Wednesday, March 14, 2012

{not a tutorial} spray basting or i don't know what a safety pin is

I've decided to start sharing some methods or tips here on my blog. I hesitate to call them tutorials, because that makes me nervous.

So I thought I'd call them {not a tutorial}s, just {the way I do it}.

There are so many talented sewers out there and tons of tutorials, so I don't profess to be the authority on anything, but wanted to share my process.

I've talked to a lot of quilters who have never used a basting spray. When I was getting ready to quilt my bird quilt - the first thing I ever quilted on my little machine - I bought a bunch of safety pins to baste it with.

But I'm going to be honest. The thought of pinning that whole thing and then trying to quilt around the pins~well, UGH!! It just seemed a little daunting. I mean, I'm horrible about taking out straight pins!! So I decided to just use a basting spray. And I have to say I LOVE IT!!

I can't give you an honest comparison vs. pin basting but it works for me and gives me a nice clean surface to quilt on without having to worry about running into a pin every 3" or so. So here you go.

Quilt Basting {the way I do it}.

1 Quilt Sandwich
Packing tape
Basting Spray
* a note on basting spray.  I just bought a can at Joann's (or Hancock's) using my 40% coupon.  I know there are different brands but this is just what was easily available to me.
edited to add:  I've gotten some great feedback already!  I do usually open my windows when I spray. And I also don't use a ton of the spray because a little goes a long way and the fumes ARE stinky!

Step 1. Tape the quilt back wrong side up to the floor.
spray basting 1
Depending on the size of the quilt I use several large pieces of packing tape to secure each corner and several spots on each side.  Work from one side and smooth the fabric out as you tape.

Step 2. Lay and smooth out a similar sized piece of batting on top of the back.
Step 3. Center quilt top to complete the quilt sandwich.
spray basting 2
Make sure everything is smoothed out. And that you have backing and batting under every part of your quilt top.

Step 4a.  Fold back one side of the quilt top only.  Lightly spray the wrong side of the quilt top and exposed batting with the spray in a back and forth motion.
4b. Unfold that section back over the batting, smoothing it as you go.
4c. Repeat as necessary to baste the whole quilt top to the batting.
spray basting 3
You may get some overspray on the floor but it clean ups easily.

Step 5. Fold back the batting AND the top and lightly spray batting and backing.
spray basting 4
Keep folding back batting and quilt top together until everything is sticking together.
spray basting 5
spray basting 6

6. Smooth everything out.
spray basting 7
7. Get quilting!!
spray basting 8

 Have you tried spray basting before? Do you pin? Which do you prefer? Let me know if you try this!

(I'll be blogging more about this quilt soon!)

29 crafty mcCrafters commented:

Pat said...

I spray baste. Never have done anything but spray baste. Like you, the thought of putting in all of those pins, stitching around them and taking them out. Ugh! I love a spray basted quilt. I use 505 spray baste because I've heard it is less toxic, but I really don't know about the other brands.

sonia said...

I'm way too afraid of quilting, so I spray and pin my sandwiches! Love your method, especially the taping the backing to the floor.

Sonia (AKA Everyquilt ;)

Barbara said...

I use 505 spray and I love it. I do it a little differently because I don't want to spray that stuff inside the house. The fumes can be dangerous to inhale, and they can start a fire. I lay out the back like you've shown, then take the batting outside, hang it from my clothesline and spray one side of it there. Then, I smoothe it over the back. Then I take the quilt top outside and spray it, and then bring it in and smooth it over the batting. Works great.

Shanna said...

I have only spray basted once...I pin like a mad woman! I am not sure which I like better....both took about the same amount of time (for me) but I didn't really notice any other benefit of spraying. Maybe I will give it another try!

Celtic Thistle said...

Thanks for the (not) tutorial I have spray basted small items but never a large quilt. I have, however, basted a king size quilt with a micro stitch basting gun, and have to say it was really straightforward. No toxic sprays to worry about or broken fingernails from trying to close the safety pins!

Alisa said...

I do both. Depends if I have the spray on hand. Depends what kind of quilting I plan to do. Here in Canada the spray baste is quite expensive...

I like the quilt you are working on.

QuiltinMama said...

Doesn't the spray gum up your machine? That's why I've never used it, then again, safety pins make me cuss like a sailor. Thanks for the {non} tutorial ;)

Kati from Kati's Quilting said...

Your quilt is really pretty,I couldn't believe my eyes how straight your rows are :) I spray baste and then pin. I actually just can't give up the pin basting. I don't feel comfortable with only the spray basting, I'm afraid the layers will shift if I don't quilt it right away. So I pin it just to make sure. :)

Kenna said...

OOOHHH I'm totally different. Like you I never pin.

Sometimes I spray baste....but usually I use a basting gun!

I looovve it. It's a little red "tagging" gun like they use in dept stores with 1/4 in "brads" that I put in and out of the quilt just like a pin, but they are never in the way, easy to use and easy to remove.

However, I am falling just as in love with spray basting!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Your not tutorial is so timely. I am in the middle of basting my King size Single Girl which I plan to hand quilt. I put it off this long because of the basing. My knees and neck keep me from using the floor, I have two large banquet tables in the basement but can't spray next to the furnace and there are no window. So after taking out a million safety pins to use - I am using a "Quilters Basting Gun" which holds the quilt together with tiny plastic tacks. My last King for a long time and then it will be basting spray - outside on the deck as long as weather allows in MN!! Thx for tips.

CJ said...

I spray baste and buy the cans at JoAnn's everytime I have an extra 40% off coupon. I only spray the batting. I have pinned ONE quilt and that was backed with Minky. I would probably pin any quilts using Minky since it is heavy.

Deborah said...

I spray baste everything I quilt by machine but I ONLY use 505. It is virtually odorless and it has never gummed up my needle. Love it!

diane said...

I'm a pin-baster for sure! It's a pain to take them out during quilting, but I just look at it as an opportunity to re-position everything anyway! I do use spray basting for small projects like table runners and wall-hangings, and I love the convenience of it, but it does seem to gum up my needle which is SO frustrating!! I might have to try the 505 that everyone's talking about! Great post; beautiful quilt!

Val said...

I love the spray too!!! Thanks for all of the tips on your "not a tutorial"! I love that.

Val said...

I love the spray too!!! Thanks for all of the tips on your "not a tutorial"! I love that.

Rebecca Grace said...

Okay, Miss LouWho -- where have you hidden the spy cam in my studio?!! Today I put the last of my 700 #1 bent safety pins in my giant quilt sandwich, and then had to go out and buy another package of safety pins because I ran out of pins before finishing. I tried spray basting once with a smaller lap quilt that was just going to be tied, not quilted, and to be honest, I had a tough time getting everything smooth because all the wrinkles were stuck in place and difficult for me to readjust. I can't imagine spray basting a quilt the size I'm working with now -- 70" x 105" -- but then, I didn't think of smoothing everything in place, then lifting only half and spraying/smoothing in sections. I have had better results pinning, which I do up on my work table (using the method that Harriet Hargrave and Diane Gaudynski describe in their machine quilting books). I don't mind taking the pins out as I'm quilting, and I can even use them as little fabric handles while free motion quilting to help get a grip on things. Once I've stitched in the ditches between blocks, a lot of the pins get to come out. Thanks for sharing your spray basting method -- I have another baby quilt with Minky on my agenda after finishing this one, and I think I'll try your method on that project.

Richard Healey said...

I have never spray basted worried about smells? But by your pictures and non tutorial I think i will give it a try.

Kelli said...

Hi sweet, amazing, talented cousin. I just tried spray basting for the first time last night. So far, I love it! I'm definitely going to try it again. Love your guts.

diane said...

Since I discovered 505 Spray basting adhesive I have not used a pin. It's the only way to go for me.

Suzanne said...

I mostly pin because the spray is so expensive. I do like it better than pins though. What I really like is this fusible batting!

Debbie said...

I'm opposite of many - I may pin baste a small project, but for anything of any size, I prefer spray - 505 is fine, but I especially like Sulky. It only comes in a small can but I really like it (small spray radius = less overspray) and it is supposedly even less toxic.

Rafael's Mum said...

Hiya, I have done both in the past and like you, I love the spray basting. So much easier to quilt and it doesn't move or pucker. However... It works fine for 'smaller' quilts (like 40"x 50" sort of thing) but then I tried to spraybaste my 85" square one... As you may know, when smoothing the batting over the backing, (I do this first and leave the top off so I can check the result before doing the top)when checking the backing there might be areas that are not quite smooth. The way to get rid of that is to turn backing and batting over so the backing is on top and gently pulling back the two layers a little, and smoothing out the backing towards the edges again. Then it is fine and the the backing and batting can be laid out for the top to be added as you described. However... when the quilt is bigger, this can result in a nightmare! Because the area is bigger (and you start undoing from the middle of course)it takes you more time to get to the edges. The spraybaste has had time to settle and the batting comes away in bits, not in one layer. After that nightmare I have concluded that though I love spray basting, maybe trying to do my new (97"square) quilt might not be a good idea... Not looking forward to the quilting mind... If anyone has a good idea? ( I tried spraying in small sections, but it is not workable to turn over after every section, and if you turn over after all sections are completed and section one nearer the middle is wrong, you will need to peel off everything again.. with the same disastrous disintegration of batting)

Sarah Craig said...

I love spray basting! Can't imagine doing it any other way now, although I don't baste as much because I have a quilting frame that I do most of my quilts on. Spray basting is also very useful to adhere appliques before stitching on, too.

KristyLou said...

Hey Amy! All I do is spray baste. Do you find that you have to let it sit a bit. I have found if I leave it for about an hour the sandwich is more secure. Maybe its just my imagination :)

Cathy said...

Amylouwho: I love this method. I have never pinned I also can't find them or don't stop in time and run over the. I have always hand baseted, sewed basted, all my quilts. I have been useing this method for about a year now. I love it too. It works great, does not gum up my needle. Love the spray adhesive. Just be sure you get the one for fabric.


notes of sincerity said...

This is fascinating Amy. I have only ever pinned my quilts. I am curious how this method works for handquilting. If it is harder to stitch through. Mmmm.
Thank you so much for sharing your "not a tutorial". :0)
Have a great weekend. Sincerely, Trish

Kat said...

It has been years since I tried spray basting. I didn't have very good luck with it. I always pin, but it is my *least* favorite part of the quilt making process, so maybe I'll have to get some 505 and try again. Sounds like it works really well.

Mrs.Hearts said...

I always use fusible cotton batting for quilting done on my regular sewing machine. I pin the corners for security, and it works like a charm. It does not gum the needle. I have not used it for a bed-sized quilt, though, because I have a vintage 1896 industrial Singer for that.

Fusible polyester batting is TERRIBLE and will gum the needle. Be sure it is cotton or at least 80/20 cotton/poly. The Hobbs product mentioned in a previous comment works great.

I do not want my family be inhaling glue from spray basting.


Katie said...

LOVE the look of that quilt! What fabrics did you use? Am I getting ahead of myself...since you said you'll post about it soon? :)

I'm starting my first {eek!!} quilt tonight, and I'm totally going to try spray basting! Thanks for the tip :)

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