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Quilt Backing Fabric and Basting Spray

Doris asks...

I cannot believe that I forgot to tape my backing down...

I have made other quilts before and this time was the first time I used a spray basting adhesive and I was a little nervous and forgot to tape the backing down. I never thought of it and continued putting my sandwich together and now I am stippling it. I just realized that I did not tape it down.

Will my quilt be okay? It appeared to be smooth to me.

Julie replies...

First, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I know I've made my share of whoopsies! As recently as last machine applique project I just finished.

So you're in good company!

To answer your question, it really depends on how well the adhesive adhered when the quilt was layered. So I will offer you how I would make the decision for one of my own quilts.

Making the Decision

If this was a competition quilt, without a doubt, I'd pull out all my stitches and re-baste. That would be the simplest of all decisions to make, hands down.

If it wasn't a competition quilt but one of those "it's a masterpiece in my own mind" a large applique quilt...I'd remove the stitching and re-baste it. I definitely wouldn't be happy doing all that frog-stitching (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it) but I'd be really bummed if I ended up with a lot of tucks in the backing on my 'masterpiece'.

Not a masterpiece and it'd hang on the wall or lay on a table (i.e. no one would see the back unless they snooped), I'd keep going. As long as the front is well basted and smooth, you can control any puckering on the front by being mindful as you stitch. If a tiny bubble appears, stop quilting with the needle in the quilt sandwich and simply raise and then lower the presser foot. That will usually be enough to eradicate the bubble.

If the quilt could be washed after binding with no fear of bleeding and it had a cotton batting that would shrink, and as you'd said, it looked smooth to the eye, I'd keep quilting. Any tucks or problems that might possibly occur would disappear into the crinkles of your freshly washed quilt.

Now a wool batting doesn't shrink noticeably. If I'd used wool, I'd look at the expected use of the quilt. If it hangs on a wall/lays on a table...keep going. If the kids were using it on the family room couch, I'd leave it. If it was a gift, I'd re-baste it.

It's not your last quilt...

Hari Walner reminds us "...this isn't your last quilt...". You will make another, and I can assure you, that going forward, you'll never forget to tape or clamp the quilt's backing fabric again!

Good luck to you. We'd love to have you share a picture of the finished quilt under our 'Share Your Quilt' tab.

Readers, how would you decide to proceed? Do share your thoughts with the 'comments' link below.

Comments for Quilt Backing Fabric and Basting Spray

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Quilt Basting
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your help, I did continue to stipple the quilt and finally finished looks wonderful, but I will never forget to tape it down again....As far as this quilt being in a way, but my family loves it and that is all that matters....thanks again!!

From the Editor:

You are quite welcome!


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