15 January 2008

Crawless, pinless basting method ...

First of all my apologies for the bad pictures .. my camera hasnt been focusing consistently for the past week and I'm unsure as to why .. thinking it's the cheapy rechargeables that I put in there ..

Today I tried Sharon Schambers hand basting method with moldings .. it worked very well, but I had some rookie challenges and mistakes with it .. first and foremost the curved needle is essential. What allowed Sharon in the video to keep her sandwich flat was the curved needle. I had a curved needle from my mum's stuff, but it was for canvas and sails and by the time I discovered this, I had already gotten the quilt and backing wrapped on the boards and didn't want to stop ;) Besides what on earth was I going to do with 7' of wrapped top and backing!?!?!? But I will have one for kyle's quilt. I started with a shorter needle and that made the across stitches narrow and the needle hard to grab .. i poked myself more than I care to think about .. my fingers are still sore. Then I went hunting and found a longer needle - that made it MUCH easier to do. I wanted to watch the video again, to refamiliarize myself with it, but stupid dial up GRRRRR .. it kept getting hung on this one spot .. didn't help that I was trying to drag the progress bar ahead to see if it was at that spot.. so it was my fault ..

Because I didn't have a curved needle, I had a problem with my backing shifting - also I recyced an old blanket instead of using batting so it didn't stick like it normally would. Money is really tight for us right now, so recycling is the only way to go .. it's what they did in the old days to get that last bit of life from their blankets and whatnot .. so I'm good with it :D This is about halfway through, I can see where the shifting has caused me some problems, but since I am aware of them all I have to do when quilting is give the back a wee tug and it'll be fine .. I do that as I go along anyways ever since I sewed the backing to the backing and had to take out over half my quilting stitches .. was that a hard lesson learned! Also, twit for brains here didn't iron the backing .. heh .. i'll never learn LOL To excited I guess .. i've really been looking forward to doing this and didn't take a quick breath to think before I started.

Sharon also suggested using short thread lengths with this stitch only to keep arm comfort and not to strain yourself .. for me, I would just get into the groove and I would have to stop .. so I started using much longer thread and had a really long tail .. her quilter's knot also challenged me .. but when I stopped switching it to my right hand after it was wrapped I did fine. This went VERY fast and I had this top basted in about 2 - 3 hours with breaks. Normally I would still be crawling around on the floor .. I could still see this being done with pins if you wanted, but you'll have to find your own comfort zone .. I'll try this for a few more quilts and see if I don't get better at it .. I kept catching my fingers in the threads as I was smoothing the quilt top working the shifting backing back to where it was .. Now when I use blankets again, I might use one of those HUGE binder clips to keep the back stationary while basting and move them when I do the next section. I will do this method again - my back is fine and I can go ahead and prolly do another quilt - go ahead and try that while crawling around on the floor .. I don't think so LOL I also had some problems with the top of the quilt wanting to slide off the table .. towards the end, so this area when much slower .. now, if i had put my cutting mat under the sammich instead of just the table, I bet that it wouldn't have shifted so much on me .. man i'm such a twit! I've only got two cutting mats!! Next quilt .. Next quilt .. bet it won't shift at all then!!

This is a MUCh easier way to do basting .. curved needle essential!! try it, you'll LOVE it!! Keep an open mind and give yourself a few times to work this method before tossing it off if it doesn't go as planned .. hopefully you can learn from my mistakes or rather challenges ;)

Okay now hopefully 3 kitty blocks, and 2 swap blocks .. have fun!!