Monday, January 13, 2014

Ready to Quilt!

Last Saturday, I spent the day preparing backings and bindings.  Today, I spent the morning basting four quilts. 

How I baste my quilts...

I am always a little afraid to admit how I do things, thinking that the quilt police may come after me.  But I figure that I have basted and quilted more than 100 quilts and table runners this way, and it works for me.  If it isn't broke, why fix it? 

With that said, I use small T-pins to pin my backing to the floor wrong side up.  Then I lay my batting over it and use Sullivan's Basting Spray on the back of the batting one half at a time. Then I lay my quilt top over the batting.  I use the spray again.  (I only use safety pins if I have minky for the backing.)

I know some people are concerned about the over spray of the basting spray.  I am just very careful to always point the spray towards the center of the quilt.  If I push lightly on the spray then it doesn't really have much over spray.  (Plus I figure if I get my carpet a little, I can just use my big carpet cleaner.)  My husband knows I do this, and he has never complained.  :o)

It looks like this:

Then I take out the T-pins and trim the batting and backing about a half inch away from the edge of the top.  I have found that the layers do not shift much and that half inch is enough room for me.  (I have less problems with the backing flipping over and getting caught in the quilting this way.)  The first thing I will do when quilting is put on my walking foot and use a basting stitch around the edge. 

This is what it looks like after trimming:

This is my Double Slice layer cake quilt.  I added more of the beige background as a border to make the blue rectangles float.  Cheetah and I will probably call this quilt "Seeing Double."  He didn't approve of some of the other names I came up with, like "Blue Whimsy." 

I also basted this baby quilt which I added borders to.  Cheetah named this one, "Winter Joy."

Then I decided to pull out two of the quilt tops my sister-in-law made.  (She passed away nearly 8 years ago.)  I figured that I would quilt her tops this year as I am busting my stash.  That way I am using her fabrics to finish these quilts which will go to her boys when the time is right. 

The first one is this "Warm Winter Mittens" quilt. 

The second one is this Northern Wind star variation quilt. 

I wanted to add that I do not normally baste more than one quilt at a time anymore.  I find that if I machine quilt a quilt right after basting without folding it, then I get less tucks and puckers.  But I am being careful about where I lay them to prevent that.  Here they are all stacked up in my craft room on the cutting table:

And here are the bindings (and the quilt hanger for the mittens quilt) all ready to go.  I thought it was funny that I have one binding each with 4, 5, 6, and 7 strips.  The quilts are all different sizes. 

Now, my mom's machine is all set up and I am ready to get quilting.  Thanks, Deb, for the idea about this Ikea light.  ;)  I am so excited to get busy!

I wonder how many I can finish this week...


P.S.  Please let me know if anyone wants more pictures of my basting process. 


  1. Jasmine, I pin my quilt sandwiches the same way, except I use safety pins instead of spray. I, too, only leave about a half inch to an inch of batting around the quilt, but I don't trim until it's quilted. I don't normally baste the edges but the last quilt I quilted the back shrunk more than the from so from now on I'll be using a basting stitch around the edges. What a lot of progress you made on that eye candy. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Before I got my long arm, I use to spray baste my quilts too. I found it much easier than dealing with the bulk of pins. 505 adhesive spray is great stuff!
    Your quilts are darling!

  3. Happy quilting to you! I have a bad knee so basting on the floor is not my thing. My cutting table is big enough to baste most of my projects on and I have a couple of folding tables in the garage for bigger ones. I've been trying to break my addiction to spray basting by pinning some smaller ones. I drape a plastic drop cloth over my table to catch the overspray and use a bit of Goo Be Gone on the laminate floor when needed.

    I love having a few quilts basted and ready to go... Doing them in batches works well for me. I drape them over a futon in the family room or use pants hangers over the top of my design wall.

  4. Your quilts are wonderful! I have used basting spray, spray and pins and pins. I always end up going back to just pins. I also do not leave a lot of extra around my quilts. The last one I did, I was barely eeking out enough for the quilt. It did work out but I was holding my breath!! :)


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