Trying Out Spray Basting


I’m on another quilty mission! This time I’m trying out spray basting as an alternative to my usual pin basting method. I’ve chosen to ‘mash up’ the spray basting techniques used by two successful quilt designer/tutors, Christa Watson of Christa Quilts and Emily Dennis of Quilty Love.

I own to having been reluctant to go down the spray basting route: 1. Using aerosols of any kind is becoming less acceptable as we try to do our individual bit to save the planet; 2. Spraying sticky, potentially toxic stuff in my home isn’t very appealing; 3. Spray baste is more expensive than pins and can’t be reused; 4 There could be issues such as the glue affecting stitch quality by gumming up needles; 5. The finished quilt will need to be washed to remove the glue.  BUT despite all these objections to spray basting and despite my best efforts to perfect the pin basting technique – I nearly always have some issues with fabric ‘bubbling’ and/or puckering – I find myself about to embark on a spray basting mission of discovery!

Here are links to the spray basting blog and video tutorials by both Christa Watson and Emily Dennis.

Christa Watson – Spray Basting Tutorial Using a Table – outdoors on blog.

Chrsita Watson – Spray Basting Video Tutorial Using a Design Wall – You Tube. Christa also talks through the table basting method in this video.

Emily Denis – go to her blog to read her ‘How to spray baste a quilt’ tutorial and to find the link to her video tutorial of the same.

Both Christa and Emily recommend using Odif 505 Temporary Adhesive for fabric. I’ve invested in the small, 250ml, can for this spray basting trial.

My Spray Basting Mash-Up:

Step 1: Cut backing and wadding 3″ larger all round than finished quilt top. Press quilt top and backing.

Step 2: Set up a table outdoors. Cover with an old sheet to protect the table and surrounding area from spray. There was a moderate breeze blowing on the day I spray basted, I used clothes pegs to keep the old sheet in place. As well as protecting the table from the sticky spray the secured sheet helped to keep the quilt top and backing in place despite the breeze.

Step 3: Spray baste the wrong side of the quilt backing. Emily’s post has photos giving a clear indication of how much spray to use.

Quilt backing right side down on the protective sheet.

Step 4: Take the quilt backing indoors and spread flat on a hard floor. Use masking tape to secure the backing to the floor.

Step 5: Fold the wadding in half width ways. Position the folded wadding across the centre of the backing, covering one half of the backing. Line up edges before carefully smoothing out wrinkles from the centre to the edges. Unfold the wadding to cover the other half of the backing. Continue smoothing the wadding from the centre outwards. I used my hands to do this but I’m sure Christa’s technique of using the edge of a ruler could be employed at this stage.

Step 6: Lay the quilt top face down on the outside table. Spray baste the back of the quilt top.

Step 7: Fold the quilt top in half width ways and use the same method as in Step 5 to adhere the quilt top to the wadding. I used quilting rulers to check the edges and corners stayed square and were not pushed out of shape.

Step 8: Take the basted quilt sandwich to your ironing board/pressing table. Use a hot, dry iron to press the backing – working from the centre to the outside edges of each section. Turn the sandwich over to press the quilt top using the same technique, pressing from the centre to the edges. Pressing did not leave my sandwich completely flat however it did gather small amounts of excess fabric that could be pushed by the iron to the edge of the fabric and flattened.

So that’s how I’ve basted my latest quilt sandwich. Now the proof is in the pudding (I suppose a sweet jam sandwich could be a sort of pudding?) – will the fabrics bubble and pucker when I quilt them together or will spray basting stop the layers shifting over each other more effectively than basting with pins? I will report back shortly in #2 of ‘Spray Basting: Will it work for me?’

In the meantime, if you have a preference for either pin basting or spray basting or have any quilt basting tips and techniques please do share in the comments box below. Thank you!


My apologies for the lack of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts – normal service will be resumed this week. Two weeks ago we weighed up the risks and decided to go to a conference. Despite everyone testing negative for Covid before attending, the virus was present and we brought it home with us 🙄 Thankfully the vaccines have spared us any serious symptoms. Now we are recovering from the illness but choosing to follow the guidelines means we are stuck in our own socially distancing lockdown. Thank goodness for the arrival of unseasonal warm Spring sunshine to give us the bonus of being able to step outside whenever we want to.


Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (285)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. As the weekend draws to a close it’s not too late to bring along your projects(s) and join in the sharing going on throughout our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to find inspiration and leave your encouraging thoughts and ideas in the comments boxes of the blog pages you visit 🙂

There’s been more class prep than stitching going on in my sewing room this past week. The Beginners class on Saturday went well. As well as dishing out the homework I have brought some home to do too.

I started a new quilt top to sew along with the class. The pretty floral and butterfly fabrics along with the bright pink Bumbleberries blender were purchased from Jo at Love and Legacy Quilts. I have cut out all the squares and now need to piece the centre of the quilt ready to demonstrate how to add borders at the next class in two weeks time.

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for March is yellow. I don’t have a great variety of yellow scraps but I will see if I can find a few more in my strings bin before purchasing any fabrics specially for the quilt – which is meant to be a scrap quilt after all!

Trip Around the Stars design by Allison Reid

In other news I have a broken tooth 😟 Of course this happened on Saturday morning – why do these things always happen on a weekend? Thankfully, despite loosing a chunk of tooth and most of the filling from it there is no nerve pain to endure, just a very sharp piece of tooth that catches my tongue when I’m eating. A vicious and effective dieting tool! So securing a dental appointment is top priority this week. Yes! Even more important than making progress on any of the four versions of my ‘Trip Around the Stars’ pattern I now have on the go! I won’t even try to explain how I’ve ended up making another four versions of this quilt or try to calculate how many copies of the pattern I will need to sell to re-coup the cost of all the fabrics! 😳

Here’s a selection of the blog posts I’ve been reading and learning from over the past week. Enjoy!

Pin basting vs spray basting? Emily Dennis acknowledges some disadvantages to using spray baste whilst concluding that for her the spray produces much smoother, pucker free quilting than using pins. In her blog post she describes her spray basting method as well providing two video demonstrations. I think watching the second video, ‘How to Spray Baste a Quilt‘, would be a helpful introduction to this method of basting as Emily provides plenty of tips at an easy pace to follow.

Elizabeth has been experimenting with glues to baste her quilts. In this blog post she shares her method using *Elmer’s Washable School Glue. Interesting! *As far as I can make out Elmer’s Washable School Glue is the same as generic PVA glues but I’m ready to be corrected on this…

Jayne’s choice of red fabrics to make the setting triangles to complete her latest quilt top is inspired. She’s understandably pleased with the finished flimsy and it’s a great example of a quilt design evolving rather than being a set pattern from the get-go.

Patchwork bookmarks? I didn’t know these were a thing! But JanineMarie assures us there are patterns to be found on the internet and she discovered they are a perfect sewing project to do with her grandchildren. Here’s a patchwork bookmark tutorial on the QuiltersCandy website.

Mariana has made a stitch-and-flip patchwork cushion (pillow) cover using 1″ – 2″ scrappy strips. Her tutorial includes directions for making the patchwork blocks and the envelope back cushion cover.

QAL alert! The Wave Pool BOM QAL designed and hosted by Sherry at poweredbyquilting is a clever mix of traditional blocks in a modern(ish) layout. Sherry will be providing tips in her blog posts as well as live tutorials to watch as the BOM QAL progresses.

March is Worldwide Quilting Month 🙂 Carole’s blog post whet’s our appetite for the international event. She share’s her experience of meeting quilters from around the world via a Zoom retreat. I wonder how many of these on-line retreats might be going on? Particularly over the weekend of March 19th (International Quilter’s Day)?

Happy Stitching!



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (284)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the inspiration circulating through our Worldwide Quilting Community. It’s easy to be part of the sharing: click on one or more of the links below; get inspired; click on more links; get lost in a wonderful quilt lined warren (who knows where in the World you might pop up?); and leave encouraging thoughts in the comments boxes of the sites you visit 🙂

I’ve spent the week tweaking my Trip Around the Stars Pattern ready for the Beginners Course that begins next Saturday, 5th March, at Purple Stitches. To test the pattern I’ve been making a second sample quilt. All the while I’ve been making the quilt top and adjusting the pattern I’ve been aware of a teaching dialogue running through my head 😀 I don’t think I’ve been speaking out loud but I may have been! I guess most tutors preparing to teach a class have a bit of a run through in their minds to discover the best way to demonstrate and describe the techniques being taught?

On Thursday I enjoyed a sewing day with friends. The hall we used was a bit chilly and I forgot to take a cushion to soften the folding wooden chair but none-the-less it was a lovely day. After all the lockdown restrictions of the past two years time spent gathered together with a group of sew-ists is precious and not to be missed. I made the aqua & teal blocks for my RSC 2022 quilt.

It’s good to be up-to-date with the challenge after playing catch-up with the January blocks. I guess the colour for March will be revealed this weekend.

This coming week, I hope to finish the Trip Around the Stars sample quilt but it’s obviously more important to prepare for the Course than to complete a second sample quilt.

Here are some links to get you started on a search through the tips and inspiration patchwork quilters have been sharing:

I was really pleased to find this blog post by Brittany of Lo & Behold Stitchery. It’s the perfect follow-on to my quest for piecing accuracy. Brittany has shared ‘6 Tips for Flat Seams‘. Her tips include finger pressing seams and using a tailor’s clapper.

Maintaining equipment is another important way to improve patchwork accuracy. Melva of Melva Loves Scraps shared this link to a post all about caring for self-healing cutting mats.

Well! This is something different! A table runner made from circles of cotton washing line! Katy explains her method here.

Rachel’s Expat Chronicles series continues with a comparison of staple eating habits and foods in Holland and the USA. Interesting! Lots of bread in Holland but far less sugar than in the US. Rachel didn’t mention pancakes but I can remember a 1980s food franchise in London called ‘The Dutch Pancake House’.

Cynthia has made an eye-catching quilt using the triangles left after cutting up brightly coloured strip sets. Her choice of a dark blue background sets off the bright solids perfectly.

Sometimes its best to just do something rather than try to come up with a plan. Patty has created a stunning little quilt after making a ‘bunch of’ blue Drunkards Path blocks. Those blocks got her started sewing again, before long she was adding another colour and playing with quilt top layouts. Her unplanned quilt definitely gave her creativity a chance to get back into gear.

If you use a die-cutter in your quilt making process then be sure to check out Katy’s tutorial for her Heavenly Stars Quilt over on the Accuquilt website. Katy’s design makes clever use of two sizes of the Sawtooth Star block.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday.

Happy Stitching!



Accurate Patchwork Piecing #2 Application

Sit back, relax, this is NOT the Quilt Police knocking on your device’s screen!

Quick recap from my previous post: ‘I’m on a gentle mission to reassess my piecing techniques and figure out where inaccuracies have crept into my process. My mission is NOT to create a perfect quilt but to increase the sense of satisfaction I gain from the piecing of quilt blocks and quilt tops. In this mini series I’m going to share what I’ve learned about accurate piecing, share how I apply the knowledge and, of course, share the results’.

Using some of the tips and piecing techniques I read about and/or watched during my internet search (find the links in my previous post) I made several changes to my piecing process. Obviously not a truly scientific bit of research on my part – changing more than one variable at a time (apologies to those of a scientific nature).

I broke down the piecing process into three areas: well maintained equipment; careful stitching; and careful pressing.

As for well maintained equipment I’ve got into good habits over the years and do: regularly replace rotary blades and machine needles; clean out lint; use good quality thread.

Change: I decided to try using a smaller needle size with my 50wt thread, switching from an 80/12 Schmetz Microtex down to a 70/10.

Moving onto careful stitching I continued using thread savers/chargers (this is such a good habit to get into!) but made quite a few changes in this area of the piecing process.

Change: After using a ‘Perfect Piecing Seam Guide’ and checking my ¼” seam accuracy using the simple method of stitching three 1½” strips of fabric side by side I was surprised to discover I needed to change the long established settings I’d been using on my Pfaff machine. Just moving the needle position one more notch to the right has made a big difference.

Testing for 1/4″ seam accuracy. Once I’d adjusted the needle position of my machine the centre fabric of the test strip was exactly one inch wide.

Change: I also shortened the stitch length one more notch. The stitches stay in place at the end of seams without being re-enforced but they are only just big enough to unpick!

Change: Pins! Yep! I’ve gone back to using pins even on blocks with no seams to match.

Change: As well as using pins I’ve been holding onto the bottom end of a seam, keeping the two layers of fabric in perfect alignment, as the seam is being stitched. I think this has definitely reduced the amount of movement between the two layers of fabric as they are being stitched. Quilt top edges are much more even with far fewer ‘over-hanging’ blocks.

Blocks lining up square to on another with no need for trimming.

Change: Pinning seam intersections just to one side rather than through the stitching. (Place the pin on the side of the seam that will go under the machine foot first).

As for careful pressing:

Change: Finger pressing seams open (on the back of the patchwork) before pressing open or to one side with an iron.

Change: I have invested in a tailors clapper but I must confess to not using it with as much patience as is required for it to work effectively! I did find laying my freshly pressed and ‘clapped’ patchwork pieces under the wool mat while I continued pressing the rest of the pieces did help keep the seams flat.


All-in-all quite a lot of easy to implement changes. My assessment would be that, not surprisingly, many of these changes slow down and add time to the piecing process. Maybe not such a bad thing to be crafting and creating at a slower, dare I say more ‘mindful’ pace?

These changes have had a beneficial impact on the accuracy of my patchwork and definitely achieved my aim: ‘to increase the sense of satisfaction I gain from the piecing of quilt blocks and quilt tops’ …without turning me into a neurotic perfectionist!

Do you think you might implement any changes to your patchwork piecing process to achieve greater accuracy? Are there any tips or techniques you’d recommend we use to aid piecing accuracy?

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers.