Monday, February 16, 2009

Basting a large quilt

I was at my PAQA (Professional Art Quilters Alliance)meeting last week and a discussion came up about basting a large quilt. So I thought I would share with you guys how I do it.

First thing I do is set up two or three large plastic molded tables that I have, you can get these at Home Depot or Menards, I have lots of them and use them for all sorts of stuff. I put these in my living room, because is is light and warm and easy to do it here, rather than a dark or dank garage or basement.
Then I roll out my batting and let it rest. I also iron it flat on top of the two or three tables that are pushed together. I like to iron it so it gets all the wrinkles out of the batting.

Next I iron out my backing fabric. I use a spray sizing when I am ironing it so that the back of the batting is kinda slick and slides around easier on my surface when I am quilting.

After the batting and backing have been ironed I tape the backing to the top of the tables. I use packing tape to do this so it holds firm to the tables. I stretch the backing fabric so it is nice and smooth. Then I place the batting on top of the backing and smooth it out.

Finally I place the quilt top on the batting and iron it smooth from the center out to the edges.

I use 1.5 size safety pins to pin it every 4-5 inches across the whole top. I start in the center and work my self out to the edges. I pin a large X across the center and then go back and fill in each quarter from the center out.

Once it is all pinned I cut the sandwich off of the table leaving a good 2-3 inches all around the edges. Then I take my sandwich to a comfortable chair and sit in front of the TV and while I am watching some thing interesting on TV I close all the pins. I am always looking for things to do in front of the TV so that I don't feel like I am wasting time watching the tube.


kathy york said...

Nice description and great pictures! I use a grapefruit spoon to close the pins. It has a serrated edge on the front of the spoon and the pin tips are easy to lift off the flat surface and hold. Never thought of cut the quilt loose and closing the pins like you do. I might have to give that a try!

Carmen Rose said...

That's a lovely quilt you're working on, hope you'll show it one it is quilted! I never thought of ironing batting, learn something new every day!

Jane Moxey said...

Hi Frieda:
Are you ironing directly onto your table or do you put something underneath for that ironing part? Gorgeous quilt. Can't wait to see the finished loveliness! Cheers!

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

I have tables like that! Never thought to use them for doing my basting. Great Idea.

Melody said...

Loving your quilt already, and so happy to see it as a BIG one.

Karen Ponischil said...

Hi Frieda, Thanks for sharing your basting method. It's very helpful. I'd love to know your blocking techniques too.

Bren said...

Hi Frieda,
Great idea with the tables--I will use that for my next big quilt. I have never ironed my batting--another lesson to learn.
Thanks --Excited about seeing the finished quilt when its done.

JoAnn Deck said...

Thank you, Frieda, I think I can do that !!! The photos are a tremendous help, being a very visual person and all.

Anne Lullie said...

Lovely quilt & explanation; Very timely as well! I also tell my students that they may be able to use the tables at their local quilt store; and get some help & compliments also! Anne

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