Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Can you believe May is here? The year is flying by, isn't it? Tuesday night, my Autumn House bunch are coming over to divide up fabric for the fifth block of this project, so I spent much of the evening tonight sorting out which of my fabrics are called for in this next block.

Since I didn't have anything new to show you, I thought I'd post a few miscellaneous things and answer a couple questions. When I went back to re-read some of the recent comments, I got sidetracked over to Nicole's blog (Sister's Choice). Since one of the things I thought I'd talk about was quilting, I was interested to read Nicole's post asking for opinions about spray basting--there were a lot of comments from people who spray baste and love it. Are there any nay-sayers out there? Because when I tried it, I thought it was okay, but I wasn't completely sold, and here are a couple reasons why I wasn't.

Nicole tried three products and had good results with all of them. I tried two--and I can't remember off hand which ones without going off to the Sweat Shop to dig out the cans, but I think the two I used are two of the three Nicole tried. One seemed to accumulate gunk on my needle a little more than the other. Not a terribly large amount of gunk, but after quilting a bit, it would build up some. I don't think I oversprayed although I'm not certain. But that gunk on the needle made me wonder about the rest of the machine's workings and the quilt itself.

The thing that bugged me the most, though, was that quilting left an adhesive residue on my sewing machine--little black streaks, although I couldn't figure out where the black was coming from. The quilt wasn't black, it was made with good quality fabric, and it didn't seem to be bleeding. It was a mystery. But the slight "texture" and adhesive being transferred to the machine meant the quilt didn't glide around on free motion quilting quite as much as I like.

So, I wouldn't say I hate spray basting, and I'm sure I'll do it again, but I'm still waiting for someone to invent the perfect method of basting, and I don't think this is it. Have any of you had issues similar to mine? Or other problems? Or do you absolutely love it?

So what did I plan to talk about before I got sidetracked by spray baste? Lately I've seen several photos out in Blogland of quilts that have a minimal amount of quilting. Part of me says, "Hey, at least you tried! Good for you!" But the other part of me says, "Stick that sucker back under the needle and add a little more quilting!"

I don't, by any means, think I'm an authority on quilting, but I do know there are some good reference books out there that talk about the types of batting, what they're best used for, and how much quilting the different battings require to stay in place in a quilt. Harriet Hargrave, for instance, has a book called Heirloom Machine Quilting that starts with all the basics. She also has a blog, HERE. There are other books out there with good information. If you haven't quilted before and are ready to give it a try, check out a good book with all the basic information--or, even better, take a class. If you have quilted before and aren't sure how much quilting your quilt needs, check the recommendations on the batting you use--most will have the recommendation printed on their packaging, and quilting lines spaced no more than 3" apart is pretty common. And this means that in a 3" wide border, it's not enough to stitch along one side and then bind it--there should also be quilting all the way down the border, at least every 3". I hate to see a beautiful quilt end up looking wonky because the quilter didn't know any better--knowledge is powerful stuff and can make all the difference.

Tina asked in her comment about the Country Cottages blocks what applique method I use, but she's "no-reply" so I couldn't email her back. I hand applique and I've been using the freezer paper and starch method since my friend Imelda taught me several months ago. Some of you wanted me to do a tutorial a little while back, and I plan to do that. I've even talked to Imelda about doing the demonstration while I take photos, because she's really the expert. She's willing to do it for you, but I haven't scheduled that with her yet. I'll do something soon, though.

For now, I think that's about all the loose nuts I had rattling around in my brain. Did I forget anyone's questions? If so, let me know.

Oh, and don't forget to visit Sherri and Sinta for the Schnibbles May Parade! They should have photos posted sometime today. I think there will be some excellent quilts to admire!

Happy May Day!


Anna said...

I am going to weigh in on the spray baste-it discussion. I am a personal nay sayer. The rest of my Fabric Stalkers love it. Of course when we are on retreat I insist they spray it outside or in the garage. I have asthma/allergy issues which translates to lung issues and for the same reason I don't use hairspray...I don't use spray baste it. Besides if it tells you that it can harm your dog...well it is a no brainer for me. Chemicals are killing the world...there is my soap box, lol

debstokes said...

I've spray basted I few small quilts or wall hangings. The first one I did ended up very stiff - in my opinion. However, then I watched someone else spray baste and decided I really over sprayed!!! Since then I've only done small wall hangings once or twice but really prefer pinning. I don't have a good place outside to spray baste and will not do it in the house.

I've pinned two twin size quilts now using boards like Sharon Schember recommends and will never use another way for twin size or larger!! No getting down on my hands and knees and it is so easy to keep everything straight and even. I don't have a link to her demonstration - she hands sews her basting but the board method works for pinning also. Check it out if you haven't seen it.
Thanks so much for the interesting discussion.

Beverley said...

I used 505 spray on a few smaller projects. I used it outside on the lawn and tied a tea towel over my face :)
It was great for this, but it would be tricky using it on a large quilt.
Bev .

Gran - Knot-y Embroidery Lady said...

Interesting. I have my token can of 505 but can not bring myself to use it - yet. Looking forward to this evening toots.

Penny said...

I used Sullivan's basting spray several years ago and was turned off to spray basting! The quilt was small ~ not quite twin sized so I covered cutting table w/ sheet & placed project to spray. Even tho window was open I did not like air quality as I began to spray so moved outside to use lawn. Although I sprayed just a light coating when I began machine quilting my needle became so gummed up it was difficult to quilt. I do have the recommended can of 505 but haven't tried it.

Nicole said...

I am still sold on spray baste for small projects. For a larger project I think I would rather baste the old fashioned way. The first time I ever encountered spray baste was in a quilt class where everyone worked on whatever project they wanted to bring. Kind of a Finish It Up sort of class. Anyway, the woman who was sitting behind me proceeded to spray baste a quilt, right there, in the classroom. At that time, all spray bastes smelled horrendous and she definitely cleared the room and incurred the wrath of all the others in the class. The smell issue seems to have improved over the years, and thankfully, so has classroom etiquette!

I'd love a tutorial on how you do your applique.

Tina said...

Hi Kim! Thanks so much for responding to my question about your appliqué method. I've heard a lot about the spray starch method and would love to see your tutorial on it! I know Shabby Fabrics has a YouTube tutorial on how to do it and it looks pretty easy.......?

Also, I have to tell you that I'm a total airhead when it comes to being a "No-Reply" commenter (is that a word?). I'm pretty comfortable with using the computer, but I am fairly new to writing something on a blog and I am not sure how to not be a "No-Reply". I leave comments through Google, but that must not be the best way since it looks like you can't see my email. Anyway, sorry about that and thanks so much for answering me on your blog page.

P.S. Love your quilts and your blog!