Monday, June 30, 2008

Sharon Schamber's Pinless Basting, Part 3

Here I've started the herringbone stitch SS calls for. Notice that the stitch is a short (half an inch, say) stitch from right to left. The long slashes are the carries from stitch to stitch.

On her video, Sharon makes the point that this is faster than pin basting. I think she may be right, although it's hard to say because I do pin basting in the loft of our horse barn (nope, no horses, just barn), which is not a place one would linger in, or leave a quilt top out for very long. As a result, on the two occasions when I have basted a quilt there, I have not lingered. You can see why here . . . Anyway, this process pictured here all took place in my nice, cool, mostly insect free dining room. As a result, I happily started the process on Saturday and then finished up Sunday morning. Aggregate times are probably less than pin basting, but it's hard to say.

Here, the stitching continues. You work from right to left (or left to right if that feels better) over an area roughly 14" from front to back. I suspect I was working on a slightly smaller area, but it doesn't really matter.

I used a basting needle (identified as a millinery needle with basting as the subtitle) and buttonhole thread. SS talks about using pearl cotton without specifying what size. When I next unearth my stash of crochet cotton, I'll see if the smallest of those would work. Here, I wanted something with a fair amount of contrast to the yellows in the quilt top, so I used brown.

When you've finished the width of the sandwich, it's time to unroll some more backing, smooth down the batting, and unroll the top. Again, this all worked remarkably well. SS advises you to lightly starch the top and backing. I did, simply because I figured it couldn't hurt. I'm not convinced I had to do this, but it's probably a good idea.

This shows the sandwich in place, ready for the next side-to-side basting. Notice that the quilt top is completely unrolled, but that I've kept the 1x4 in place to add to the stability.

I did make one small mistake while I was at about this point. You will see in this photo, and the one below, that there are a few inches of already-basted sandwich still on the table before the unbasted area begins. Ah, if only I'd had the sense to leave that bit there. Unfortunately, I instinctively moved the already-basted bit down toward my lap, so that the unbasted bit was easier to get to. Well, that resulted in a tiny bit of distortion on one side -- a slight puckering on the quilt top near one edge. I'm not too worried; I figure I'll just snip a few more of the basting threads before I get to quilting that bit, and that will allow me to spread the bubble around.

What you can't tell in this photo is that the backing is still rolled up on its 1x4 underneath the batting and top. The basting is almost half-way done. Keep stitching in the herringbone style until it's all done!

Final photos in Part 4.

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