Saturday, March 28, 2009

March Friendship Blocks & Pin Basting

It's been awhile since my last post and that is primarily because I have been working a lot of very long hours. Sometimes work just interfers with fun - I have got to learn to manage my time better so that does not happen anymore. We did swap our March blocks this past week and here they are. Carol made the Square in a Square block with the fussy cut flower center. I grabbed it up real quick before Cheryl even got a chance to see it. Cheryl did the crazy patch block - and a very nice job she did. I do think she needs to finish it though with all the embellishments and embroidery, hmmm Cheryl want it back? Actually I think it is very pretty just as is. And then mine is the Snail's Trail in Spring colors. I was feeling right Springy when I put these together, but believe me, by the end of the week I had slipped back into gloomy winter. Nothing that a couple days off work and some R&R won't fix.

I did a little work on my French Braid - one of my PhD requirements. I have read and seen in pictures how many of you spread your quilts out on the floor to baste them together. That just makes my knees and back hurt to think about it. So I thought I would just show how I do mine.

The first step is to brew a pot of coffee. That is how I start off most of my quilting projects. I'll take a little hazelnut creamer in mine, please.

Then I layer my quilt sandwich on my cutting table making sure that I have the layers centered. Using binder clips I clip the quilt to the table, making sure that all wrinkles are smoothed out.

Then for my all time favorite tool to use in pin basting. I don't know what this little gadget is called, but it is a finger saver for sure. If you don't have one, you need to get yourself one. I think I found this one on a clearance table for $1. Didn't even know what it was for - just thought it interesting. Then I saw someone using hers, and bingo...I have loved it ever since.


I pin baste when I am going to machine quilt and thread baste when I will be hand quilting. I have often thought about contacting a long arm quilter and seeing if they would just baste a quilt together for me to do the quilting on it - have any of you ever done that? Just wondered if professional long arm quilters do that.

Soon I can show you how I set up my work space to quilt a monster quilt like this. For now, I am going to enjoy another cup of coffee and read some blogs.

12 comments:

Quilt crazy said...

My favorite place to base is on the ping-pong table. It is wider and longer than most tables and I don't have to worry about it being scratched. Even though it hasn't been used for ping pong in a long time, it is definitely not going in the next garage sale!

Jackie said...

Work interferes in my fiber habits too.

I can see the value of the gadget!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I've had a long arm quilter baste quilts for me several times Teresa. However, they were all basted a little too far apart for my taste so I added a few pins. I'll do it again because even though I had to add to it the getting started part is the hardest. I'd love to know what that tool is! I use a grapefruit spoon - it's slotted and will hold the pins. blessings, marlene

Cathi said...

The tool is a Kwik Klip. I know, I am using it right now to baste my little wallhanging. I love it also! A long arm quilter let me use her machine to baste a quilt of mine. I didn't care for it too much. Like Marlene said, the basting was a little too far apart for me. By the time we had loaded the top, batting and bottom on, I could have just as easily quilted it as basted it. But if you don't have the space to layer a large quilt, it may be just the ticket to get the tension right, tack it in a few places and then you pin baste the rest.

bluebird-lyn said...

Hello Teresa, thank you for sharing how you baste your quilts.You can send your quilts to be basted by a longarm quilter.My good friend Ness has a longarm machine and bastes quilts for her customers. Hugs Lyn

Thimbleanna said...

Nice blocks this month Teresa -- is this the end of them? I'm pretty sure you can just take a top and back to a quilter and the put them separately on their machine.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Teresa... the kwik klip is great! Now you need to invest in the colorful plastic covers they make to cover the pins. They are worth the investment as they are so nice for the comfort of your fingertips!
Love your blog!
Cathy from Ohio :)

*karendianne. said...

How cool is that?! I've never seen something like this. Neat. You know, you made me smile when you included the coffee making step. That was hip!

retdairyqueen said...

Enjoyed your blog and your quilts are lovely

kjquilts said...

Teresa, I haven't been to your blog in a long time! I think most longarm quilters will baste a quilt for you. Tyrena does...

When I pin baste I use a grapefruit spoon like you are using your finger saver tool.

What do you mean by working on your Phd? Inquiring minds want to know.

Lilly said...

Thanks for posting your tips for basting. The braided quilt is so nice. Sounds like the long arm idea is do-able but doesn't work out so great. There doesn't seem to be many good "short-cuts" involved in quilting!

Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

So glad you shared about pin pasting and your little doodad...my Mom bought me one of those for my birthday and I have yet to figure out how to use it! :)