Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spray Basting Rules!

Armed with an industrial size can of 505 Spray, Cherry-cherry and I basted three quilts on Monday.
I'm sorry it was distracting to the other group in the large room, as they were practicing to present a program for the guild next week. Although they were quite focused on their task, they couldn't help asking how many quilts had we actually done!
BLOOMS lap size...basted at last!
I have taken this poor top to so many BLOOMS classes, it's amazing it hasn't fallen apart. As soon as I have it quilted it will be a much nicer sample! You can see what the smaller version is like on the Patterns for Sale up there under the header.

Supplies I like for basting

  • Quilt top, un-wrinkled batt and backing
  • A big room and a big table
  • Masking tape to hold the back smooth as you start
  • Giant can of 505 spray (temporary adhesive)
  • Scissors to trim excess length/ width
  • Safety pins to hold the edges rolled up when finished
  • A really good quilting buddy to help!

Basting Groundhog Day
First the the back is centered right side down on the table, then the batt, and the top goes on right side up. You can check to be sure each layer is big enough, and re-position as needed. 
This is a good time to trim off the extra batting or backing. I always seem to have a quilt that is too big for one size batt but a whole lot smaller than the next size. So I do a lot of whacking with the scissors...and save the pieces to use for pot holders, very small quilts, or even stitching together to make a larger size.

Next, as in the picture above, fold back the top and batt. That's the center of the backing you saw in yesterday's post. Sometimes I use a few pieces of masking tape to hold the backing smooth. If you are admiring how beautiful the fabric is, you need to should see the wrong side up!

I like to spray the fabric...others spray on the batt. If you keep the can close to the surface and spray in short bursts, this is a fairly safe process. If you don't wave it all around like a can of air freshener, the spray just goes right where it belongs! The table did not get sticky even after doing 3 quilts.
This brand doesn't have a real odor, and I try to keep the can at arm's length and not breath deeply. Those who are very sensitive to perfumes and other substances should probably avoid spray basting have to decide for yourself, and there are other basting methods.

After spraying, lift the batt up and smooth or pat it into place on the sprayed back. This is where a friend on the other side of the table is helpful to hold the batt up while you smooth, or vice versa. Think of it like wallpaper...smooth the center first then work out to each side. It takes longer to describe it than to do it!
Spray the batt and then smooth the top down onto the same section.
Move to the opposite side of the table and lift the top & batt out of the you lift, you can feel where the spray has taken hold, so stop there and fold the layers back out of the way.
Spray again...smooth the batt...repeat for the top, and now all the center of the quilt is done!

Carefully slide the quilt to one side. Lift the layers, spray and complete that side.
Then slide all the way to the opposite side and finish up.
"Florida's Brightest Jewel" in swamp colors...pattern coming soon!
For a giant quilt, or a small table, you may need to work in table-wide sections and even end-to-end, but do start in the center. The weight of the sides help pull the backing smooth. If you get wrinkles in the backing, you can peel it up and re-position. Wrinkles in the back will end up as quilted- in pleats!

Since I probably won't get to the quilting immediately, I do like to roll up the edges and pin them with safety pins. It keeps the batting from catching on things or sweeping up all the cat hair and dust bunnies from the floor! That's an "old school" method, but it still seems a good idea to me.

The basting spray will hold for a long time, and washes out when you are done quilting. I was surprised to find out it will also work on polyester batting and even fleece, which is fun to use as a combination back & batting on kids' quilts.

Well, the same people who were asking how many quilts we basted that day also had to ask how many UFOs I have. When I made a list at the beginning of last year, there were 35 that I could easily account for. Others are lurking somewhere, no doubt.
I'm going to guess that number holds steady, as I'm sure I have started at least one new project for each I have completed!
And now I am headed out to the laundry room to haul bring in about 14 yards of various backing fabrics to get ready for the next Baste-A-Thon!

No comments: