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Thread: Where does everyone pin their layers together?

  1. #1
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    Where does everyone pin their layers together?

    I've got four quilt tops that need I need to pin together so I can start quilting them, but I keep putting it off because it's my least favorite part of quilting. Where do you all pin your layers? I know everyone can't have a table designed just for that purpose. Who has the room? I have a large tiled area in my house where I tape my layers down so I can pin them together. But it means crawling and stretching all over the floor. Now, I'm not as young as I used to be, and after doing that, my body is sore for days. I know many of you must be more ancient than I am. How do you do it?

    Joyce

  2. #2
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    I do it on the bed in the guest room now, and have given up pins for spray basting because it's much quicker and there's a lot less bending and stretching.

  3. #3
    Super Member mscupid804's Avatar
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    I do exactly what Julie does.

  4. #4
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    Our LQS has tables and if they aren't having a class they let you schedule time to use them. Works out great

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I have folding tables from Walmart and use Sharon Schamber's method to roll them onto flat boards but instead of thread basting then I spray baste. It goes really, really fast that way. Sharon Schamber's videos are available on youtube.

  6. #6
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I used to use my carpeted living room floor. T-pins secured the backing onto the carpet. Then, crawl, stretch, scoot around and pin. Then my knee went out on me and the knee surgery makes crawling very painful. I changed to using a large 8-person dining room table. I put a thin piece of paneling on top so that I won't scratch the table wood while scooping those pins in. I use large black office clips to anchor the backing. I smooth the batting over the backing and the add the top. Then, I roll around on my office chair and pin away. I start with the quilt centered on the table and once that is pinned I'll move it around as necessary so that all sides of the quilt are pinned securely. I was amazed how easy it is and was sorry I didn't always do it this way. So far, my largest quilt is a twin size but I'm thinking I could do a king size using this same method. I never have puckers in my backing and I think partly this is due to the fact that I use so many pins. I put them a palm width apart (every 3-4 inches). The quilt is quite heavy with all of those pins in it! (Using a bed sounds like a good idea except it wouldn't work for me because my back can't handle leaning over for long periods of time. By using the table and a chair my back stays nice a straight and I have no pain.) I hope you find a method that works for you!

  7. #7
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyTheSewer View Post
    Using a bed sounds like a good idea except it wouldn't work for me because my back can't handle leaning over for long periods of time. By using the table and a chair my back stays nice a straight and I have no pain. I hope you find a method that works for you!
    Too true, as I was reading your description I was dreaming about whether or not I could do that here... LOL

  8. #8
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I use the pool table, although I usually have to move the quilt and pin sections. Sometimes I do it the Sharon Schamber way too. For a small quilt or runner, spray baste works well for me.

  9. #9
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    I use the peninsula counter in my kitchen that separates the cooking area from the dining area. I find the center point of the top, batting, and back (fold them in quarters) and mark with a safety pin. Then I lay the backing down (wrong side up) with the center pin on the counter and the extra backing hanging down on either side of the peninsula counter. Next is the batting and finally the top where I match center pins with the backing and fasten all three layers together. At this point I put a row of safety pins across the center of the quilt connecting all three layers. Then I slide the row of pins to the edge of the counter, peel back the top and use Elmer's school glue on the batting to glue the top down. I smooth with both hands and use a dry warm iron to heat set the glue. I continue sliding the sandwich down until the top half of the quilt top is glued to the batting. Then I repeat for the bottom half of the quilt top by sliding it in the opposite direction. When the entire top is glued down and dried, I flip the sandwich over and do the same thing for the backing. When all layers are glued and dried, I remove the safety pins. I've done a large queen sized quilt this way and it worked great. Being at counter height was wonderful for my back and I have a pad I stand on for my feet and knees. My only problem was that I had to clear off my kitchen counter before I could start. I guess that was a good thing .

  10. #10
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I have a small cutting table. I find the center of all three pieces and center it on my table with the excess hanging over the edges. I start pinning in the middle and move left pinning and moving the layers to the right as needed. I then recenter the sandwich and pin to the right using the same method of shifting the fabric to the left. I keep recentering the sandwich and move down from the original row of pinning. I pin the lower half of the quilt sandwich then I turn the sandwich around and do the same process for the upper part. I keep smoothing the top, batting and backing as I go before I pin. I'm able to feel if there is a wrinkle in any of the layers. It works for me and I have never had a wrinkle when I check the back before starting to quilt.
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  11. #11
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Sharon Schamber method with a card table butter up to the dining room table. I've never had a tuck or wrinkle.

  12. #12
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    I have a big board for my ironing board and pin in sections - with the backing clamped to the board with binder clips. I've tried on banquet tables but the leaning over gets to me. I have pinned the quilt to the board cover in the past, so now I slide my large cutting mat along the board (underneath all the layers) so that I catch only quilt on the pins.

    Cheers, K

  13. #13
    Senior Member FURBALLS's Avatar
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    We have a large area in our office and i will do them there, usually basting spray. I also have one of those tall dining tables at home and my next one will be done on that as I am going to use elmers glue. I tried it on a small wall hanging and have decided that works better as I wash most everything anyway.

  14. #14
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    Our town library has large tables that can be shoved together - that's where most of my small quilt group does theirs.

  15. #15
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I do mine in sections on the dinning room table, much like several others have posted here. I just finished a set of place mats using the Elmer's glue method, and I am so impressed, that I will attempt to do my next quilt that way. My quilts are all at least queen size, and doing in sections has worked very well. I think the main thing is to use "a lot" of pins! and smooth as you go. Good luck with which ever method you choose.

  16. #16
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    Making the quilt sandwich is my least favorite part of quilting. My problem is lack of space. I use my long cutting table which is the perfect height; but my sewing room is so small that I don't have much room to move around on the back side of the table. Another problem is that because the table is not too wide, I usually pin the middle section, then have to reposition the quilt twice to pin the sides. I just finished pinning a quilt yesterday. Today, I started FMQ . It is a great feeling to finally be at the quilting stage.

  17. #17
    Super Member mary quilting's Avatar
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    I pin bast mine and use Sharon Schamber method I got my folding tables from WM
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    I have folding tables from Walmart and use Sharon Schamber's method to roll them onto flat boards but instead of thread basting then I spray baste. It goes really, really fast that way. Sharon Schamber's videos are available on youtube.
    Last edited by mary quilting; 11-27-2012 at 11:45 AM.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have settled on one way after trying lots of others. Now I lay out my backing, batting and top and pin about every 3-4" in the center area. I have a glass topped dining table I go over as far as I can and move around as needed until it is all pinned. Table is small about 36x59". I have used plastic saw horses at end of table. I have tried a folding table, but they way I do now works out best for me. I don't crawl on the floor. I hope some of these ideas will work for you.
    Another Phyllis
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  19. #19
    Junior Member Bataplai's Avatar
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    I use the dining room table. I secure the backing with clamps and 2" office clips. Between this and starching the backing fabric I don't have puckers. The largest top I've done is 50 x 75.

  20. #20
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    I use the dining room table. I put an old blanket down, use spray basting, and spray in sections.

  21. #21
    Super Member Anael's Avatar
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    Sometimes I use the dining table, sometimes (like with the last quilt I made) I use the living room floor and sometimes I tape it to the bedroom floor. I might try spray basting or glue basting next time I have to make a quilt sandwich.
    Eat, quilt, sleep, repeat



  22. #22
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    I used to do the floor routine, had done it for many years. This past year my knees and back and seems everything has given up and said, "no more getting down there". I now use the table I have my sewing machine on, clear everything off, and lay out my three layers. The table measures 64x34, I pin the middle section then move my layers to the left then the right til it's all pinned. Works great, why didn't I do this years ago?

  23. #23
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    Our LQS has tables and if they aren't having a class they let you schedule time to use them. Works out great
    I've done this too, but be creative about other places - maybe church hall or other local spot like American Legion or anyplace that has big tables in a room that is not used all the time. If bending to table height is a problem, get some wood blocks or something that you put under legs to lift up a few inches. I haven't done a bed size quilt in ages, but I do smaller ones on the kitchen counter end of peninsula that was designed for this. I also have one of those folding tables like they sell in JoAnn's that someone gave me. Sprays vary in quality and toxicity, so check carefully before you use one. I find they don't always stay stuck if you don't get to the quilting right away. I usually put in a few pins even when I do the spray.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  24. #24
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I have four folding tables and I use 2 or 4 depending how big the quilt is. I put them up on my patio. Don't have that room in the house. I have hand basted and pinned. The last one I did I used June taylor basting spray. I tape news paper down for over spray and tape backing down so I get no wrinkels. This is my least favorite thing about quilting also. Next time I am trying the elmers glue way.
    Suzanne
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  25. #25
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I still crawl around on the floor. I have a carpeted bedroom, so I vacuum really carefully (two cats and a dog) and pin my layers down. I haven't had a pucker yet (now I'll surely be jinxed). I used to baste (when I still hand-quilted everything) and now I use safety pins.

    I tried Elmer's glue basting for the first time recently with a whole series of placemats - and it works really well - but I don't think I am ready to do a large quilt that way. My two complaints with the glue basting: I probably used too much glue, so it went through my layers and got on my work surface; and when it came time tot hand-sew on my binding I would hit dried glue hard patches that were difficult to sew (this might have been from too much glue too...)

    I have tried clamping onto a table and basting there, but it really isn't my favorite way.

    Alison

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