Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why I DON'T Hate Basting... And You?


Time after time, whether it's on blogs, Instagram, Facebook, or whatever social media people are using, I hear the majority of quilters grumbling and mumbling over their least favorite step of the quilting process... basting. Aching knees and backs are top of the list of annoyances, and I often wonder if my newbie quilter naivety gets the better of me trying to figure out why the mere thought of basting is almost like a curse word.

With all this in consideration, I have to say that I am lucky to have an extremely talented and experienced quilter in my family. The unfortunate part of the story is that I did not start quilting until I moved to Germany. So, all those tips and short cuts have to be shared from abroad, or crunched into all too short visiting times when we can travel home. This past summer while traveling home, my aunt shared with me how she bastes quilts, which I thought I would share with you. I really have to say that this method is probably the very reason why I don't hate basting:


Granted, I realize that not everyone has space in their home for this technique, but I am blessed with at least a little space to spread out. I have four 1m x 70 cm Ikea tables that I scoot together. My aunt uses a foldable buffet table, and even elevates it using four custom cut pvc pipes. (bed risers are a good alternative if you live in the US) I don't use the risers since I would need twelve! I'm sure this method would even work with a good size dining table.


Start by finding the center of your table. This is easy and obvious in my case, but you could also mark your center with a toothpick that had been taped to the table center. It is also helpful to mark the center of the tops and sides of your table (you'll use these markings later) I then fold my quilt backing in half wrong sides together and then in half again. This gives you the center of your quilt back. Place the folded corner on the marked center of your table.


Gently unfold the quilt backing on one side. Here I unlfolded the length of the table and used a paper weight to keep the backing from slipping. Then you can gently unfold the rest of the quilt back. Smooth the quilt back in place.


Here comes the fun part of visiting your local hardware store to find something that is generally not used for quilting, but seems as if it was just made for it! Smooth the quilt back out and using plastic clamps, secure the quilt back to the table. I generally clip one or two clamps on one side, and then clamp one or two on the other side until the quilt back is properly taut.


Repeat same steps with the batting, smoothing as you go.


Carefully remove the clamp from the quilt back and re-clamp to the table, now with both the batting and the quilt back. 



Repeat again with the quilt top, but this time right sides together. Be sure to align your quilt top up with the markings that you have on your table. (center, and side and top centers) 


Carefully remove the clamps and re-clamp now all three layers including the quilt top to the table, smoothing as you go.



Now you are ready to start pinning! I usually use a rolling chair and sit while I am pinning, and can easily scoot from section to section. I have to admit that I was a little surprised how quickly this went, even with taking pictures!

(***NOTE*** no cuss words were used in the production of this basting project) 


How do you baste your quilts? Any tips? Do you use this method or a completely different method?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday.

21 comments:

  1. This is a seriously cool post. Thanks for sharing your tips with us =)

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  2. Wow, that's a great method to baste a quilt!!! Wonderful! I just have to find a table or so to do it this way. I heard from someone that she is using a table-tennis table for basting, that way her back doesn't hurt. But your method with the clamps is just perfect! Thanks for sharing!
    Sandra

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  3. You have a great set up for basting, Allison. You sure can't beat making basting a sit down job! Looking forward to enjoying seeing this one quilted. It's gorgeous!

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  4. Great tutorial! I do something similar myself although my table probably isn't as big as your tables pushed together. I like your process of finding the middle and I'll try that the next time.

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  5. Brilliant!!! I am stealing this for sure!!!!

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  6. Wow, I need some clamps! I have the tables...usually full of other things ;) but I usually pin mine to the floor into the indoor/outdoor carpet of the basement. Thanks for the tips!

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  7. I wish I had table for my basting (and room)! Great idea! I don't hate basting either. I pin to my carpet, and while the knees hate it...me not so much. I also use a kwik klip tool for the pins. It saves a lot of wear and tear on the fingers!

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  8. SQUEAL!! You're basting Facing East!! :-)
    I don't hate basting, but it's not like *my favorite* or anything ;-) It's just part of the process. Kinda like doing laundry. I don't hate it; I don't love it ~ it's just part of life.
    I've tried basting on my dining table before, but it really isn't big enough... I basted the last baby quilt I made on the wall and oh my gosh, THAT was awesome!
    I'm so excited to see what you do with this basted beauty!!

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  9. That's a great method, I usually pin the quilt to the lounge carpet, first shutting out my dogs, and I have to finish and vacuum before they are allowed back in and husband comes home. Won't be able to do that when the new hard flooring goes down. Like Jayne I have a kiwi klip, it cut my basting time in half, and no sore fingers.

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  10. Such a good post, I have tables I could use that aren't quite as large but I am sure I could at least baste half using this method then slide it over and do the other half. Might be a trip to the hardware shop in my future I think.

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  11. Great tips for basting - I will definitely bookmark this page. Thanks. And I LOVE the quilt you are basting, BTW.

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  12. I use a similar method, basting using our large 1m/yd x 2m/yd dining/homeschool table. I use masking tape instead of clamps to secure the edges and start by spreading and basting the top half/third of the quilt, relocating it to them baste the lower/next section. I thread baste.

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  13. I've only ever basted on the floor once and frankly, once was enough. Since then I've been using a table but will definitely add the clamps into the mix - thanks for the tip. And no I don't hate basting, it means the quilt will soon be finished and I get excited when I can see a finish in sight!

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  14. Never seen this technique before but it looks great. Luckily I now don't have to baste quilts before they go on the frame!

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  15. So far I am doing spray basting. Mostly on the floor. I am glad I can avoid the pins this way even though I am not sure about the quality of spray basting...

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  16. I don't hate basting as much as I should (explained here: https://grannymaudsgirl.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/dear-jane-did-it-hurt/. It is nice that you have a big area to set up your table. For me, it is not the basting but the clearing space that usually causes me grief. Furniture gets moved, dust bunnies are found, a cleaning frenzy starts and I get high on cleaning product fumes. That is never going to end well. :(

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  17. I recently discovered this same technique and tried on a baby quilt. It worked beautifully! I glue baste it with washable school glue and it's much easier to do it on the table in sections with this method than trying to do it on the floor!

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  18. OMG, I so need to get a bigger table!!! Basting really is my least favourite part of quilting for the obvious reasons (knees, back etc.). Thanks for sharing your method, I really have to try this out!

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  19. I use the same method of basting with a few differences. I mark the center of my table with skewers taped down with painter's tape. This allows me to feel the center through the batting and the top. I use jumbo office clips to secure my quilt to the table. I really like the clips you use. What are the called?

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  20. That's the method I use except I place a piece of cardboard that covers the whole top of the table. Then I pin directly into the cardboard, so I don't have to use clamps. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. This is the method I was taught when I first started quilting by Wendy Butler Berns in her CRAFTSY class online. She shows on detail how to do this and gives a couple more tips :-)

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