Thursday, April 23, 2009

basting as I go

Okay, so I'm new to this quilting thing. I admit that I used a spray baste on that first quilt, and I thought it worked pretty darn okay. But I'm, you know, cheap. Frugal, that's it. And basting spray is something like 5 bucks a can (with a coupon, of course), and supposedly only covers a few quilts. Not to mention, I'm basically lazy (or maybe "I'm an engineer"), so if I can find a way to streamline the quilt creation process, I'm certainly going to try it out. So, when I saw this post from Des on the Quilt Taffy blog, I had to try out her "baste as you go" technique. I happened to have a "Happy blocks" quilt in progress (and thank you to Mary for all your awesome tutorials!), and even though it wasn't quite the same as what Des did, I thought the same technique might work. Here are some pics of the process:

Starting out:

A few rows in:

And just for fun, me and my "helper", working on the quilting:

And the final product:

Not too bad for my first time at it, especially considering I'm such a newbie anyway! I did learn a few things. First of all, I was dumb and sewed down the edges of the quilt before I did my quilting. That was a bad move - it really got the edge quite out of alignment. Thankfully, this is a kid's quilt (donated to Project Linus, yay!), and I'm pretty sure they won't care that it's less than perfect. Secondly, I used a pretty fluffy polyester batting, instead of a nice flat cotton one. It still worked, but I think it would have been much easier with cotton. And lastly, when I was doing this, it didn't seem to matter whether I used the regular foot or the walking foot. Maybe the walking foot was slightly better, but it seemed like I still had to be very careful to keep everything lined up. I think doing this for a quilt that doesn't need to have blocks lined up (like Des' post!) would be much easier. That was what I tried next, and it definitely worked much better. That quilt is still in progress, but I'll post some pics of it soon...


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