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Removing basting safety pins

by Noreen
(Thornhill, Ontario, Canada)

Should I remove all the safety pins before attaching the binding?


I always do.

In fact I remove my pins as I quilt. Every pin is an opportunity for my quilt to get 'hung up' as I stitch.

By planning my quilting ahead of time, I can pin in the areas that are going to need the extra 'hold-it-together-ness' that the safety pins provide.

I don't pin over any seam allowances, not ever, because those lines will be stitched first, in the ditch to stabilize the quilt. Once all the blocks are stabilized that way, I can choose to quilt anywhere that I want in the quilt without the layers shifting on me. I do the fancy stuff when I'm really warmed up and having a good day...the more boring background work when I'm not at my best...and remove the pins as I go.

The quilt seems to get lighter and easier to maneuver that way...even though it can't REALLY be that much lighter. I mean, seriously, how much can a safety pin weigh?!

Readers, do you remove the pins as you go? Tell us using the 'comments' link just below. Thanks!


Julie Baird

PS I LOVE the curved safety pins! Totally worth the extra cost!

Comments for Removing basting safety pins

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I Baste With Safety Pins, Not Toxic Sprays
by: Anonymous_Me

I safety pin baste rather that use toxic adhesives. There are a few reasons for this:

1. Adhesive sprays are toxic and you need to have fresh air when using.

2. Going outside as some have told me at my get togethers is not an option.

3. Good airflow in my house also distributes this toxic sticky stuff onto my floor.

4. Even the new odorless is toxic and many think if you don't smell it, it is not there and not toxic. Better off not using odor free to remind you of the toxicity and to get out of the room once in a while.

5. After you have sprayed your fabric and quilted and trimmed, all the excess material is now basted together with that spay adhesive and there go your scrap materials and scrap batting that could have been used for other items like a scrap quilt.

6. It is just plain messy and hard to adjust after using it.

7. Using pins allows me to adjust as I quilt. I remove pins as I go along and no longer need them and also put some in areas where I see they might be needed or adjust pins already on the quilt as needed. I have had success doing it this way since I started quilting. I tried spray adhesive one time and regretted it for the above reasons.

If you decide to use spray adhesive, please have food airflow and leave the room periodically, even if using odorless. Most people who push the spray adhesive for basting do not mention the toxicity to newbies they tell to use it and many experienced quilters are not even aware of it, and many experienced who switched to odorless are not aware that it, too, is toxic. Never use it with others in the room as they may not wish the risk of breathing it, much like not exposing others to smoke if you smoke. Just a consideration.

From the Editor:

You are a quilter after my own heart! For as much as I'm tempted by the basting pin basting for me every time.

Your point about not doing around others is a good one. They have no idea what you're using and may think nothing of it because you ARE using it.

Thank you for sharing!



Removing Safety pins
by: Gammy Sue

For years I pin-basted my quilts and stored them closed in an old tin, but my daughters convinced me yo spray baste. I tried it and loved it! Be careful, though, when buying basting sprays...some are better than others amd will "gunk up" your machine if you get the wrong kind,

removing pins
by: Roberta

Although I don't pin my quilts, but baste them, I do remove the basting as I go, however, after I've entered the quilt in the fairs and have used it a while, there's always a short length of basting that I failed to remove!

removing pins
by: noreen

Thanks for your reply. I never thought of removing the pins as I quilt and that's an interesting idea. I really like the curved pins too and saw a suggestion that, upon removal, leave them open and save one action the next time.

From the Editor: I store my safety pins in a metal tin and ALWAYS store them open...saves a lot of time. I guess great minds think alike! :D

Glad to be of help!


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