Monday, March 12, 2012

How to be a Very Bad Quilter

I think I shall make this an occasional series - what not to do in the world of quilting. I could fill a book with bad ideas; randomly sized seams, wavy borders, missing bits of batting (or backing), polyester material that melts when you iron it ... and this disastrous episode would be the star of a whole special section: "How NOT to baste".

Basting for me is the worst part of the whole quilting process. I read that others dislike binding, or quilting, or cutting ... I really hate basting. And I put it off, and the pile of tops grows and grows. Then I read on the internet about some whizz bang way of doing it that will eliminate all the bother, so I try that, and always always always it is only whizz bang if your quilt is under forty inches a side.

My new favourite method is spray basting with spray glue - I did it for the Checkered Past and it held together beautifully during quilting and was so very easy to do. I don't have a special covered wall to spray on, so I stick the backing up to the outside wall of the house with masking tape, then spray, put the batting on, spray, put the quilt top on. And away I go, it really was painless. So it lulled me into a false sense of security for this monster...

Which is about 240 cm (95 inches) square. Somebody had a method for spraybasting big quilts on a wall that they SWORE worked for them (and I watched on youtube, and it did work in the video) where they pin up half the quilt and do that while the rest pools on the floor, then flip it around and do the other half. The trouble is they had a special wall where they could use drawing pins (is that an australian word? thumb tacks?) and the masking tape I was using just could not hold the weight. I decided to do it on the floor, but I can't do it inside because it's a bit gluey and messy ... so here I am on the pavers out the back. This is bad bad bad quilting. For starters, the pavers are very uneven, so the surface is far from flat. Secondly, it is absolutely filthy. My husband swept the area for me (bless him, he was seeing me become increasingly irate and wanted to help (before he copped any of the fallout)) but there are still leaves, twigs and gumnuts glued into the quilt somewhere. And thirdly it is really quite agonising crawling around on the concrete smoothing it all out so mostly I did not bother. Lumpy, bumpy and wrinkly! (and that's just me, boom boom). A show quilt this is NOT.

It didn't help that the Arsonist Brothers were making ash in the background. I sent them inside to play computer games like normal children.


  1. I agree I hate basting too. I have tried a few different ways and hate them all have not done the spray bast yet because some one said the smell is bad and I am sensitive to strong smells. but I think I might try it. I have safety pinned all mine so far (not been doing this long) but even that I do not like the whole thought of crawling on the ground though is um not for me.

  2. yes, God forbid the children get outside for some fresh air! hahahahahahahaha. i love it! and i share your pain about basting. it is NOT one of my favorite things either. i have crawled around on my kitchen floor, gone to the church basement and pushed tables together, put tables together on my patio outside, and even used the top of my freezer. it's just a pain in the butt. your quilt top is beautiful.

  3. I don't even know what basting means (tacking the back to the front so that it holds firm till you quilt it?) but as usual you made me smile.

    Why do you look different in every photo you post of yourself? I keep thinking I know what you look like and then you change...

    Your boys are very cute.