Saturday, September 18, 2010

Let's start off by understanding that I am a TOPPER. All of my friends know this.............. I have finished a few quilts but you should see the tops I have. It seems that when I get the top finished I get to the paralyzing part of WHAT DO I DO NEXT................ It is not feasible to hand quilt all the tops and besides there is not enough time to do that. Most of them are utility quilts and I would not spend my time hand quilting utility quilts. But even before you get that far there is the LAYERING................ Yes, I do have friends and yes they have all offered to help me at any time but that is not always convenient for everyone.........

Sharon Schamber has a video on Basting Your Quilt. I saw it some time ago. Several of my friends have used this method and I myself have tried it on small projects. It works well.

Well, today is the day that I am going to actually do this with a larger project.

Since I am facing unemployment funding for my projects has come to a screeching halt so I am having to make do with what I have. This is my cutting table. The legs are in PVC pipe that has been cut to bring the table up to the perfect height for me to cut fabric. Under the table is the drawers holding the leftover pieces of fabric based on the Bonnie Hunter system of scraps. That will have to be moved away from the wall and lowered to normal height........

First I spread the backing right side down to be cut.

Then I placed the batting on top of it so that I could cut them at the same time.

Next came the pieced top and I trimmed off the excess backing and batting.

Here it is all cut and ready to layer.

It is recommended that the backing and the top be pressed and starched three times. That took the entire morning.

To help pass the time I downloaded a talking book on my laptop from the library. I might as well enjoy a good book while I am pressing.

Lem helped me move the table from the corner and now it is filling the center of the studio. All of the things that were on the cutting table are stashed just anywhere I could find a place.

The backing and the top are being rolled up on the boards.

Then turn them around and start the layering process. First the backing with the wrong side up.

Then the batting on top of that.

And now to begin unrolling the top.

Needles, thread, scissors and we can begin to baste.

It did take the rest of the weekend because there were interruptions. A break for meals... then to get the house in order because someone wanted to see it on Sunday...... Lem did the vacuuming and I did the other things. Two loaves of bread were made and a dozen muffins.

By Sunday evening I managed to get one part marked so that I could begin the quilting. This morning I went back upstairs to finish marking one section all the way across.

I can see that I will be working on this exclusively for some time to come.

The studio is a disaster but there are several other quilts that I would like to layer before I move the table back to the corner. After they are layered I can get the studio back to normal....... And then perhaps I will practice my machine quilting skill.


  1. I have watched the video but haven't basted this way yet. I'll be interested to see your progress.

    Don't you love the OverDrive ability from the library? I transfer the book to my iPod and away I go!

  2. I've done several quilts this way, and I have to admit that I skip the ironing and starching and so far everything has turned out fine (except I'm not the best FMQ'er). My table and boards are only 6 feet so I'm limited in size, and I have a monster quilt to do soon. I am just going to drape it over the table clip it all around and baste (I bought some hair clips with teeth for that purpose), then shift and baste until it is done. Wish me luck, lol.

  3. PS I also bought some finger cots which have saved my pointer finger from much pain.

  4. Great tutorial on how to baste. I have the table that is about 6 feet long up on PVC pipes. It's just a matter of moving everything underneath it and pulling the table away from the wall. I've never seen the part about using the boards before. Good luck with that. You may have just motivated me to move things around and baste a few small quilts. I'm a topper, too. Can't wait to see your quilting progress.

  5. Basting is so hard to do. I have not tried this method but anything is worth a try. I have found basting spray on 100%cotton batting to help. I avoid hand basting because my fingers get so sore. Can't wait to see finished tops!!

  6. Hi Susan... I still use the method of basting my three layers together... It works wonderful...There are times I use safty pins and they sometimes get hung up in the machine...I need to go back to using the boards and baste the way I use to.... I am sure everyone in blogland will use this method and like the results... :)

  7. I have not seen this method before and it looks like a good one. Usually I send my large quilts to a long arm quilter to be basted. The small ones I spray baste on top of my deep freezer in the laundry room - that seems to work quilt well. I LOVE the Lori Smith The Road Less Traveled Quilt!!

  8. *VBG*

    Here's my 25 cents worth.... hope you're not offended by this.

    Count how many hours you've invested in basting this quilt and multiply these hours by your hourly salary that you get paid.

    Now, call up your local Longarm quilter and ask them how much it would cost to simply baste your quilt.

    I'm guessing that it would be cheaper and easier on you, if you sent it out.

    Once again, that's only my 25 cents worth of opinion. *s*


  9. I love this Sharon Schamber way of layering up quilts! It's so much better than crawling around on the floor!


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The Thread and I

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, Do it with thy might.

Ecclesiastes 9:10