Sunday, February 6, 2011

Quilting and Basting, or Bastng and Quilting

I do put pins in to baste, Monika,...
Actually, I spent a couple of hours this morning basting,
As you might guess, I do this on the floor of my sewing room.  I smooth out the backing and tape it down to the floor, with the "wrong side" up.  Then, I smooth the batting over it, then the quilt top. 
After that I spill out a bunch of safety pins and sit cross-legged on the floor, and then on the quilt, as I put them in, starting at one end and working my way to the other end.  As you can see, I don't put them too close together, maybe 6 inches apart. 
When I start quilting, I often do "In the ditch" alongside the borders, or any long pieces like that.
Then, I go all around the outside of the quilt and trim off the extra batting and backing fabric. 
 I do that because so often I've accidentally gotten the extra backing folded over and quilted onto the back of the quilt, and have had to unpick all that.
So, then I often take out the pins that are close to the straight stitch quilting.  I like to take pins out.  I don't like when they click on stuff.  I also don't like to stop in the midst of free motion quilting to remove a pin, so I usually try to maneuver around them, and then take out a whole bunch of them at the same time. 
Also, I don't tend to start at the middle and work out.  Instead, I seem to start at one side and do 4 or 5 " passes from the top to the bottom, moving from the right side toward the center of the quilt. 
I haven't had too much bad luck doing it this way, although I probably do get the backing bunching up a little from time to time.  But, that's just what I am able to do, which isn't perfect, but it's do-able.
And, I am happy that I was able to take some quilt tops to a long-arm quilter to do this past week.  And! I have a few more ready to take as well.  There are still a couple of tops that need backings and borders, but the stack is much depleted. 
I had a few smaller projects, like the Christmas one I did yesterday that don't exactly make me really excited to finish, but I am trying hard to feel enthusiastic about them.  There was some sort of reason why I started those projects, and if I do finish them, then it is possible that they can be used and liked by someone, if not necessarily by me. 
Oh yeah, I do have a "tip" that I thought of when I read "your" (Monika's) post last week on bindings.
This is:  As soon as I finish the quilt top, I cut the binding for the quilt.  Then I have a special container where I place the bindings so that they don't get mixed up with my other fabric and accidentally used for something else. 


  1. i never thought of taping the backing to the floor....doh!
    and i like the way the alphabet bits look....
    very nice!

  2. Thanks Michelle!! Funny. That is just how i do it! I pin, stitsh in the ditch, remove pins and quilt in sections. I hate pins. I got so excited when i saw no pins in the last quilt of yours.:-)

  3. It looks like you are getting lots accomplished these days!

  4. Interesting post - this is exactly how you described it to me in the store the other day. OK - so now I'm going upstairs to practise on a baby quilt. Then I will cut the binding and leave it handy so I can put in on in a few days - that is the craziness of only one project at a time!! Although I did sort thru and pick out materials for the crazy quilt wall hanging from your big bin you lent me. That's what is up next after the baby quilt.
    You are always such an inspiration with the amount that you do and still manage to blog (don't go look at mine - I haven't updated it yet!!!).


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