Cons: Pins add weight to the quilt. More time consuming than spray basting.
Quilt top and backing are sprayed with adhesive and layered.
Pros: Quickest method for large quilts. No pins which add weight to the quilt. No need to remove pins while stitching.
Cons: If you don’t have a large open wall or table, this method can be awkward. May require a step stool or ladder. More likely to have layers shift than pinning. The entire quilt must be pressed from the top and the back after layering…again, somewhat awkward. Requires use of a spray adhesive.
My Favorite Quilt Basting Methods
When I am making a small quilt with cotton batting, I always Iron/Press Baste.
If the quilt is small and I’m not using cotton batting, I usually spray baste.
For large quilts, I usually pin baste, though I think spray basting is an excellent option and one I need to practice.
- How to Pin Baste a Quilt, Step by Step
- Preparing Small Pieced Quilts for upcoming lessons
- Quick Halloween Ideas
What about YOU?
Do YOU enjoy quilt basting?
Which is YOUR favorite method for quilt basting?
Do YOU have any tips or tricks for making it easier?
Are YOU a sea shell collector/artist?
We’d LOVE to hear!
YOUR Relaxed and Rejuvenated Quilter,
PS…Tom doesn’t like basting either!
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you!
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