Monday, August 16, 2010

Basting the 'Ivy I Spy' quilt.

layering&basting 001 

First I bulldog clip the backing to the table top.

Then I put the wadding on and once it's in the right place I give it a bit of a pat to pat out any bumps and help it grip the backing fabric. Then I put the quilt top in place and pat that down too. These two layers are only laid on the backing. They are only bulldog clipped along the front edge and the right side edge to stop the whole lot moving while I baste it.

This table has square metal tube extensions slipped over the legs to make it 38 inches high which is the height I find comfortable.

More about how to raise the height of your table later.

layering&basting 004 
See how I have placed the layers on to the backing using the edge of the table to line them up.
layering&basting 003
When I am happy with how it’s all lying, I hand baste the section of quilt that is on the table top.
Then I move the quilt to the next section to be basted. Usually I slide the quilt upwards, to place the center left section on the table top. Then I would slide it up again to baste the bottom left section.
Then I would reposition the quilt with the top right on the table and baste begin basting the right side of the quilt that has previously been dangling off the side of the table. Then I move down the right side as I did with the left side. Always bulldog clipping as I position each section. The more clips the better. I usually use 5-6.
I'm missing about 5 bulldog clips. Last time I remember having them was at the retreat. Hummmmmmmm. Now where did I put all those hanging tapes we used for the quilt show. Bet the clips are in the same place. (Well, I guess they are both ‘safe’)
I don't like using safety pins ‘cause I find they get in the way when I've got the quilt in the machine and removing them as I go cause they're in the way is a pain in the bum.
I like thread basting as I can sew right over it and then pull it out when I have finished the machine quilting. I am using up really old thread when basting. Like, some of these reels must be 30 years old. No good for using in the machine cause it breaks a lot. Ideal for basting because if I do stitch thru the thread it doesn't pull the quilting stitches when I'm taking it out - it breaks.
layering&basting 005
You can see how high the table is. (38”) I've got my weight on my elbows, so I'm not really bent over that much and because of the height of the table, my back doesn't hurt.
layering&basting 007
I love that little light. One of the best investments for sewing ever. And portable too.
layering&basting 008
I'm working down the edge of the top first. Then I’m going to work across the 'bottom' of what is on the table and then up the side of what is on the table then across the top slanting in until I go below where I started. I'll just keep going around and around on each section until I reach the centre. Then I’ll reposition the quilt and do the same again.
Mind you, It doesn't matter which way you baste. This time I’m going round and round and round, some times I go diagonal, sometimes up and down. It's just got to hold it all together while you are quilting it and then it all gets pulled out. I'm lucky, I can baste with both hands so I can go to the left with my right hand holding the needle and to the right with my left hand.  - You can teach yourself to do this.
layering&basting 009
I like using stripes for binding. This is going to be a fairly wide binding as I have cut the strips at 3 inches. I joined the strips on to the end of one another this time so as to continue the stripes without going to all the fuss of aligning and joining them on the angle.
If it was not striped fabric I would have joined each end on the 45` angle.
And that’s how I baste a quilt.
Hope you enjoyed it.
Please leave a comment.


  1. Dee,

    Good description of what I do!

    Judy B

  2. I'm gonna have to bookmark your post for when I have another GO! at quilting. I'm getting my ott lite on getting a pink one....did you see I have them for sale on my blog for $65 + P&H? I'm selling them for a friend. The other week we (Khristina & I) priced them at Spotlight and they were up near the $130 mark, but with the sale they had on, bought them down to about $100 so my friend is still cheaper hey? Can't wait to use mine...more for stitcheries than quilting though. Hope all is well with hubby hun. Hugs Naomi

  3. Dee , I am a newbie quilter and your letters are exactly what I wanted to read- book marking your page now :) thanks heaps,