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Thread: Basting the Backing

  1. #1
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    What is the best way to stretch and baste the backing to the top? I have always put it on the floor and used T-pins to pin it down to the carpet and stretch. I put the large 40x60 mat under it starting in the center and pin it.

    Trouble is, I'm having a real hard time getting down on the floor these days. There must be an easier way.

  2. #2
    Gal
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    Super Member Gal's Avatar
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    Me too, I find it difficult to get down on my knees now,I am thinking of trying to work on some large tables we have in the community hall next time, I like to make quite big quilts so being down on my knees for a prolonged period is challenging to say the least. I have heard of folks using their bed to work on but I can't imagine how to keep all the layers taught like I can achieve when pinning to the carpet.
    Looking forward to what ideas others can come up with.

    Gal

  3. #3
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamamama
    What is the best way to stretch and baste the backing to the top? I have always put it on the floor and used T-pins to pin it down to the carpet and stretch. I put the large 40x60 mat under it starting in the center and pin it.

    Trouble is, I'm having a real hard time getting down on the floor these days. There must be an easier way.
    I drape mine over a table that is 52"x52", and the weight that hangs off the sides keeps everything taut while I pin. As I get each section pinned, I then slide the quilt over to do another section. Before I got this table, I used 2 plastic fold up tables put together and it worked well to.

  4. #4
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    Try something old fashioned - a basting frame. You sew the layers rather than pin them but it really doesn't take any more time & you can still machine quilt. You'll needs some narrow smooth boards that are slightly longer than the largest quilt you anticipate ever making, 4 - 6 C-Clamps, and a pair of saw horses. Raid the toolchest for a heavy duty stapler. Staple a strip of medium weight fabric (pillow ticking is traditional) to the boards (about 3 inches should extend over the edge of the board). Adjust the sawhorses to slightly higher than waist level and clamp them on. Pin your backing fabric to the board fabric and adjust the saw horses till it is taut. Then lay the other boards across the boards on the saw horses so the backing overlays the fabric on those boards just enough to pin to it. Make sure everything is smooth & tight, then add your batting, pinning to the sides and your quilt top the same way. Now you are ready to start basting. Take any thread you want to use up and a package of needles. Sew fairly straight lines across & up as far as you can reach. They should be about 4 - 6 inches apart. When you can't reach any farther, unclamp the board you've been working at, remove the pins along the side and roll the quilt under the board till you get to where you left off. If you have help, someone can be working from the other end towards you. Your lines don't have to match. When you're done, unroll andd remove the rest of the pins. This does take some room but can be done in the garage (careful you don't drag the quilt in oil spills!) or outside on a nice day. If you are worried about tangling the basting thread in your machine while you are quilting - just snip them as you get to them as you would remove pins.

  5. #5
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I use my hallway wall! I don't care if there are tack marks!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    "azwendyg" a member on this board has a wonderful tute in the tutorial section for basting. I plan to try it soon.

  7. #7
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    This could work for me, we've never used our garage for cars, its my husband's woodworking shop. I think we have everything I'd need down there. Thanks....its horrible getting old!
    Quote Originally Posted by jbronston
    Try something old fashioned - a basting frame. You sew the layers rather than pin them but it really doesn't take any more time & you can still machine quilt. You'll needs some narrow smooth boards that are slightly longer than the largest quilt you anticipate ever making, 4 - 6 C-Clamps, and a pair of saw horses. Raid the toolchest for a heavy duty stapler. Staple a strip of medium weight fabric (pillow ticking is traditional) to the boards (about 3 inches should extend over the edge of the board). Adjust the sawhorses to slightly higher than waist level and clamp them on. Pin your backing fabric to the board fabric and adjust the saw horses till it is taut. Then lay the other boards across the boards on the saw horses so the backing overlays the fabric on those boards just enough to pin to it. Make sure everything is smooth & tight, then add your batting, pinning to the sides and your quilt top the same way. Now you are ready to start basting. Take any thread you want to use up and a package of needles. Sew fairly straight lines across & up as far as you can reach. They should be about 4 - 6 inches apart. When you can't reach any farther, unclamp the board you've been working at, remove the pins along the side and roll the quilt under the board till you get to where you left off. If you have help, someone can be working from the other end towards you. Your lines don't have to match. When you're done, unroll andd remove the rest of the pins. This does take some room but can be done in the garage (careful you don't drag the quilt in oil spills!) or outside on a nice day. If you are worried about tangling the basting thread in your machine while you are quilting - just snip them as you get to them as you would remove pins.

  8. #8
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Consider the alternative to "getting old"!! You'll find another way that works for you!

    Sue

  9. #9
    Super Member CoriAmD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Up North
    I use my hallway wall! I don't care if there are tack marks!
    Now that's a true quilter.... lol :)

  10. #10
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoriAmD
    Quote Originally Posted by Up North
    I use my hallway wall! I don't care if there are tack marks!
    Now that's a true quilter.... lol :)
    I can always repaint! I hate that color anyway it was supposed to be more gold!

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