Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How Do You Baste Your Big Quilts?

I'd planned on posting sooner but life has been happening and I just haven't had the chance to post.  Also apparently Google removed my blog for a bit. My MIL and SIL tried to visit my blog and it said it was removed. I tried to log into my Google account and couldn't until I gave them my mobile number. Looks like all is well now. Strange though.
Our homeschool year is well underway and is going well. In my spare time I've been working on a small quilt that I will show to you once it is mailed and received by it's new owner! I've hand quilted just a few blocks on my hand pieced quilt. I've been feeling great and have really wanted to use this time, before the winter and the baby comes, to cross a few home improvements off of my list. I've been tearing down old wallpaper and borders. This is the first home we have owned and it is so exciting to fix things the way you want them. So I'm preparing to paint. I can't wait to paint our bedroom. It's pretty funky. If Pepto Bismol had a brother, it would be the color of our room. Pepto Blue.


I'm already thinking of my "someday quilt wall" and have most of my small and mini quilts gathered to finally make my wall. So after I paint I'll start. Yay!


I pulled out my "Sweet" quilt today after school. It's gigantic, for me anyway. I should have basted it at our old house. I had a really big kitchen floor that was great for basting. Now I don't have any floor space big enough to baste a quilt this size.. I have a carpeted area that is big enough but not sure I'll get all the puckers out of the backing or even how to go about that. I don't use spray baste and especially won't use it while I'm pregnant. So I'm wondering if you all have any creative tips on basting this mammoth? I'm all ears!!!


47 comments:

Heather A said...

Inquiring readers are eager for some good suggestions on this topic as well! I have exactly the same issue. What to do? What to do?

Colleen said...

Wow! What fun doing your home your way! Congrats! I bast quilts on carpet at my parents because I live in a narrow town home. I pin the back with large pins right to the rug. I smooth smooth smooth, and then smooth batting on top and then top. It usually works pretty well. Good luck!

Rachel said...

Well, I just recently tried something new (to me). I was faced with basting a huge (105x105) quilt. I tried this out on a smaller quilt first and it worked great...so I used it on the monster and it came out fantastic! I basted the monster in sections on my dining room table using Elmer's washable school glue. I have since used it on several smaller quilts and it has been awesome. Basting is my LEAST favorite part of the quilting process. This made it so easy and it worked really well for me :-) Hope that helps or sparks an idea for you!

Rachel said...

P.S. It quilted fine on my home machine, and washed out as expected :-)

Barb said...

Good luck with the homeschooling...I did it for about 10 years.

Love the quilt on the bed.

heather said...

I've pinned to carpet and I've also duct taped the edges of the backing down so I can pull it smooth.

Cindy said...

I baste all my quilts on a table. (crawled around on the floor once and never again!). Center the backing on the table and tape or clip it taut. Center the batting, then center the quilt, smoothing it out. I safety pin every 4", but wait to close them until the section on the table is pinned. Close the pins, unclip and move the quilt to one side. Clip the backing to the table, smooth everything out and pin what's on the table. Repeat with each section. It sounds like a lot of work, but I can baste a huge quilt in 2 hours. Love your "Sweet" quilt. That was one of my favorite lines!

Newbie Jen said...

I do the same thing as Cindy on my dining room table (note, this table has already been trashed by the kids, so I don't mind a few scratches from pins); the table is approximately 5 x 3 1/2. It works great and I haven't had any trouble with puckers on the back from doing the pinning in sections, as long as I start pinning close to the last section of pins. I tried pinning on the floor, but my back protested. And I've tried spray basting on the garage floor, but for big quilts spray baste can be tricky. I keep going back to the table.

trish said...

Hi Erin. Oh just look at all those adorable mini quilts!! Your wall will be precious!! :o)
As for your large quilt, I baste on the floor (it hurts my knees and back though) but I have also
found that basting on a table works well. No more bending. :o) Depending on the size, I like to
tape the edges to give a snug backing to pin. Not too tight though. I hope that helps.
Have a fabulous school year! It is strange that I am not longer homeschooling after so many years.

Toni said...

Pepto Blue sounds like a good way to describe the color that was in most of the rooms of our house when we bought it! Have fun making that house yours! As far as basting, I always baste on carpet because that is the only space available. I tape the backing down with painter's tape then layer and pin. I do sometimes get puckers, but I think that is more a function of me just not taking my time to get it perfect. My mom was here after I had Jill and she basted a quilt for me on the carpet and I didn't get any puckers, so it can be done, just not by me!

vintage grey said...

Hi Sweet Erin!! Look at all your pretty quilts!! Can't wait to see your wall! Wish I could help with the basting. I just do mine on the floor, but have a hard time with larger quilts because of the space. Happy school year and quilting! xo Heather

Megan said...

Pepto Blue could be the next Crayola color! My mother always followed a technique similar to Cindy's. She used an antique table in the dining room, since it was the biggest table in the house. She bought a regular old door at a home improvement store to cover the table's surface and protect the finish. GOOD LUCK crossing things off your to do list before your Big Arrival! Basting can be a tedious process. I finally started listening to music or talking on speakerphone to friends while I baste to help pass the time.

Missy Shay said...

I took my king size quilt to church and basted it in the fellowship hall!

Marian said...

Love the quilts, they will be fantastic, and so will your wall!

I too have no space and the only space big enough is carpeted. I just tape heavily to the carpet, and make sure I smooth it out as best I can and then pin, but it did take a while to "feel" when I'd gotten through all three layers, but not the carpet...I've never had any major puckering disasters so I think it works ok. I'm sure yours will turn out!!

Laura Ann said...

I've pinned my quilt on the kitchen table depending on the size.. Or I head over to my parent's home, they have floor space big enough for me to in huge monsters.. Tho, I prefer doing it on the table just cause then I don't kill my back..

Cheree @ The Morning Latte said...

Years ago, before our basement was finished, I would do it on the cement floor down there. We have wood flooring in our dining room so I slide the table to the side and use that surface--which works really well for me but it does get to be a little hard on the back after a while for a big quilt. I know a lot of people will go to their church where there might be a room with tables that can be put together? I've considered doing that just to save my back!

Lyn said...

I baste my large quilts on my bed. I have a chenille bedspread that does a pretty good job of grabbling the backing fabric. I start in a corner and work my way across the quilt diagonally. I tried basting on the floor a couple of times and the bed works better for me.

Heather said...

It is so much work to "update" a house, but it is really worth it to get it the way you want, You'll love the change.

I always baste my quilts on my living room floor, which is carpeted. I tape the backing down nice and tight, spread the batting over the backing, and cut it to the size of the backing, then spread the top over it all, and tape it down nice and tight. I then use safety pins to hold it together. I know it's not the easiest, but I always have good results. Good luck!!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

You are sounding very amnbitious.
As for basting....I have two fold up banquet tables in my tiny basement and do wht Cindy says - a section at a time. WAY better than on your knees anywhere.

Heidi Staples said...

I always do my basting on the family room carpet. It's not ideal, but it's the best I can do.

Pepto Bismol blue...that our room when we moved in four years ago. It's now a restful shade of green and my favorite room in the house. :)

Gina said...

I love all the quilts for your wall!! You must be in your 2nd trimester, you are so ambitious!! Have fun with the painting and nesting!!

Brenis said...

Erin, the best investment i think I've ever made (originally for our patio and guests) are 2 eight foot long plastic colapsable tables from costco!! They were $30 each and store upright in our garage when not in use, and take up very little space! When its time to baste, i clear the middle of our family room and butt them up next to each other, and it gives me 8ftx6ft of workable space. Granted i only have a foot on each side of the table to walk around! Lol but its alot better than being on hands and knees trying not to kill your smooth sandwhich! :) The big quilts have hang over on the edges, but its easily pulled to one side and then the other. Your back doesnt break, it goes very quickly, and i'm never worried about digging down through the layers and nicking the table! They have truly been a God send! AND i will usually wait until i have two or three to baste, and get them all done in an afternoon or two! Best sixty bucks i have ever spent! :)

Shontelle said...

I have no answer - I cheat and my longarming Mum quilts all of mine. I just wanted to say how lovely your sweet quilt is.

Indianna said...

I use 505 spray glue.....love it. Also agree that you might find a local hall/library/church and maybe a few willing hands - I use our village hall where our quilt club meet. Best of luck as the quilt is looking lovely.

Sarah said...

I baste on carpet and it works, but I've already decided anything much larger than a lap quilt can go to Quilts by Phyllis! I provide the batting and backing, then do the binding myself and it ends up being very affordable.

Kim said...

I've not tried this yet, but Sharon Schamber has a method using hand basting and boards that she makes look easy. She demonstrates on a small piece, but says it works well for any size. There is a 2 part video on you tube - if you search Sharon Schamber hand basting it should come up. Just another idea to add to the list. Large quilts are definitely a challenge!

Debbie said...

If something fits on my kitchen floor, that is my preference - taping it down & then spray-bastings. Larger projects get clamped to my dining room table and done in sections. Very like what Cindy above does, except I usually spray baste.

Lisa C said...

Have you tried fusible batting? I have used it on my two largest quilts. My husband helped me by standing on the other side of the ironing board while I handled the iron, etc. I read where others basted in sections. That's an interesting idea!
I got the "bright" of idea of painting our laundry room Pepto Pink. I gave nooooo thought to the fact that it was small and had no natural light. It was AWFUL!!! The color was nice but the location was terrible! Good luck! I love colored walls!

kelli said...

I use Sharon Schamber method on a 5ft table with a 2x4. I use basting pins instead of thread. The table is a 5ft table that you would put up when having a party. I also use heavy clamps to secure the back to the edge of the table. Our church will let me use the reception tables on a Saturday in their reception hall so long as no other event is going on. Those tables are much studier than my $30 "party" table.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA

Good Luck and let us know what you come up with!

Carla said...

It's kind of a pain to leave home, but maybe a church basement? Pins should be no farther apart than a fist. ( personal opinion )
Looking forward to seeing that quilt wall.

Lisa Edgett said...

I always call my local quilt shop to see if i can use their tables, it's easy and they love seeing their fabric put to good use!

Deb said...

You've gotten a lot of good suggestions..about half on the floor and half on a table. I do what another commenter suggested and bought some Costco tables that can be folded when not in use. Works great. I love your pile of little quilts! I know you look forward to some fresh paint! It always warms my heart when I hear of a homeschool mom getting ready to start a new school year. Hope all goes well.

Meg said...

Oh, I'm so glad someone else has this problem, because every time I baste a quilt, in the back of my mind, I think, "Thank goodness no one can see how ridiculous I look."

I have developed a "baste and roll"method for bigger quilts, because I have a very small space on a carpeted area to lay out three layers and baste in my apartment. I start by laying out and smoothing one edge of the back and adding to it the smoothed batting and the top. After about a yard, everything else gets "rolled" (admittedly, not very neatly) together. As long as this little section is neat and flat, I pin it with safety pins, right up to where I have rolled up the rest of it. Then I let out a little more and flatten it, pin it, etc. Eventually, I begin (more neatly) rolling the already-pinned side as I let out more of the quilt to pin. It takes me a bit, but I have never had a problem. Also, because its unrolled little by little, I can get up and walk away when my back starts hurting without feeling like I am leaving a room turned upside-down when I need to stop.

Michelle said...

Maybe you could go visit a friend? Or a local quilt shop maybe? Do you have a decking area, maybe you could try that or perhaps you could make a makeshift table in the carshed? Hope that helps...:O)

HallieBerryQuilts said...

Do you have a local quilt shop that might lend you some assistance? I have also heard that people use their church's fellowship hall. They usually have long banquet tables that you can scoot together and clamp down your top in order to pin baste. Just a thought....

Floss said...

I base on a table if it fits one way I do half at a time, or for bigger I take then to a guild meeting. I also know some quilt store will let you use their classroom if no clases are using them.

Bev said...

Check out senior centers. They usually have a quilt group, big tables and LOVE to help younger quilters!

Cheery wave from
Bev

http://44thstreetfabric.blogspot.com

Jennie said...

I've been mulling this one over quite a bit because I've got a queen-sized quilt to contend with. My best bet is going to be using the gym floor at my church. If that doesn't work, there is a community center with a gym or dance studio I can use.

Hope you find something that works. I can't wait to see your quilt wall!

Victoria said...

Hi Erin, just catching up and wow! I find that you made the move AND are expecting a new baby! CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy for you!!!

MQuilter said...

After trying the pinning method (which was hard on the hands and fingers) and spray basting (which is nasty for the lungs and produced skip stitches in the quilting), I found the Sharon Schamber method of basting. I baste on the dinning room table that I extended to fit whatever size quilt I'm working on, two leaves for a queen size and one leaf for a full. I have two very long boards that were leftovers from a housing project that I use. I use old thread that folks have given me for the basting thread, or I use leftover threads on the bobbins. I watch tv while basting. A queen will take me about two evenings of basting and watching my shows.

Stephanie Farinelli said...

I've tried basting spray, pins, etc... Now, I swear by Sharon Schamer's hand basting method. I bought 2 boards from Home Depot and set them up on a foldable table. My husband prefers this method, too. We use it to baste quilted wallhangings up to king size. I am so impressed how well it works under the machine, without stretching (wings) or tucks! Amazing! I watch her videos. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0057BF1D3CFD2DAA&feature=plcp

Kimberly said...

We have sewing circle at our local library once a month. They have those huge tables and I set them up and baste away. :)

Granny Lin said...

Erin,

I didn't have a space to use other than on a carpeted area so I got all the pieces parts smoothed out (backing, batting and top) as much as possible and then I took my largest cutting mat (from my rotary cutter) and carefully slid it underneath and was able to pin with safety pins from there. When I was done with that are, I just moved it over to the next and pinned some more. The carpet seems to hold it pretty straight once you get it all together.

I found your site because a friend posted about the laundry detergent. I like the site and will return frequently!

Thanks so much,
Linda Flanagan

Susannah::An Art Nest said...

I 'borrow' my daughter's dance teacher's studio during school hours when no one is using it...perfect for basting quilts. I like the safety pin method :)

Karen Patrick said...

I baste mine on carpet using "T" pins to hold the backing down and then I just use safety pins to baste. No puckers in the backing at all.

Lorna McMahon said...

I don't know if anyone else made this suggestion.... I have four 1" x 2" lengths of wood. I think it is what you would use to quilt by hand; a quilting frame. You can use 'C' clamps to hold the ends at the corners or just put a couple screws in the ends. I then use thumbtacks to hold the edges of my backing on the frame and keep it taut. Then spread out my batting and top. And pin it all up. This method does not require washing the floor. OR hollering for help to get up off the floor when you are done basting. Let me know if you would like pictures of this idea in use.

Ann said...

Hi,
As you posted this over a year ago you have likely done lots more quilts by now, but for interest sake you may be interested in my quilting frame:
Mulberry Millie Upright Quilt Basting Frame, an Australian Invention (by me), you can Google it if you are interested.
I am selling the frame in the
USA and have now started selling the Plan/pattern as it is the cheapest option for prospective purchasers.
Just another way to get the basting done!

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