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Preparing the layers for quilting

by Vivian
(Murfreesboro, TN)

What is the best way to prepare fabric for quilting on my Sapphire machine?

Pins, temporary adhesive, basting, etc?


I use safety pins to baste my quilts. And like you, I quilt on my home sewing machine.

I have tried hand basting (with needle and thread) with pad stitching (a tailor's stitch used to beef up the under collar and lapel of a jacket). The problem I had was that it's too easy to sew over the threads...because I'm just so in to the quilting. Then it's a turn with the tweezers and scissors, clipping and pulling out the basting. A waste of time. With safety pins, I have to stop. It's too dangerous not to!

There's a great pair of videos on my page, How do I control my quilt sandwich during quilting, that shows an interesting hand basting technique with boards. I use it, but instead of hand stitches, yep!, I use safety pins. Works great. And gets me off the floor!

Then there's basting spray.

Personally, I don't use it. My sewing area just always has too much stuff out and very little clear horizontal space to baste in...and it's not ventilated the way I think it should be. That means I need to take my quilt outside to baste. That's not happening in this house. Too much extra work, what with moving tables and all.

I do use temporary spray adhesives, for my machine embroidery, and love it for that application.

But that doesn't mean it isn't an unacceptable way to get your quilt sandwiched. If you have an area big enough and with adequate ventilation, it might just be the way for you to go. It sure is faster than pin basting.

To get you started, at the bottom of our page, Basting My Quilt, there are excellent instructions by a friend of mine, Jo Goranson, who DOES spray baste her quilts. If you're interested in the technique do take a minute to read them.

To see someone layering a quilt this way, check out the video on our page, Basting spray for quilts.

As with pretty much every else in quilting, the BEST way it the way that works BEST for you.

I hope this has provided some helpful information.

Readers, how do you baste your quilts? Let us know using the 'comments link found just below. Thank you!


Julie Baird

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