After basting by a longarm quilter...
After completing my first large quilt top (Swoon 80x80), I am having it basted by a longarm quilter who will do long stitches every 2 to 4 inches.
Is it necessary to then ditch stitch before machine quilting, or will it be stable enough?
Should I ditch stitch the blocks (24") and remove the basting stitches before machine quilting?
Thanks in advance,
First a very big CONGRATULATIONS
for finishing your first biggie! May this be the first quilt of many! You're doing what I've always dreamed of doing—having someone else baste it for me.
Now to your questions...
- Yes, I would definitely stabilize the quilt by stitching in the ditch between all the blocks. It won't be enough stitching to remove all the basting, but it's a start.
- Only remove those stitches (and thread tails) that are in the direct path of your quilting stitches...and only as you come to them.
Think of it this way. Each stitch the longarmer puts in your quilt is taking the place of a single safety pin.
Even if the blocks were 12" (instead of 24") I wouldn't remove all the pins...just the ones that would get in my way. You still need the stitching to hold all the layers together, particularly to avoid getting tucks in your quilt--top and backing and to prevent shifting.
A word to the wise. I've taken classes with Sharon Schamber, QE (Quilter Extraordinaire!). She has a whole other career in garment construction and hand bastes her quilts. (If you're interested you can click here
, and then scroll down to the heading, "Layering and Basting a Quilt on 2 Boards"
to see a couple of videos on that process.
I find that when basting with thread, I'm more apt to sew right over the thread. There's no stinkin' safety pin to hit that would break my needle. Who wants to stop in the middle of a line of quilting to clip away some threads?
Do your best NOT
to sew over the basting. It's a pain to get the fibers out of your quilting stitches.
I invite you to share a photo of your quilt here
when you're finished. I'd love to see it!
Readers, as always, please share your thoughts and experiences with basting by a longarm quilter using the 'Comments' link below.