With all my previous quilts, I’ve used the pin basting technique. When I ran across Sharon Schamber’s Hand Basting a Quilt tutorial, I decided to give it a try. The results of my efforts…
Per her suggestion, I went to a home supply store and bought some flat pre-primed white boards. I found some 7-foot lengths for a whopping two bucks a piece. The quilt top is 38 inches square so I cut two of the boards down to 4-foot lengths. The top and bottom are laid down flat on a table. There is no batting inserted at this point.
Next I rolled the top and the bottom sections onto their boards. I set the top board aside. I unrolled the bottom board about 2 feet and then laid the batting on top. I bought a polyester crib sized batting for this project. I normally use cotton batting, but I wanted a lighter batting for two reasons…first, I’m planning to use this as a wall hanging. Polyester batting is a much lighter weight than cotton. Second, this will be my first hand quilting project. Right or wrong, I thought the project would be easier to accomplish with the polyester. We’ll see if my logic was faulty as I progress. After flattening the batting to eliminate wrinkles, I placed the top board on top and unrolled until I reached the top board. Now I’m ready for basting.
Using the herringbone stitch with a three finger length, I began basting on the right side and worked my way left. I was amazed at how much faster it went basting rather than pinning. The slowest part of the process was threading the darn needle. I’m not used to the smaller quilt needles but will surely get better with practice (grin).
Unlike Sharon’s illustration, my herringbone lines are not exactly straight and even from row to row, but the end the result is the same….a wonderfully stabilized and pucker free project that is ready to quilt.
Another wonderful benefit of this technique, is the ability to fold up the project and set it aside without pins getting stuck to each other. When it’s time to start quilting, I just have to clip the hand basting and remove where I plan to quilt. And….I can start anywhere I want. Nice!
I have decided to take the leap and hand quilt this project, a first for me. I’ve been cruising my quilting books for ideas while I await my lap hoop. I ordered a Grace 14-inch Poly Swivel hoop and am awaiting its arrival. Will keep you posted…