Wall quilt basting is much easier on the back and knees!!
Here’s a quick tutorial on this method. I prefer wall quilt basting because I don’t have to bend down or kneel on the floor. And, I’ve had much better success–few or no wrinkles!
Not a Spray Baster?
If you prefer to pin baste your quilts, here’s a tutorial on how to do it on any wall–No design wall needed!
Preparing the Batting
Before I baste the quilt, I throw the batting in a medium heat dryer for a few minutes (5 minutes or so) to ‘relax’ it and get any wrinkles or creases out.
Many of us have odd sized pieces of batting left over. I always save them!
I use fusible basting tape to make a batting piece large enough for my quilt. I’ve used this tape to fuse batting pieces for very large quilts without a problem. The tape is very thin and does not show when the quilt is quilted or washed in my experience.
Quilt Basting Sprays and Alternatives
I use 505™ Basting Spray.
Other quilters have reported good results with alternatives such as home made recipes using Elmers Glue or Spray Starch. If you search for “quilt basting alternatives” or “quilt basting recipes”, you will find several resources. I do plan to try one of these in 2018.
Ready for Quilt Basting on the Wall
PROTECT OTHER AREAS: Remember that basting spray is glue and small droplets might spread through the air around your room. If the quilt is very large, I use blue masking tape to tape pieces of newspaper on other parts of the wall to protect it from overspray. I also cover my sewing machine or any other items that are near the spray area.
I turn on the ceiling fan and open the windows for ventilation. If you are sensitive, you might want to wear a mask. I would keep pets and children out of the room.
First, I iron the backing and top very thoroughly! Any wrinkles or puckers will cause you problems. I use steam only at this stage because I have found that using Best Press™ or Flatter™ might interfere with the adhesive quality of the basting spray.
I put the backing on the design wall using straight pins to keep it very taut. (If the backing is very large, I would put some newspaper on the wall and floor to catch the overspray.)
Next, I spray the backing with 505 –I hold the can about 12 inches away and spread the spray evenly. Then I layer the batting on top, smoothing it with my hands. No pinning needed because the spray should be holding it completely flat. If there are wrinkles in the batting, I gently pull and smooth them out as I spray. If the quilt is very large, I usually put a couple of pins in the top and side just to hold it in place. I then lift an area, spray and smooth it in place, and repeat gong section by section. I remove the pins as I go.
Next spray the batting and place the quilt top on it. Using the same method described–smoothing and spraying section by section.
As a final step, when I remove it from the wall, I carefully check the backing and top to make sure there are no wrinkles or pleats. If there are any wrinkles, I gently peel back from the nearest corner and give it a slight spray and smooth it back in place.
I usually iron the quilt sandwich with a DRY iron before I start quilting. This does seem to help the 505™ basting spray hold in place even better. While quilting, I always double check each area as I go, especially to make sure that the backing is still flat.