Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hand basting vs Long Arm Machine basting ?

I recently had my first experience with having a long arm quilter (LAQ) machine baste my quilt for hand quilting.  It is a queen size quilt and I was not looking forward to the back breaking job of hand basting, also wanted to make sure there were no wrinkles or puckers in the backing.  The LAQ did a really nice job of the basting and only charged $60, which included her furnishing the batting.  I thought that was a good enough deal.

I discovered two things that did not work for me with the machine basting.
  1. She used a white thread and my quilt has a lot of white background...sure made it hard to see to remove the basting stitches, which I like to do once I have the quilt in the hoop.  This was really my fault, I should have asked her to use a grey thread.
  2. I found that once I hooped the quilt, removed the basting stitches, the bobbin thread would get all tangled up in my underneath hand - like a spider web.  Since my hoop is on a stand, I could not easily clip the bobbin threads.
  3. So I tried quilting the next area hooped with the basting left in place.  But then when I tried to remove the basting after quilting, my quilting in many place had snagged the basting threads and it was a real chore to remove the basting thread.
  4. I tried getting under the hoop to clip the bobbin thread, but that was awkard and once I clipped those thread, it seemed to me that the other basting thread all started coming undone.
I quickly realized this was not going to work for me and this was too big a quilt for me to be aggravated with that bobbin thread the entire time.  So I took two days to hand baste the quilt top and then once hand basted, I removed all the machine basting. 

 Have any of you hand quilted a machine basted quilt in a hoop on a stand, and if so, how did you handle the bobbin thread?

Now another question.  I will be hand quilting all the white spaces and border for sure.  But, I am considering machine quilting the straight lines along the Irish Chain blocks. 

Have any of you combined machine and hand quilting?  Would a quilt show judge frown on the combination?

Just curious.

Still working on the RSC 9-patches for my Jack's Chain quilt.  This month is Blue/Green fabrics.  So much fun and I am having a relaxing time making them,
Also completed another English Paper Pieced Star of Bethlehem block.  That makes 4 blocks made, 8 to go for my quilt.

Thanks for stopping by,


The Joyful Quilter said...

What an adventure you had!! I haven't dealt with your situation. Do believe that judges have no problem with combined quilting techniques. Personally, I don't make quilts to satisfy judges. I make quilts to satisfy myself. Happy quilting!!

Sheila said...

Beautiful quilt. Don't know how judges feel about mixed quilting. I suggest you quilt it to please yourself. Judges are different. said...

I haven't hand quilted a machine basted quilt, but even when I hand baste a quilt I remove the basting ahead of where I'm quilting, once it's in the hoop, so that I don't stitch into my basting. However, I generally baste with safety pins which makes the project easier.

Shakerwood said...

I had one machine basted but I was machine quilting that one. In hind sight, since it was already on the machine to be basted, I should have gone ahead and quilted it while it was on there. I might add that a friend was letting me do the machine basting myself. She kept telling me to go ahead and quilt it while it was on there (I have/had NO experience with a Long arm). I should have listened and made it my practice piece.

Anne said...

Sorry to hear that you had some bad experiences with the machine basting. I have a couple of suggestions that might make it easier if you try it a second time. First, think ahead of how where you will be hand quilting first, then have the machine quilter baste more outside of those areas if possible. So she might have basted more on the pieced blocks rather than the open white areas. That way once you have hand quilted those areas, pulling out the basting thread to do the squares doesn't destabilize everything. Secondly, basting tension should allow you to tug on the top thread and see a loop of the bottom thread come up. Cut that loop, along with the top thread, and then as you pull back the top thread, the basting thread will come to the top as well, allowing you to trim both threads at once. You can even tie them off together at the edge of your hoop to prevent further unraveling until you move the quilt. Hope this helps...