Friday, January 14, 2011


I had a very productive afternoon yesterday.  All three kiddos napped at the same time (!!!) and I layered and basted my Flea Market Fancy quilt top.  I've made plenty of twin quilts and smaller, but this is the first queen size quilt.  I was a little intimidated to baste it, but it went surprisingly well. 

For a long time, basting was my least favorite part of the quilting process. Not for any reason in particular, I was just too impatient and wanted to skip that part.  The last couple of quilts have been different, though, and  I've really enjoyed this step.  Now I like to spend some quiet time with the quilt, trimming stray threads, and admiring (hopefully that and not cringing over) my piecework. 

Here are the things that I use to baste:

1 - Pins.  I always pin, never spray.  Not because I don't think it is a good idea, I've just never tried!  

2 - Scissors.  I keep a pair of small scissors close by to trim the stray threads that pop up between the seams.  I couldn't seem to find my little ones yesterday, so the big old fabric scissors had to do. 

3 - A beverage.  A can of diet Coke usually keeps me company.  Late night pinning sometimes requires a glass of wine.  Not sure if that is the best idea ever!

4 - I always use a spoon to close the pins.  Have you ever tried that?  I read that tip in a quilt magazine a few years back, and it sure makes things easier.  After the pin is through the layers, just slide the spoon under the point, and close pin. Does that make sense?  Pinning goes quickly, and no more sore fingertips!  

5 - My iPod.  I listen to either an audiobook or a podcast.  If it has been a crazy day with the kids, I usually work in silence.  With three kids ages 5 and under, we don't have much of that in our house. :)

Okay, I'm off to quilt this thing, wish me luck!  And don't forget, today is the last day to sign up for the Heather Ross giveaway.  I'll announce the winner later on in the weekend.

Happy Friday!
xoxo, Angela

PS - Do you have any good basting tips you'd like to share?


  1. I basted a twin last night. I use needle nose pliers to close my pins. I know what you mean about sore fingers :(. I love my pliers! I've never heard of a spoon but that seems like a good idea too. That is a lovely quilt!

  2. Oh, good luck on the quilting. This is one of my favorite quilts - can't wait to see it finished.

  3. Thank you for the spoon tip -- I am going to try that. Your quilt is beautiful.

  4. I spray and pin. I need less pins that way. Actually I didn't realize until recently that a lot of people only use the spray, lol.

  5. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this quilt. I'm working on a FMF quilt too, but with the leftovers I want to make one similar to this, just maybe smaller...

    This is my year to learn how to machine quilt myself. I usually send them out for someone else to finish. So I'm gathering all the basting tips I can find!

  6. Love your quilt. Hate pins. Have spray basted the last two quilts, one lap sized and one full sized, and I won't go back to pinning if I can help it. Both quilted on a home machine and I was thrilled not to have to stop and pick pins out of the way. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

  7. This quilt is a true beauty Angela! I'm thinking of something similar for my Lotus quilt. I've been trying really hard to get by with just pins since I'm pregnant and can't spray, but I still seem to end up with mild puckers (they mostly wash out, but I want perfection!) Usually I spray the batting to the backing and pin the top down and it seems to work like a charm. Definitely gonna try the spoon method next time to save some fingers!

  8. I use one of my favorite notions to baste. It does pretty much what your spoon does, I guess. It's called a Kwik Klip, and it's a lifesaver when it comes to closing those safety pins. I also use it to turn points from time to time, and when I have to hold something down close to the iron and down want to burn my fingers.

    I've also been wanting to try Hobbs Heirloom fusible batting. A friend of mine now swears by it. She said after washing, you can't tell it was ever fused.

    Your quilt looks fantastic! Can't wait to see the finished product.

  9. Very pretty quilt!! I have always used pins....but I may have to try the spray sometime in the future...sounds like it works well.

  10. this quilt is so pretty!!! I can't wait to see it when its done!

  11. I swear by basting spray - I've had much better results since I started using it. And no pins - I'm too lazy to do both, but I've really not seen a need to!

    By the way, your quilt is absolutely gorgeous!!

  12. Oh, a spoon! I will definitely give that a try next time. I know what you mean about the silence, and then I start singing "Old McDonald" to myself...figures!

  13. First of all - this quilt is gorgeous.

    My favourite basting tip - I wait until I have two quilts to baste and then I get together with my SIL and we have a chat while we pin. The time flies by and the quilts are basted and pinned to perfection - no puckers at all!

  14. I'm so jealous! I hope I someday get to a place when basting becomes a zen-time rather than an, OMG-basting-time. I do love your tip about having a Diet Coke on hand. I may need to try that caffeinated boost to help me out. :)

    My only basting tip is to use a lot of pins. I've learned that it really makes a huge difference when I'm quilting. Everything just stays smooth and even.

  15. May the force be with you! I loathe basting probably because I have never lived anywhere with proper space for basting. My top tip - send it to the machine quilter (lol). But seriously they can baste a quilt for you (or in my case quilt it).