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Thread: First Hand quilting question - basting

  1. #1
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I have a couple of questions about basting. I taped the backing to the floor and safety pinned it, and now am thread basting.

    1. How long should basting stitches be? Is there such a thing as too long?

    2. After thread basting, I take the safety pins out, right?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member LeslieTQD's Avatar
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    I myself just use safety pins to baste. I don't think you have to do both, just one or the other. Depending on how much excess batting and backing fabric you have I would run a basting stitch around the outside edge (you can do this with your machine) just to make sure all of the layers stay square to one another and one doesn't get pulled in or shifted from the amount of quilting you may be doing. The first quilt I made I didn't do that and at one point I noticed the backing fabric was no longer big enough! Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieTQD
    I myself just use safety pins to baste. I don't think you have to do both, just one or the other. Depending on how much excess batting and backing fabric you have I would run a basting stitch around the outside edge (you can do this with your machine) just to make sure all of the layers stay square to one another and one doesn't get pulled in or shifted from the amount of quilting you may be doing. The first quilt I made I didn't do that and at one point I noticed the backing fabric was no longer big enough! Hope this helps.
    I agree....either/or......but not both :)

  4. #4
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Either baste or pins. Both is over kill.
    If basting - I like the Sharon Schambert method - kind of a zig zag instead of thread going in a straight line.

    I find basting a pain if I'm machine quilting because if I don't pull the thread out as I go, it gets caught up in the foot, and if I sew over it, sometimes it's hard to get out.

    If pinning, I just put one where ever there is an area more than 6", and not on a seam. Then whenever I get close, I just remove the pin.

  5. #5
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjradj
    Either baste or pins. Both is over kill.
    If basting - I like the Sharon Schambert method - kind of a zig zag instead of thread going in a straight line.

    I find basting a pain if I'm machine quilting because if I don't pull the thread out as I go, it gets caught up in the foot, and if I sew over it, sometimes it's hard to get out.

    If pinning, I just put one where ever there is an area more than 6", and not on a seam. Then whenever I get close, I just remove the pin.
    Sharon calls it a herringbone stitch. I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum--I baste not pin because the thread always gets tangled in one of the pins when I hand quilt.

  6. #6
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieTQD
    I would run a basting stitch around the outside edge (you can do this with your machine) just to make sure all of the layers stay square to one another and one doesn't get pulled in or shifted from the amount of quilting you may be doing. The first quilt I made I didn't do that and at one point I noticed the backing fabric was no longer big enough! Hope this helps.
    Yes, I think I'll run some stitches around the edge. I got my basting instructions from DH's grandmother, who hand quilts a lot, and she mentioned having that problem too. I really want to avoid running out of backing!

  7. #7
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I always use only safety pins when I baste for machine quilting, but both DH's grandma and a tute I found online said to safety pin and then thread baste. It is twice as much work, obviously.

    Virtualbernie - how do you thread baste? Do you pin first? It's too late for this quilt, obviously, but if there's an easier way than what i've done, I'd like to have the info.

  8. #8
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterflyblue
    I always use only safety pins when I baste for machine quilting, but both DH's grandma and a tute I found online said to safety pin and then thread baste. It is twice as much work, obviously.

    Virtualbernie - how do you thread baste? Do you pin first? It's too late for this quilt, obviously, but if there's an easier way than what i've done, I'd like to have the info.
    Look at Sharon Schamber's video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA . She uses boards to line up the top, batting and backing then she uses the herringbone stitch to baste. I have used this method and love it! take a look at the video, you may like it. At any rate, you'll be able to see that herringbone stitch--holds the layers nice and tight!

    And no, I don't pin baste ever! Too much work!

  9. #9
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    If you're hand quilting the thread might get caught in the safety pins as you sew. Just a thought.

  10. #10
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I take my quilts to my mom to be basted. She has a long arm and she uses the longest stitch which is about an inch. She uses odds and ends of thread and I dont have to crawl around the floor.

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