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Thread: Pinning vs. Spray Basting

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Pinning vs. Spray Basting

    I am new to machine quilting, and am wondering if I should be using spray basting instead of pinning. I hate it when the quilt layers shift while I am quilting. For those of you that use the spray basting, do you spray all three layers? Does it wash out well?

    I have used the spray basting for applique, and it does work well for that. Maybe the two should be used together? I am so interested to hear what y'all do! ~smile~
    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Ballwin, MO
    I thread baste with tatting thread and a herringbone stitch, as taught by Sharon Schamber in her board basting video, and there's no shifting.



  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    I'm not a spray baster and will leave those questions to others, but yes, if you hate pinning you should definitely try another basting method! Washable white glue is another popular way to baste - I've done that one, and for a while I liked it better than the pins. There's also hand basting and basting guns, the latter is the one I'm trying next. Just thought I'd throw out some more ideas in case you're interested.

  4. #4
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    East Oklahoma - pining for Massachusetts
    I've always pinned. Afraid to try anything else, but there are folks who swear by the spray method, and love it.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    Life is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent what you do about it. - Steve Harvey

  5. #5
    Junior Member indycat32's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    When I first started quilting I pinned and had problems with shifting fabric. I switched to spray basting (I use Sulky) and no more shifting fabric.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
    Blog Entries
    at our senior center quilt group [ladies that have been quilting for decades] the quilts are pinned, then basted zigzag sylte, then hand quilted... no shifting there
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    OMG yes - switch to spray basting! It is sooooooo much better than pinning. You won't believe how much faster, easier and better it is. I used to pin baste, and didn't think it was difficult or troublesome... then I was introduced to spray basting and I will never, ever go back!

    I lay out the batting, and lay the backing over it. Then I fold back half of the backing fabric, and spray the batting (spray lightly - a little goes a long way!). Bring the backing forward a foot or so at a time, and smooth it onto the backing with your hands. Keep advancing it this way until the whole sprayed section is covered. Then fold back the other half of the backing and repeat.

    Working from the middle out like this makes it easy to avoid pleats and wrinkles. Laying it out in advance (before spraying) makes sure it's centred and going to fit.

    Once the backing is attached, I flip it over and do the same process to attach the front.

    I was introduced to spray basting at my guild's charity sewing day, making quilts for preemies in the NICU. I haven't specifically tested how it washes out, but I haven't had any problems, and I assume the hospital would have told us if there were any concerns over chemical residues - they set the standards for the materials we used. We used 505 spray, and I haven't bothered trying other kinds because the 505 works so well.

    Spray basting was an absolute revelation for me. I highly suggest you try it!

    Edited to add: I took the Craftsy class "Small Machine, Big Quilts" with Ann Peterson, and she sprays the fabric rather than the backing. There are some good tutorials online (I like the one by the Australian lady who uses her ironing board to spray baste). Check out Youtube and you will see a few ways to do it, then pick a method that works for you.
    Last edited by Jennifer23; 04-14-2017 at 07:51 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Tulsa, Ok
    I had issues with puckers when I pin basted. Switched to spray basting (I like 505) and it works great. I put all three layers together, peal back the top halfway, spray the batting in strips (starting in the center) and smooth the top back on over the batting in sections to the outer edges. Walk around the table and repeat with the other half. Then I flip the whole thing over and do the same, peeling back the backing halfway and spraying the batting again. When done, I leave it laying flat overnight to dry, and start quilting the next day. Some folks iron the sandwich after spraying, but I have not found that necessary.
    I just want to spend the rest of my life laughing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    NE California - no where near the Bay Area!
    I use Elmer's school glue to hold my quilts together. I've tried spray basting, but the layers still shift. I have had absolutely no problems with using school glue - nothing shifts, it is easy to hand quilt through, and it washes out beautifully. I iron the layers together as I glue baste them so everything is dry and ready to go as soon as I finish putting the layers together. I follow the same process as Jeanne S, but use very, very thin lines of glue drizzled on from about 24 inches above the quilt.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    I hand quilt, in a hoop or on the frame, so pin basting works fine for me.Good thing too. With my lungs, I don't want to spray ANYthing!
    Ageing is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been............David Bowie

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