Monday, October 24, 2011

How I Baste My Big Quilts in a Small Unit

I live in a small unit and I sometimes make large quilts, well, not king-sized but larger than A3-size.  While others have dedicated studios or large rooms that they can use, creative problem solving is required when space is at a premium and your family insists on living indoors.
First, the equipment I use:
  1. Two chairs
  2. Wardrobe door that I bought at Ikea.  This one was supposed to be white, but some of us don't always read instructions or the labels on boxes that are a bit awkward to lift.
  3. A box of large bull clips
  4. Lots of safety pins.  I like the bent ones but any safety pins will do the trick
  5. A handy gadget to close all those open safety pins.  I have two: a spoon with a notch cut out of the point and a wooden handle with a grooved post sticking out.  The notch and the groove help grip the pin so I can push it shut instead of using my fingers to do all the work
  6. Scissors

Second, prepare the space.  I use the chairs to support the wardrobe door.  I like to set it up next to the lounge so that I can sit comfortably while I pin.

Next, I lay out the three layers of my quilt:
  1. Backing fabric, face down
  2. Wadding or batting
  3. Quilt top, face up

Then I use the bulldog clips to secure the quilt to the wardrobe door.  I put the clips on one side and then pull the layers tight-ish before putting the clips on the other side.
As I pin each section, I remove the bulldog clips, shift the quilt over to the next un-pinned section and put the bulldog clips back on, one side at a time to be sure that the bottom layers lie flat.

And I keep doing it until the entire quilt is pinned.  I use the scissors to trim off any extra backing fabric or wadding and it's done.

For quilts that are wider than the wardrobe door, I use the same process but do half the quilt and then the other half and use extra bulldog clips on the ends of the wardrobe door and not just the sides.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Hi Maggie,

Excellent process, well done!