While the title here may suggest I’ve spent the day baking, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve spent today pin-basting the quilt sandwich (backing, batting and quilt-top) of my ‘Life’s Rich Tapestry’ creation. This is a slow, careful process that gave me some time for reflection and appreciation for the art of quilting. I’ll cover the sandwiching process in the techniques section of my website soon, I thought it would be more constructive to discuss the basting here today, as good information on this seems to be hard to find.
I’ve made nearly 20 quilts now, and while each one has taught me something different, and I’m always keen to experiment and learn something new. From previous projects I knew that sewing basting (by machine or hand) is more difficult than it looks with a large quilt, so the decision is not really whether to pin baste. Pin-basting is absolutely necessary for the end product to reflect the hard work you’ve put into it. Rather, the decision is whether to sew or tack as well as pin. For this project I’m going to try just pins, combined with a two-step process for quilting – structural quilting, then decorative quilting (which I’ll cover in next week’s post). The results of my pin-ing efforts today can be seen in the photo below.
You may notice from the photograph that I’ve flouted the ‘baste every 2inches’ principle and I’ve done this on purpose. In my experience, pin basting can work but only if the pins are in the right place. So I’ve adopted the approach of pin-around-the-quilting-line to see how that works. For the structural quilting, I’m aiming to just follow the vertical and horizontal lines in the piecing, so I’ve pinned through the centre of each piece leaving enough room for the foot of the sewing machine to fit around the pins. The reason I haven’t placed the pins in a 2inch grid is that I find it very frustrating to be constantly stopping to remove pins – it makes my sewing wonky and breaks my concentration. Who knew sewing could be that aggravating ? J