Tips and Tools for Basting Your Quilt

You top and backing are ready and now it’s time to get ready to quilt your latest project.  But, first, we have to baste the 3 layers together.  There are many techniques for basting quilts of all sizes.

A mini quilt on batting ready for basting and spraying. This is a small project so I quickly sprayed it indoors–after following the tips on spray basting below.

Here are some links to a few of my favorite techniques that do not require you to crawl around on the floor.  Some tutorials require a large flat wall, while others can be done on a large table.

There are dozens and dozens of videos on how to baste quilts.   If you are curious about a particular technique, then search YouTube for that technique for lots more choices.  And feel free to add links to your favorite tutorials in the Comments!

SPRAY BASTING PRODUCTS & TIPS FOR SAFER USAGE

I have a bias for spray basting and I use 505 Temporary Adhesive–it has the best adhesive quality in my experience.

Warning READ ALL THE WARNING LABELS ON ANY COMMERCIAL PRODUCT TO DETERMINE IF IT IS A FIT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

Basting spray will travel through the air and can be irritating to some users. I usually spray outdoors or in the garage.  If you must baste indoors,  be sure to completely cover up your sewing machine, cutting table and other exposed areas and open windows for best ventilation.  Wearing a mask or bandana over your nose and mouth is also a good idea.

 

BASTING AND STORING QUILTS

Sometimes we have to store our quilts for weeks or months at a time.  I live in a very humid climate so I have to pay even more attention to how I store my quilts.  Here are some tips:

  • Never store quilts in tightly sealed plastic bags!  Even in a dry climate, you will have some humidity inside that bag.  Mold & mildew may grow inside that sealed bag.  If you use plastic, I recommend leaving it unsealed so that air isn’t trapped inside.  I store my quilts by just folding them and stacking them inside a wardrobe or a closet.  No plastic!
  • Fold quilts loosely — avoid crushing the quilt under lots of weight or removing all the air by flattening the bag that it is in.  Creases can become almost permanent when we crush our quilts and leave them stored for long periods.
  • If you use an organic spray (like glue or starch), you may want to immediately wash that quilt once the binding is on.  Why?  Well, organic sprays can be food for critters (mice, silverfish, other insects)!
  • Air out stored quilts frequently–or better yet, use them on your beds and couches.  Take quilts out of storage and lay flat on a bed or floor every few months.  Or run them through the dryer with a damp towel to relax any creases.  Make sure the quilt is very dry before putting them back into storage.

HOMEMADE SPRAY BASTING

Here are tutorials for making your own spray basting–no toxic fumes!

A Simple Recipe and Other Tips from Flourishing Palms

String and Story Homemade Basting Spray (requires cooking)

ChatterBox Quilts   How to make homemade spray (requires cooking) and how to lay out the quilt for basting

BASTING TUTORIALS FOR BLOCKS AND WALL HANGINGS

If your project is small, you can use this handy tutorial from the Crafty Gemini!  No spray required–she uses simple thread basting.

Crafty Gemini –Thread Basting Tutorial

Using Flat Boards and Hand Basting

BASTING TUTORIALS — LARGE QUILTS

Christa Quilts Spray Basting–Basting on the wall

Sewing Channel: Using a discount store Pool Noodle   And, there’s a bonus tip on using vintage sheets for backing a quilt

Quilting With Jeanne  A unique approach–she created a frame!

Spray Starch Basting!  How about using spray starch instead of spray or even glue

ChatterBox Quilts   How to make homemade spray (requires cooking) and how to lay out the quilt for basting

Read the Comments on each video for More Tips

Be sure to read the comments on each video for more tips.  Commenters ask great questions and share some of the ways that they improve upon the demo.

And a BIG Announcement….

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2 thoughts on “Tips and Tools for Basting Your Quilt”

  1. I use a Hobbs fusible batting- just iron on, no spray required, and an wondering why more people don’t use this. Have you tried this?

    Julie

    1. Hi Julie,
      I don’t use it because I usually use wool batting for my workshop samples. But, I will try it for the next time I need an 80/20 batting when I’m making a charity or family quilt when I usually use cotton batting.

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