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Forum > Quilters' Corner > Pin basting large quilts ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Pin basting large quilts
There has got to be a better way
Warbler
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Warbler  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/2/12 5:45 PM

I just finished pin basting a large 80x80 quilt. I do not have large spaces to do this so the kitchen floor is the de facto spot. It took me nearly 3 hours to baste it... I will never be able to do it like this again. It nearly killed me. I had a nice pillow to kneel on but my shoulders and elbows to the brunt of the work. I am so stiff it hurts to move... I am off to a warm shower momentarily to retrieve some of my energy.

What do you do to baste large quilts? I think I need a 6ft table to work on and to clamp or tape the quilt back to, then work in sections.

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Janome MC6600 Bernina 240 Juki MO735 Singer 201-2 Singer 221-1

misschris
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In reply to Warbler <<


Date: 6/2/12 6:01 PM

I can clear floor space in the living room for large quilts. I spray baste first to minimise shifting and then lie on my stomach to pin. I do as much as I can reach before moving and can cover a large quilt in 3-4 moves. I have a really bad knee (needs replacement) so kneeling is out of the question.

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chris

Melbourne

JEF
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Date: 6/2/12 7:37 PM

I can't remember the reference and I'm sorry about that (book, website???) but I found directions for making a frame that you can disassemble easily. Basically, you take 1x2s and put them in a square using clamps. Then you put your backing on and attach it to the wood with more clamps. Add the batting then the front. You can either prop this frame up on 4 chairs (one in each corner) or you can lean it against the wall. Either way, you save your knees.

JEF

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Warbler <<


Date: 6/2/12 7:44 PM

Warbler, to commiserate with your pain, I once made an 80 x 88 quilt top as a duvet cover! What I use is a cardboard cutting board, found at Joann's for about $12, and I reference Singer's Quilting Bible on how to pin baste a quilt larger than the surface. You use large clips and masking tape, and you pin baste in sections.

My quilting surface, that I not only sew on but also baste my quilts is 54" long by 30" wide, and with the cutting board, it really saves my back a lot! Now, if I could get that same surface raised about 3", that would be sweet!

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Warbler
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Date: 6/2/12 8:57 PM

I scoured YouTube and found a good video on basting using a table top and clamps. It looked pretty easy... I wish I had done the search before I started. But I guess I didn't anticipate it being so painful. I've taken a shower and had a light supper so I feel a lot better. My dining room table has a beveled edge so I wonder how deep the clips will reach and if it would be effective. I could get a thin sheet of plywood or maybe get a 6 foot folding table.

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Janome MC6600 Bernina 240 Juki MO735 Singer 201-2 Singer 221-1

CM_Sews
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Date: 6/2/12 10:01 PM

Some other options for basting quilts:

These videos show another variation of "how to baste a quilt". The advantage of this method is that you can do this on one or two folding banquet tables, depending on how wide your quilt is. You'll need some trim boards to roll up the quilt (available at any big box hardware store). Sharon Schamber explains it all very well in her videos.

Remember to remove the hand basting threads in the section that you are machine quilting. She does explain this in the videos, but in one of her newer videos she mentions that quilters have asked her how to get the basting out after you quilt; apparently, they forgot the instruction about removing the thread basting in the small section that you have under the needle. After you've quilted a section, it is stabilized and you don't need the basting anymore.

Sharaon Schamber, Hand Basting Part 1 (8:07)
Sharon Schamber, Hand Basting Part 2 (9:43)
Sharon Schamber, newer Hand Basting video (13:43)
Sharon Schamber, Domestic Quilting lesson, includes basting and quilting feathers on a domestic machine (1:22:35)

On this web page, Ami Simms explains her C-clamp and board method of basting. Ami also prefers to thread baste. I find Ami rather amusing. Check out her newsletters on her web site. (From the basting web page: "My frame is made out of four 1 x 2s which are long narrow pieces of wood I call “sticks.” ")

Ami Simms, Basting a Quilt

CMC
Sharon Schamber web site, Free Stuff page

Edited to fix video link.
-- Edited on 6/2/12 10:07 PM --

rtrittel
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Date: 6/3/12 0:30 AM

I use the spray adhesive rather than pin basting my quilts. I have covered my dining room table with a mat that covers the entire surface. I always make sure to open all the windows to ventilate the space well. I've done this with over a dozen quilts so far and absolutely love it versus pinning. It is so much quicker and easier!

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"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

PortlandMaine
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Date: 6/3/12 1:51 AM

i say ...dont baste, , or pin ... just lay the top bottom and batting together and start fmq in the corner and go at it!

my backs and fronts come out really nice -- very few tucks and look great.


pinning and the rest takes too much time for my taste.

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Quilting up a storm!

AminaHijabi
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Date: 6/3/12 5:26 AM

Having just finished my machine quilting in sections, my solution was to break the queen sized quilt into three sections that fit on the floor on my cutting mat. Then I saw those videos. All things considered remarkably few. Puckers and tuks on the back, none on the front. The sections I pin basted were much better than those I thread basted, as the thread kept gettting caught in the walking foot as I was quilting and creating puckers. So irritating. Live and learn. I can't kneel either.

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Date: 6/3/12 7:46 AM

Check your local library for Harriet Hargrave's machine quilting books. She has clear instructions for pin basting any size quilt on a banquet/folding table/ plywood table topper. You use the big black office clamps to hold everything in place and move the whole quilt package as needed to complete the pinning. As you proceed the weight of the pinned sections help keep everything in place. I've done up to queen sized tops this way and never had tucks at all.

If the table's too low to be comfortable for your back put something under the legs to get it up to a better height. Bed rises, paint cans (tight lids, please!), lengths of pvc plumbing pipe, bricks, etc. all work.

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