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Thread: hand quilting

  1. #1
    Member lslaton's Avatar
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    If you hand quilt and use a hoop, where do you start on a large quilt? in the middle and work out?, if so how do you keep the backing from buckling? or do you start on one side of the quilt and work to the other side? I have tried the hoop in the middle of the quilt and work out and baste the quilt with lots of safety pin, but my backing always has buckling somewhere.

  2. #2
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    I start in the middle.

    The backing, batting, and top are layered and smoothed and basted together with a LOT of basting before being quilted. That really close, really smooth, real close basting is what keeps the final quilt smooth.

    I dont like to use safety pins on big hand-quilting projects. I find that I put little poofs in the quilt sandwich when I use safety pins. I like good old fashioned basting stitches, and lots and lots of them. Basting is definitely not the most fun of making a quilt, but it's so important to the final product.

  3. #3
    Member lslaton's Avatar
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    I lay out the backing fabric on the floor since that is the largest unoccupied place in my house, then I lay the batting on top, then next the quilt top. How can I make sure everything stays smooth while I baste it?

  4. #4
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    I've never liked using safety pins and prefer the slower hand basting same as Stitchinjoy.

  5. #5
    Super Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    in the middle and work my way around the quilt out.

  6. #6
    Super Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lslaton
    I lay out the backing fabric on the floor since that is the largest unoccupied place in my house, then I lay the batting on top, then next the quilt top. How can I make sure everything stays smooth while I baste it?
    I have made some sand bags to help hold it while I based

  7. #7
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I start in the middle and work outwards. Just make sure the backing is smooth in the hoop before you quilt. When you move the hoop, again, make sure backing is smooth.
    I baste on the floor and don't baste heavily. Usually 8 lengths of thread, radiating out from center.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    I start in the middle and work outwards. Just make sure the backing is smooth in the hoop before you quilt. When you move the hoop, again, make sure backing is smooth.
    I baste on the floor and don't baste heavily. Usually 8 lengths of thread, radiating out from center.
    How large are your basting stitches? I'm hand quilting my first quilt, having used safety pins, and there is lots of buckling on the back. For my next one, I'd like to try basting instead.

  9. #9
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    I use a hoop and start in the middle. I've hand quilted up to king sized quilts this way. It makes it easier to find where I've been working when I have to put it down.

    For basting, I use my (folding) craft/cutting table. I center the backing and then use large binder clips on the edges to make sure it's smooth. Follow the same process for the batting and the top. When I have all the layers smooth, taut and clipped, I usually pin baste. If it's a really large (king) quilt sometimes I'll do thread basting simply because it makes the quilt that much lighter during the quilting process. Again, if it's a large quilt, I then reposition the sandwhich, sometimes mulitiple times, until I can get all the way out to all four edges. It can be tedious but it's far easier on my back/knees than doing it on the floor. Plus I don't have have that much open floor space.

  10. #10
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I'm lazy....I use spray baste. Just finished one and it turned out great:)

  11. #11
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    I use a hoop and start in the middle and work my way out. I would suggest instead of using pins, baste your
    quilt sandwich together. I have done it both ways, and
    I've settled on the basting. The pins always got in my way,
    and I had to move them or my thread caught on them.
    Basting for me has worked out better, and the back does
    not get all messed up, especially since I use a hoop.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sarahrachel's Avatar
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    Maybe I've just been lucky, but I pin baste and start somewhere near the middle and work my way to the borders, doing them last. And for me, I found using too many pins makes more wrinkles. so I don't have a lot of pins, but enough in mine

  13. #13
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I use masking tape to keep the backing straight on the floor, then the batting then the top & hand baste halves then diagonals, then approx a fist width away from each other, takes time, but well worth the effort.

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    I tape my quilt back to the floor at the community center, lots of floor space there. I layer the batting and the top on. Next, I have a gadget that is meant to be used with a basting gun that I just slide under the quilt edge and then I pin into the spaces in the gadget. When I'm ready to quilt, I use an 18" or 24" hoop and start in the center of the quilt. I loosely fit the top part of the hoop over the quilt and bottom of the quilt hoop. Then I flip the hoop over and lightly tug the backing fabric until it's smooth within the hoop. Then I flip the hoop back over and lightly tug the quilt top until it's smooth and then tighten the screw. I start in the center. Next I keep moving the hoop out one hoop space to the left until I get to the edge of the quilt. I return to the center and move the hoop one hoop space to the right and continue in that manner until I get to the outside edge. For the second row I move my hoop up one hoop space from the center and then continue just as I did for the first row. Once I have the quilt on the hoop the way I want it, I remove all the safety pins within the space so they don't get in my way. I haven't had a pucker yet. I only make bed sized quilts. Good luck with yours!

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