Wednesday, October 10, 2012


It's seems crazy that a few days away can put me so far behind......yet I've been scrambling to catch up.

However, today there was a little time to get into the studio and begin the basting process for this quilt.

 I've been teaching hand quilting for years and always pay particular attention to describing the method I use for sandwiching quilts.  It always surprises me that this part of the quilting process isn't better understood.

Here's how to prevent distortion or pleating on the back during quilting.  Although I'm not a fan of tearing fabric, in this case I do as it will give me the true straight of grain for the backing. (Measure it 3"-4" larger than the quilt top.)

After pressing well, I place it on my large cutting table which is covered with a gridded cutting mat, using the lines to keep the backing evenly distributed.
 If there is a seam, it is positioned along a marked line....again, to keep the backing straight and even.
 Where the backing is larger than the table, I use bookbinder clips to attach the backing to the edge of the table.
Edges that meet the end of the table can either be held with clips or taped with painters tape.  Be sure the backing is smooth but not pulled too taught.

The next step will be to add the batting. I like to unfold it and allow it to rest on the table to relax/remove the wrinkles. Once that's done, the quilt top is positioned over the batting.

Here's the important part......Always be sure the quilt top and the backing are placed on the straight of grain to each other before basting begins. I use WHITE thread when I hand baste. If the project sits for a long time in humidity, the dyes of some dark threads can migrate and stain the quilt top. 

Baste not skimp!  It's your last chance to maintain flat smooth layers. This will eliminate the problem of tucks, wrinkles, & distortion during the quilting process.  Remember if the grain of the backing and quilt top are not lined up properly, the quilting process may be adversely affected.

1 comment:

Robbie said...

Once again we gain info from you. Good post for folks to refresh their memory or learn from! Sorry about the PACKS!! Lion's didn't lost this week...only because they had a 'by' week! :)