I hate to baste.
There, I said it.
When my husband heard me voice this opinion, he thought I was talking about cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. No such luck. I was referring to pinning, sticking, or somehow attaching the three layers of a “quilt sandwich” together — the top, batting, and bottom fabric — in order to get them all smooth, wedded to one another, and ready for quilting. (Quilting, in this sense, meaning stitching through all three layers.) It’s a tedious process that can take a lot of time.
Many quilters use safety pins, which come in various sizes and are either bent or not. But after going through a few hundred pins — one ever 3 inches or so — one’s hands feel and look raw. I even bought myself a “Kwik Klip” tool to try to make the pinning easier. It’s a little metal rod with a handle that lets you pick up the pin ends and clip them or unclip them quickly. But it doesn’t make the bending or poking that much better.
My basting-aversion is why this lovely batik Trip Around the World quilt that I pieced is currently residing, semi-basted, on my loveseat:
This time, I thought I’d try another method, one that wouldn’t risk me sticking my fingers with pins and bleeding on my quilt. And for me, this is a large project, so I just couldn’t face so many pins! So I got some Hobbs fusible cotton/poly batting, which promises to allow the quilter to simply iron on fabric to make it stick to the batting. Well, I tried ironing all three layers. But unfortunately the backing is SOOO wrinkly, despite my best-laid plans.
Then my two-year-old daughter came along and tried to use the half-basted, “lap size” quilt, to swaddle her baby doll. That did NOT help.
I guess I’ll need to remove the backing, which can still be peeled off, and try to iron it onto the batting from the back side.
I’m going to do a little research on this. But if anyone out there can recommend methods for using fusible batting, please do let me know!
I’ve also heard many quilters sing the praise of basting spray. I may try that next time if I can find a well-ventilated area to tape down my backing fabric and spray everything in place. Perhaps my driveway on a sunny day?!