Quilting Question

Quilting Question

Quilters, when preparing a bed quilt for quilting, how do you keep all the layers of your sandwich together–basting stitches, pinning (safety pins or straight), or spray? (Asking for a friend.) Please answer in the comments below.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

10 responses »

  1. I use a professional long arm quilter! She puts the 3 layers on the quilting frame! If you are not using a professional long arm quilter than using safety pins is the best choice! If it’s a small table runner or small wall hanging than a basting spray can be used! Happy quilting! Remember this: “What quilters make with their hands they give with their hearts”!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve tried all the basting methods mentioned, and they all work, up to a point. There’s also a relatively new basting powder, marketed by Alex Anderson I think. You sprinkle it between the layers and iron to fuse it. Regardless of method, one strategy that works is to drape the quilt over a single table, letting the parts that hang over the side provide enough weight to help pull out the wrinkles. Baste the center section on the table, then use a second table or some chairs to hold 2/3 of the quilt while basting the outer thirds. Whew! Let’s find a good long-armer!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have tried lots of techniques too.
    Ladies in my quilt group go to their church and push 3 big tables together so they can spread out the backing, and they use painter’s tape to hold it in place. Then they put down the batting and then the top, and then they use lots of pins.

    I have tried wrapping each layer around a heavy 2 x 4, laying them together on one long table, and then hand basting with large stitches. It took forever but I enjoyed listening to good podcasts while I worked.

    Mostly I just wait for a nice clear day, go outside, and use two tables pushed together. I spread out the batting, lay the backing on top and try to get it wrinkle free. I weight it down, and then lift one quarter at a time and spray basting spray onto the backing, drop it onto the batting, and smooth quickly! Repeat for each quarter. Then lift the whole thing and flip it over so the backing is on the table. Place the top as the top layer, smooth, weight it down. Apply basting spray to each quarter as before. Then use about 50 pins to hold the whole thing together. (I have had good luck with the June Taylor spray from WalMart.)

    Definitely my least favorite part of quilting. I usually wait for a day when I can really concentrate, and I do two bed size or three crib size quilts the same day, to get it over with. Then I feel like I have accomplished a lot!

    I will say that both the hand-basted and the sprayed stay together well until I can get to them to quilt them.

    But long-arming seems the best way to go to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My go-to method has always been to move the kitchen table into the family room, wash the kitchen floor, spread out the backing, tape it down, sandwich the other layers, and pin. The kitchen table I have now has a very heavy glass top, and I can’t move it. Also, I don’t think my floor space is big enough for the quilt I need to finish. (Besides, my back gets really sore, and so does my backside, and my knees. Getting old is for the birds!) I guess I really have to get that stand-up machine.


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