Monday, November 15, 2010

Thoughts on spray basting a quilt

I love every step in the quilting process, but I'd like to get some steps over with as quickly as possible (i.e. basting and binding). Spray basting is quick, but I find it can make the quilt feel stiff until you wash it and dry it. Maybe this isn't a big deal, but one thing I love about working with fabric is the soft, natural feel of it and for some reason having glue involved makes both the fabric and the process feel very synthetic to me. I think there's a similar debate to be had about pre-washing too in terms of how the fabric feels in your hands while working with it. Eh, we'll see. Not having to use ten thousand pins for a big quilt is also very nice...

This is the first quilt that I spray basted, and also the first large quilt that I stippled (I finished this quite awhile ago, but just recently got around to photographing it.) This is Oh Fransson's Paintbox quilt pattern which was a really fun way to mix prints and solids from my stash.

It was very flat and stiff before washing it, as you might be able to see in this picture. I also learned a good hard lesson about the importance of using good quality cotton fabric - this medium gray ain't so great and I think that adds to my mixed feelings about the look and feel of this quilt.

I think I like the backing of this quilt more than the front! I made the backing from scraps left over from the quilt top. I love the effect it creates on the back and also the fact that it uses so many narrow strips that might otherwise have been tossed!

Thanks for looking!


  1. It looks beautiful! I agree about the back being a great way to use up those thin strips!

    ~ Meagan

  2. That quilt looks gorgeous! And the narrow strips on the back are spectacular. Though I know what you mean about using so-so fabric and then not being thrilled with the results. I've gotten more fabric-snob-y that way.

    I love spray basting. I know what you mean about the stiff feel of the quilt before it gets washed, but I hate pins so much that the spray will win out for me, every time. :-)

  3. I really like the back too. Have you used the batting that is ironable? You know, like you iron the front and back to it and it sticks until you quilt?

  4. I love the back as much as the much as the front. I used spray baste for the on point quilt I did last to keep the sides flat, but pin basted the rest.

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