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Thread: Favorite Basting Tools & Techniques

  1. #1
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    Favorite Basting Tools & Techniques

    Hello,

    I would love to hear what people's favorite basting tools and techniques are. I am finishing a quilt that I thought I could get away with not basting (horrible idea). Before I go out and start getting new tools I'd love to know how you baste and why you picked that technique. Thanks in advance!


    -Lydia

  2. #2
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    If not going on the frame I now glue baste. I hated pinning and thread basting.
    Jeanann

    Theres nothing wrong with me a little chocolate won't fix.

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Spray basting with Mettler Web Bond.

  4. #4
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    It depends on the item. Small pieces will either tack base or spray glue. Lap quilt upwards either pins,( those expensive curved safety pins not the lower priced ones) or spray glue. The method also depends where I am doing the sandwiching. My friend doesn't allow spray glue in her classroom area. I must admit I love using the pins and removing every time I go past one. So liberating when you see a few pins left. If I use glue I always wash before I give it away to remove the glue.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  5. #5
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I still thread baste by hand and prefer the technique on larger quilts. I began this years ago when I had one 6 foot folding table to work on and a dozen jumbo bulldog clamps to help layer the quilt. I take long 1.5" stitches with a contrasting waxed quilting thread, such as YLI, in rows about 4" apart horizontally across the quilt, never diagonally. moving the quilt and clamps to fit the quilt to the table. For me, this method holds the quilt very well through hand or machine quilting and much manipulating or the fabrics and I'm not exposed to the spray or its stickiness. I just enjoy the process.

    I spray baste placemats, wallhangings, etc.

    Jan in VA
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    I prefer to use the 2 inch safety pins. Most of mine are the straight style, but I plan to replace them with the curved style as funds allow. I recently finished a queen sized Lone Star quilt. I had over 600 safety pins in it. That took me 3 days to do. May have got it done sooner, but I have back & hand problems. I use my kitchen table....it's a retro from the 50's that was my Grandmothers...the ones with the formica tops & chrome frames. It seats 6 closed, 8 open, so it's good size to work on. I also agree....removing the pins, as you sew alone, gives you a sense of accompolishment .

  7. #7
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I used to use curved safety pins and my kwik clip. But I started using glue basting with elmer's washable school glue.

  8. #8
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    I pin baste smaller (baby to double/queen) quilts. I thread baste king size quilts as that many pins adds too much weight while I'm hand quilting. I do as Jan in VA does with clips and move the quilt around on my cutting table - like the ones sold at JoAnns - until done. When thread basting, however, I go in both directions - horizontally and vertically. With both methods I either pin/thread about a hand-width apart.

  9. #9
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I spray baste with 505 basting spray, usually on a table tennis table outside, if the quilt is too large, I do half at a time. I have done up to a queen size like this and never had a pucker
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

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    After pinning to my "Stryofoam" wall I apply Elmer's School Glue diluted to 50
    % and applied with a paint roller. Quick and cheap.

  11. #11
    Junior Member SewSydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody View Post
    I spray baste with 505 basting spray, usually on a table tennis table outside, if the quilt is too large, I do half at a time. I have done up to a queen size like this and never had a pucker
    Hi Woody,

    Where do you buy 505 basting spray in Australia? I'm in Sydney.

    I pin all my quilts using curved safety pins but think I need to try spray basting.

  12. #12
    Super Member Juliebelle's Avatar
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    I glue with Elmers school glue, will never go back to pinning.
    Juliebelle

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    Thank you for all the feed back! Two follow up questions: have any of you tried basting guns? In theory I love the one I have, but in practice it leaves obscenely large holes in the fabric which is why I tried to skip basting on my current project. As for the glue basting, do you have to clean or replace your needle more often when sewing on fabric with glue?

  14. #14
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Re: the glue basting, if you use minimal glue (and think of glue as a replacement for pin basting, not as a replacement for spray basting) you will never know it is there. I drizzle a very thin bead of glue in a kind of big grid pattern and smooth everything into place and let it dry. If it is too big for my table, I start in the center and work out. You could probably put a drop of glue every 4 inches or so like you would a pin. I just find it easier to drizzle. I don't have any arthritis or gripping issues but I find if I turn the bottle over it doesn't take much effort.
    Alyce

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lydia_88 View Post
    Thank you for all the feed back! Two follow up questions: have any of you tried basting guns? In theory I love the one I have, but in practice it leaves obscenely large holes in the fabric which is why I tried to skip basting on my current project. As for the glue basting, do you have to clean or replace your needle more often when sewing on fabric with glue?
    I tried a basting gun - I bought one that had "micro" tacks so it was very small. One problem was the gun I got was defective and completely broke before I could get even halfway through the first strip of tacks, so I sent it back. I didn't find it easy to use (aside from the breaking part) because there didn't seem to be a good way to definitely get it all the way through the entire quilt - several of my tacks ended up going just through the top and into the batting and not catching the back. Then I had to peel back the quilt and get those tack ends OUT. Did not like that at all so wasn't sorry to send it back and wasn't inclined to replace it!

    I glue baste with Elmer's now and LOVE it. I bought a gallon of the stuff and a large food-prep squeeze bottle that's really easy to squeeze and it's the perfect system for me. I don't start sewing until the glue is completely dry (usually next day) so my needle doesn't get sticky at all - doesn't seem to dull the needle any faster either. The glue goes on in a thin drizzle and then is flattened by the fabric and batting; and it's "crispy" when dry, not gummy or sticky, so the needle just slides right through.

    Did you ever smear a layer of Elmer's on your palm as a kid, let it dry and then peel it off? (If not you should totally try it now!) Remember how delicate that film was? Needles go right through that.

    I haven't tried spray glue yet. I'm leery of fumes and overspray in the house, and too lazy to move the cars out of the garage! LOL

  16. #16
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I use Elmer's School Glue diluted about 50/50. I just drizzle a grid pattern over the batting and then smooth the backing/top over it. It's so much easier than pin basting. I used the spray once and was almost asphixiated (sp?). I'll never use that again. Nor will I go back to pinning. The glue is so much easier for me. I don't have a problem with needles getting sticky.

  17. #17
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I tried the elmers glue basting and didn't like it (thick lumps of glue I had to quilt through, took too long to dry), I tried spray basting and hated it (the spray goes EVERYWHERE), so I still prefer to baste by hand (pins add too much weight and need to be removed when you get to the needle).

    I use Sharon Schamber's method of hand basting with the two boards. The board keep the backing/batting and top flat and straight - it's really easy. Yes, it does take a long time, but it's worth it for larger quilts. I also use water soluble thread to baste so I don't have to worry about quilting over the stitches. If you're going to wash the quilt when finished (I always do to remove the spray starch), the basting thread comes out in the wash. If you are not going to wash it you can give it just a light spritz with water and the stitches come out.

    If I have something small to quilt (placemats, small wall hanging) I will take it outside and spray baste it.

    Here is a video to Sharon's method.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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  18. #18
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I used to pin baste as that was how I was taught. But I switched to spray basting with 505 or Mettler's and get much better results--no tucks or wrinkles at all.

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    I machine baste with water soluable thread...long stitch length. I tack the sandwich with a few pins,first..the stitch vertically and horizontally,from the center out. It works well for a large handquilted item,that I quilt in my lap.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

  20. #20
    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    Elmer's for me!
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  21. #21
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    I'm an Elmer's girl myself!

    Linda

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  22. #22
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    I pin baste or spray baste. The spray baste method is my favorite. It holds everything together perfectly and doesn't seem to make my needle sticky. I use 505 basting spray. I do this outside. In winter, I pin baste. This takes a lot longer, but I don't want to use the spray inside the house.

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