Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quilting Tip: Basting/Layering Quilt

There are so many ways to make quilts. In my humble opinion - as long as you are having fun there is no wrong or right way. Some people are into sewing fabric any way together - other people like to make sure their seams all match precisely – enjoying what you are making is most important. I do however enjoy reading about different ways people do things – make things work - looking for tips to help me – finding people who work in similar ways that I work and that is why I wanted to share the way I put my quilt layers together. I don’t know if it is wrong or right – but I am hoping this little tip can help someone with what I have found to be sometimes a cumbersome experience.

I used to use pins to layer my quilts. I spent hours (literally - perhaps days) ironing, smoothing, pinning, smoothing, repining. It took forever. I recently chatted with Svetlana from s.o.t.a.k handmade and after speaking with her I decided to try out the - often loved by many and perhaps somewhat scorned by some - 505 spray.

It has somewhat changed my life!

The biggest factor is the amount of time saved – which for me with the three little ones is key. Of course the spray is not super cheap – but I don’t use a lot - a very light spritz – so one can lasts for 3 or more full sized quilts. Here is what I do (this is a queen sized quilt.)

I lay the batting out on the floor and smooth it out as much as possible. I use the cardboard fabric tube to roll up my quilt top. 

I spray the first 10” or so of the batting and lay the top 10” of the quilt top on the batting - close to the top & left edge so any remnants from the right & bottom sides of the batting will be big enough to be sewn together again and reused.

I smooth out the top of the quilt as it comes off the roll. If it wrinkles – it easily lifts up and repositions.

I spray and roll in 10” increments smoothing and rubbing all the way.

Keeping the batting flat and smooth underneath I use the cardboard tube to help keep the length of the quilt top flat, taught and smooth on top. Here you can see the beginning of my Recycled Sweater Union Jack peaking out.

Once I have positioned the top layer I trim around the edge of the quilt and batting.

I like to trim the batting off now so I can accurately/neatly/precisely place the quilt top onto the backing fabric - minimizing waste of the backing fabric - the larger I can make the remnants - the more uses I can find for them.

Once trimmed I roll the top with the batting back up on the cardboard tube ...

... and lay out the backing - smoothing it out as much as possible.

I repeat the same process again but with the batting AND the top on the roll.

Once all the layers are together I keep the quilt laid out flat on the spare bed until I'm ready to quilt them. I hope this tip helps you put your larger quilts together in an easier way.  


Please do not forget about the charity I Spy quilt - we are still looking for scrap fabric donations. 


hetty said...

I love the 505 adhesive spray and use it all the time. It is a bit expensive, but when I find it on sale I buy a couple of cans. It saves so much time and energy. I don't know what I ever did without it.

Sue said...

I've only ever made one small quilt, a wall hanging really. Putting the layers together wasn't bad, but doing the binding was awful. I still haven't finished it after many years, but maybe soon.

Rachael Rabbit said...

Hi Hetty - I buy mine online - it seems to be much cheaper either from http://www.sewforless.com/ or http://www.createforless.com/ I am not sure if they ship to Canada - but it seems to be very large cans 1/2 the price of what I can find in a store ..... I hope this helps. I don't know how I spent all that time before I started to use it this year - I'm surprised I even produced anything!!!