Week 5 Learn to Quilt Charity Quilt Along

Part 1- Basting a Quilt for Quilting

This week we are basting and there is no turkey involved!  There are several methods to the process of basting a quilt. I will explain them in writing and if you go to my YouTube channel, my video describes it really well.

Method #1 Pin Method

Ensuring the backing binding and top are all the correct size is beneficial for basting success.

This magnetic storage disk is super handy to keep track of your pins.

Specialized pins help with basting success.

Spray Basting

This is my preferred method of basting because there are no disruptions when quilting. Setting up the quilt for basting is the same method as the pin basting. Tape the backing to the surface wrong side up. Place the batting on top of the backing and then the top is laid on top.  Ensure that the backing is at least 3 inches larger than the top on all four sides. The batting should be 2 inches larger than the quilt. 

Once all the layers are cut to size, they are ready for basting. Spray the wrong sides of the quilt top and backing. Never spray the batting because it will just absorb the spray and be wasted. Read the instructions of your spray basting before using. I find great success by shaking the can really well. Also use a light mist. I like to think of a very light mist of snow covering the fabric. When the surface is sprayed, lay the batting on top of the backing and smooth out the batting assuring no wrinkles or puckers. Once the batting is in place, lay the top on the batting and repeat the process of smoothing out the top. 

Ensure the backing, batting and top are all the correct size. Spray the wrong sides of the top and backing.

Now that all three layers are attached, take off the tape. Here is my secret tip for success- press the quilt sandwich on both sides to help adhere the quilt. If the backing is synthetic like minky or polar fleece, do not press it. When the adhesive is pressed there will be a great seal and better success.

My preferred spray is Odif 505. There are other sprays out there in the market. I would encourage you to experiment with then and see what works best for you.

Preparing the backing

If basting with pins or spray baste, the quilt needs to be attached in a secure  way so that there are no wrinkles or folds when quilting. To avoid hurting the knees by basting on the ground, depending on the size of the quilt you could use a large table, ping pong table, utility tables.

Method of creating the sandwich. Place the backing on the surface with the good side down. It is important to endure that your backing is ‘square’ meaning that the sides are the same and the ends are the same measurement.

If your backing is cotton use painters or masking tape, minimum of 1 inch. For flannel or minky I like to use packing tape. Smooth out the backing and with a tape 5 inches or so place the tape lengthwise half on the fabric and half along where you are fixing it to. Always work in opposites, start at the centre top and then centre bottom. Tape the top right corner then the bottom left corner. Now the top left and then the bottom right.  Continue around the quilt till the backing is well secured.  Ensure that the fabric is not pulled tight, just flat.

Check out my YouTube channels for a full presentation of how to accomplish this task.

Quilt Frame

If you have access to quilt frames this is a great way to attach all three layers of the quilt together. Here are a few examples of quilt frames that can be used to quilt: here and here. If you are using this method the quilt can be hand quilted, tied, or basted and then quilted on a domestic machine.

Sitting and quilting with friends what could be better?

Tying quilts is a very efficient method of finishing a quilt and can be done with a group sitting around the frame. I have many memories as a child playing under a quilt frame while my mom and her friends tied quilts in the  church gym. The whole tradition of quilting bees and community gatherings were surrounded around frames with quilts on them.

Long Arm Quilter

Can get it basted from a long arm quilter. I am the proud owner of a Gammill Statler Stitcher and provide this service for my clients. I pin the backing onto the front and back rollers. I them attach the batting on then the top goes on next. I can baste the stitches however wide the client wishes. I recommend that the basting should be 3-4 inches apart.

Basting stitches done on the long arm.

Basting on the Wall

This is a method that can be used with a vertical design wall or taping the backing directly on the wall. I have included a fabulous video of how the quilt was basted using the wall here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwUYS_EYkxg. 

Using a design wall made with hanging batting, place a row of nails along the top of the ceiling about 8 inches apart. Attach safety pins in the cut out batting that you will use for your quilt and hang the batting up on the design wall. Spray the wrong side of the backing and smooth it out on the batting using the design wall as a support. Now that the backing is on the batting, reverse the batting so that the backing is facing the wall and repeat the same process with the quilt top. Once the top is adhered to the batting you are good to go!

A modification of this is to spray the wrong sides of the backing and quilt top outside. The design wall is made of styrofoam or particle board so that the backing can be pinned into the board and be stabile. Once the backing is smooth and put on how you like it, put up the batting and then the top.

Basting Round Up

I am so curious about your experience with basting. What works best for you? Please share. I also encourage you to try something new.


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