Beth, thanks. I never thought about machine basting and doing the border first so the binding can be done before the inner quilting is done. Once the borders are stabilized, it makes sense to get those raw edges finished so the won't get stretched and all wonky from manipulating the quilt back and forth to do the inner quilting. Not to mention dealing with the batting catching on everything.
I'm definitely going to try this on a lap size top that's ready to quilt.
I just posted most of this in response to another inquiry on this board, but it applies to this question, too. In fact, it's probably even more applicable here.
The idea of spending 4 HOURS on my hands and knees or even at a table pin basting a quilt is not my idea of a good time! Plus, I hated all that stopping to remove the pins as I quilted. I did that twice and decided that I quilt for enjoyment, and this was definitely NOT IT!!!
I now spray baste all of my quilts and have had no problems whatsoever.
And I always use one of the big name quilt spray basting products. I have used several brands (including the Sulky brand) and don't find much difference. I would not spend the money on 505 (or whatever number it is) because it is MUCH more expensive than the others. I currently am using Sullivan's with no problem. It is available at Joann's, I believe, and is much cheaper than the Sulky product. You can baste MANY quilts with a single can. I have occasionally noticed my needle gumming up a bit, and so I just use a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol on the needle and continue on. It's not a big deal and happens, at most, once per quilt.
Also, I have had asthma for decades but still have had no problems with the spray basting. In my opinion, all those warnings about using it outside are needlessly cautious. (Where would you even baste a quilt outside, anyway? The driveway? NO THANKS!!) My kids complain that it stinks for 15 minutes or so after using it, but that dissipates quickly. If our Michigan weather allows, I leave the window open, but that's about it.
I first lay my BACKING right side down on the carpeting and T-pin it down. I then lay down my BATTING, smooth it out, and then fold half of it back on itself. (This is where the second pair of hands comes in handy!) I then spray baste that half of the batting, fold and re-smooth it down. (It goes much faster the second time!). I then do the same for the other half.
At that point, I usually trim my batting down to the same size as my backing (which I try to make about 4" larger on all sides than the quilt -- 8" total in each dimension).) This allows me to center my quilt top onto the backing. I sometimes even mark the center of each side of the batting and top so I can aim to match them up. You can get away with a smaller quilt back, but there is a greater chance of overspray that way. (See below.)
I then place my quilt TOP down on the batting, centering it and smoothing it down into final position, taking care to keep the long sides of the quilt top parallel with the edges of the batting. I then fold half of the qult top back on itself. I again spray baste the BATTING (to avoid overspray on the carpeting), remembering to stop spraying about 4" from each edge of the batting but making sure to get enough spray on the edges where the quilt top will adhere. (With this method, I find that I don't even need to pin the edges, either.)
I then smooth the quilt top back down, taking care to ensure that the inside borders and outside corners end up square. This is the pickiest part of the process, and it pays to spend a little time on this. I take my large 16" square ruler and check those angles. If I have to, I ease in any fullness into the middle. (It can help to have the 2nd pair of hands help on this, too.) I then spray baste the other half in the same way.
My next step is to unpin the backing and batting from the carpeting and turn the quilt over. During the course of smoothing the top (especially if I have to crawl around on the quilt to do that), I develop a few wrinkles in the backing. I just hand-smooth them out a bit at this point. They are never significant, but I like a nice, smooth quilt back.
Voila! I'm done. What took me HOURS to pin or hand-baste the old way takes only about 20 - 30 minutes, even for a large quilt.
Warning: You do have to be careful not to overspray onto your carpeting, but I have learned to make my batting bigger than my backing so that I have that extra cushion, even when basting the backing. I also spray IN from all edges of the quilt, pointing the spray can toward the center of the quilt.
I always begin my quilting with "stabilizing stitches" by using large machine basting stitches from top to bottom, side to side, at the half point in each direction, then about 6 - 8 inches apart after that. (I guestimate. Hey - they are just basting stitches!) In the past, I have used water-soluble thread (so I don't have to remove the stitching afterward, but it is expensive, and I have found that I often get too excited to see the finished product and end up removing them anyway. Besides, pulling out those stabilizing stitches goes very quickly if you use long enough stitches to begin with. So I am getting used to just using regular thread of a different LIGHT color from my quilting. NOTE: This step gives you a chance to sit under that quilt you've just finished before you pop it into the washer and it no longer looks completely new.
I should note that once you have your "stabilizing stitches" in a quilt, you can do your stitching in the ditch around the borders, etc., and then go ahead and just QUILT THE BORDERS FIRST (or nearly first). After all, they're not going anywhere after those borders are stitched in the ditch, so THERE IS NO REASON TO QUILT THE BORDERS LAST! What this does for you is allow you to BIND your quilt right after that, thereby eliminating a LOT of bulk as you wrestle that quilt thru your machine to get at the middle of the quilt. Linda Jenkins and Becky Goldsmith (Piece O' Cake Designs) do this, and they win big awards, so why not me? Besides, it works: I still don't get puckers on the back or front.
BTW, once I did overspray with the glue, which apparently left some invisible glue on the carpeting just outside my quilt. We didn't notice it until about a year later, when I saw a nice precise CLEAN rectangular area on the carpet, bordered by a darker area. Apparently, the overspray had gradually attracted more dirt than usual. But the next time we had our carpeting steam cleaned, it came right out and never reappeared, so no permanent damage.
I would strongly encourage you to give spray basting a try. I NEVER get puckers or folds in my quilts, and my system eliminates the single most tedious and (for me) back-breaking part of quilt-making.
I did not use 505, but another brand (can't remember which) for hand quilting. No problems with needling, never gummed up or made it more difficult. The only problem I had with it was the spray basting along the outer edges of the quilt pulled away and would not stay put. Eventually I just pin basted the edges to keep them in place - the rest of the quilt was fine though.
I'm going to use the 505 on a lap quilt for my granddaughter. It will be machine quilted. Has anyone had any trouble with the sticky stuff getting into their machines? And has anyone used the 505 spray for a quilt to be hand quilted?
I was interested to read about your experience with Hobbs 80-20 fusible, Peachykeen. Has anyone else used that particular batting? I'm wondering if it would be user-friendly for a queen size quilt. I've tried sprays and pins, and nothing has been satisfactory.
I love using that fusible batting. I sandwich my quilt on my sewing table, then slide a 2' square canvas-covered OSB under it and iron it together according to the directions, working from the center to the edges. Then I flip it over and fuse the other side. The only pinning I do is around the edges, since that's where it might tend to come apart. I can quilt, flip, turn, smush it, and it stays where I put it.
I tried and liked using fusible batting, but only tried it on quilts smaller than twin size. I really like the fact that it is repositionable. One issue that I had and did not like is that the fusible netting layer peeled off of the leftover batting after sitting for a long time its original plastic bag.
Yes, fumes are an issue. If possible set up a basting station outside - a couple of tables under a cover/canopy of some kind should work well. If you have to do it inside be sure to open all windows and have a fan blowing OUT to help pull the fumes out of the space as quickly as possible. You might also recommend anyone with breathing issues wear a mask.
I'm going to have to vote for the 505 method over the fusible. Though I find the fusible OK for smallish quilts, I don't like its tendancy to be wrinkled out of the package. I don't use large enough quantities to justify purchasing a role of it which would solve this problem.
An extra pair of hands is always welcome no matter what batting is used
Looking out the window at Lake Leman in beautiful Switzerland