Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quilt Basting: Necessary Evils continue...

OK, the backs got made...but now comes the basting before the quilting.
This has got to be the biggest roadblock to completing a quilt (yes, there are other rival steps... but this is the most common).
Of course, it may also be what has led to the fantastic rise of the LongArm Quilters! I salute the people who have gone into business quilting for others. You are a service industry in soooooo many ways....mainly by allowing quilters to skip the basting phase, as generally the three layers are loaded onto the machine separately.
Meanwhile, back at my house, it's DIY 24/7!

Basting means unloading the table in my studio, dragging it across the hall into my bedroom (it has wheels, but I wouldn't say they roll...), and opening it up.

It's one of those craft tables, a nice height for standing up to work, and has the two sides that open up and down (a gate leg table, for you furniture enthusiasts). The top is thin enough to hold the backing with bulldogclips.
A smooth back is the crucial part of basting.

Here is the table in action:
That's the backing for the quilt I am doing for the church.
You can see where I added the strip to make it long enough. Now that I am quilting it, that has come in handy as a way to help ID the top of the quilt.
Even though C.C. showed me how to spray baste, this still turned out to be a real trial. I suggest that for large quilts, you still need two people to handle the layers (or four, maybe eight....).
Here's another one, but small:

Well, by the time I got around to remembering the camera, I was done! I even did another quilt the same day, but was so focused on finishing the basting, I forgot the camera.
I like to bring the backing around to the front, then pin it to the border. That covers the batting edge and makes the quilt easier to handle.
You may remember this back from a previous post. That's my Monkey Business quilt pattern, "beta tested" by a dear friend, and I am quilting it for her. After three years of waiting!
I wonder if she is reading this blog and recognizes her top?
I bet she will still be surprized when the quilt arrives!

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