People are always asking why I baste quilts. And by baste I mean B-A-S-T-E -- the entire quilt, not just down the sides as I go. In the very (yes VERY) near future I'll be filming how I load a quilt and perhaps I'll make it a not-so-square quilt so I can share why I baste so much.
I'll start here... I don't load the *usual* way. As in, I don't use the roller to attach my quilt top. No, I don't really float my quilt top either. I temporarily float it. I load my backing fabric just like everyone and then I load my quilt top, basting across the top and down the sides. I then baste across the quilt usually twice, this gives me about 8 inches between the basting lines. I then roll the backing fabric forward a full advance and again baste down the sides of the quilt top and across the quilt top dividing the advanced area into approximately 8" segments. I baste at every 2.5". The baste feature on my Gammill makes this super easy. I continue to do this until I reach the bottom of the quilt top. Now the entire quilt top is attached to the batting and backing. I can roll back and forth as much as I need to, nothing is laying on the floor, life is wonderful. And.... the best part of basting a quilt top is there are NO surprises.
This post all started because today I'm loading Donna's Spring Bouquet quilt. I started to baste and there was this
Whoops. Not perfect, also not the end of the world. Contrary to what many people will say, this can totally be fixed while on the frame.
First, start with oodles of pins. Space out the excess fabric evenly. Remember that the excess may go beyond the area in front of you. Also smooth the fabric as best you can in the border areas and pin accordingly.
Then, grab your machine and slowly baste the edge. I have my basting mode set at 1/2" and I slowly and carefully go down the edge over all those pins easing the fabric as I go.
I then, baste back and forth across the entire border area about every 2" smoothing the fabric as I baste. Now please realize, there is still excess fabric, it is just dispersed evenly over the entire area now instead of waves on the edges. This will still require some pretty serious background fills to suck up the excess, pebbles always work great.
Remember before I mentioned about the excess extending beyond the area in front of you? See, there is still a small amount of excess in this border. Follow the same procedure as above:
Pin like a mad person:
Baste edge, then baste entire border area:
Then remove pins. When quilting time comes, this will most likely be quilted with one hand pushing the machine and the other hand smoothing the fabric between basting areas.
And that is it. Clear as mud right? It just takes a little time and effort, but I would much rather do this than cry over a tuck or pleated fabric. And no, I would never tell the piecer to come get her quilt -- not when it can be corrected so easily.
Aren't you all glad during the basting it started rumbling and I unplugged. Just enough time to share all of this with you! Now waiting for the rumbling to end -- stay tuned for beautiful after pictures -- well, once I finish the quilting. Hopefully I'll be starting soon!