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Basting without kneeling

(c) 2014 by hs

(c) 2014 by hs

My Farmer’s Wife quilt has now two borders, an 1 inch grey polka dot, and a 4 inch white and light blue stripe. Since I moved in my flat in September, this is the first big quilt I wanted to baste. I used to do it on the floor, usually in our dining room which is tiled. I moved the table and chairs to the side and crawled on my knees for one or two hours.

farmers-wife-borders-2

(c) 2014 by hs

Now, I have a light-coloured laminate floor in all rooms—not fit for scratching needles. So I pondered over an alternative way of basting my quilt and came across this method on Pinterest:

(c) 2014 by hs

(c) 2014 by hs

I wrapped the backing fabric and the quilt top around two boards I bought in a hardware store.

(c) 2014 by hs

(c) 2014 by hs

Then I began to uncoil them on my dining room table, letting the batting float in between. I smoothed out any wrinkles while going and started pinning. When I was done with the section on the table, I pulled it to the side and let it hang off the table, then unrolling another section of top and back.

(c) 2014 by hs

(c) 2014 by hs

I admit that I had some doubts as to the exact direction of the three layers and any wrinkles since I was used to fix the top and the back on the floor with some tension. Moreover, it was somewhat exciting whether the backing and batting would be long enough or one of them would end before I had completely unrolled the top—but of course my measuring was correct and everything went well. I was done in no time—or so it seemed to me. And neither my back nor my knees ached the least bit!

I decided to quilt every one of the 110 squares individually, making the design up as I go. I am looking forward to “re-visiting” them all.

19 responses »

  1. I have been trying to discover a method for basting my quilts, as I have arthritis in my back and knees, and you have solved the problem!!! This is my “go to” method from now on!! Thank you Heike.

    Reply
  2. Hallo Heike, dein Quilt sieht super aus. Welches Vlies hast du genommen?
    Liebe Grüße
    Sabine

    Reply
  3. hello Heike! this is a great idea! I, too, will use this method on my next large quilt. I am working on a small quilt right now, to be used as a table cover. I pinned it with safety pins and am now working on it at the dinner table. I have tried quilting hoops in the past but find they are too hard to work with…I always go back to quilting them spread out on the table.
    I haven’t been following your blog very long but am looking forward to your next post!
    Blessings! Vicki ~ North Carolina, USA

    Reply
    • hi vicki, thank you so much for your kind comment:) i never even tried a quilting hoop but always found working at a table just fine. do you have a space on the internet where i can admire your work?

      Reply
      • No, my quilting is not “photo” worthy…nothing compared with your beautiful works of art!
        I hesitate to show anything I make any more. Many years ago I got what I thought was a “great” idea….to make things and sell at a local shop to earn a few extra dollars…sadly, the shop owner bluntly stated that my “work” wasn’t good enough. I have been very hesitant so show anything I do now. I still make quilts and quilted items…nothing fancy mostly patchwork that I hand quilt.
        I know how much work goes into making a quilt so I have a lot of respect and admiration for quilters and their work!
        Take care…Vicki

      • oh that sounds very sad indeed. i cannot believe your work to be “not good enough”! i hope you enjoy sewing and keep up the fun part of it, because that’s the most important part of it:)

  4. Katharine Mattmiller

    What a wonderful idea and I will try it. I too am a hand quilter and quilt for our churches ladies aid. Quilting is my passion and I really enjoy it and to me it is relaxing.

    Reply
  5. BRILLIANT! Seriously, this makes so much sense and I can’t wait to use your technique. :) Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
  6. I learned this basting method via Sharon Schamber and her Youtube videos on how to do this. It is an excellent method, strange it is not more widely used! Sharon hand bastes her quilts with thread, which I enjoy doing too, but pins work well too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA

    Reply
  7. Wow I do the same, just recently when getting a new kitchen I designed the island as moveable and big enough for king sized quilt, I make queen quilts tho never made a king, but still had to push it to wall and move stools recently when basting my oldest daughters double wedding ring quilt, I will be definitely trying this out for sure, thanks for the tip, also where do you buy the pattern for the farmers wife quilt from as been wanting to make one of these for ourselves and just can’t find all six inch blocks to make up quilt, I would love to make one after I complete the one I am currently making and nearly finished. It would be great if I could get the link to the site for the pattern. Thankyou I love the quilt.
    Rae

    Reply
    • thank you, Rae! this method truely is one of the best things i learnt about quilting recently. and it not only saves space but also reduces knee-ache to zero:)
      “the farmer’s wife sampler quilt” is a book by laurie aaron hird. it contains all 110 patterns, templates and several suggestions for finishing the quilt as queen size, king size, or smaller. and there’s a brand new book by her called “the farmer’s wife 1930s sampler quilt” with 99 blocks, all in 1930s fabrics. i truely am tempted to buy this one as well:)

      Reply
      • Wow, Thankyou so much, she must be lucky to have found the 1930’s fabrics, I love the old prints especially the feed sacks fabrics, very nice, my double wedding ring quilt fir my daughter was made with nearly all old fabrics, from well worn shirts, my grandkids old clothes and just a few pieces of left over fabric pieces that are in quilts of all my 8 grandkids so tells a story with 73 different fabrics excluding the cut offs from the wedding dresses in 16 centres, it’s very special that quilt with saying and quotes quilted onto the quilt, where they got married, the place an old shearers station, the date, their names their nicknames lotsa things they say all quilted onto it so they are still finding words in the quilt like love marriage, happiness, many more too remember but glad they are always telling me they have found another thing on the quilt also their dogs name too, lotsa words on the quilt, I will order those books in at my local, bookstore, thank you so much and funny to learn i wasn’t the only person who spread their quilts out on the floor to baste them together, hard on the knees and back, but your tip I will use it on my quilt I’m making that’s almost done, chat soon, many well wishes from Western Australia.
        Rae

      • Rae, the double wedding ring quilt you described sounds terrific and i’d love to see it. do you have pictures of it anywhere online? i love to use old fabric of worn clothes or bedclothes in my quilts, even if only a few scraps. but i love to look at those pieces especially because i can remember their first purpose. and i like the thought that they now have a second life as a piece of art:) i’m very much into repro fabrics recently, not too fond of the 1930s but the 1800s. i certainly will do some quilts with these kind of fabrics soon, i ordered a whole bunch in the u.s. i have a hard time buying fabric here in germany and am always a bit jelous of the great variety of stores people in the u.s., u.k. or australia have. i don’t like ordering fabric because it’s hard to get a good impression of a fabric when looking at a tiny clipping only. but there are so few quilt stores here with such a small range … well complained enough now. i always got what i wanted … thanks again for commenting so kindly:)

  8. Did you scratch your table?

    Reply
  9. Mary Gilmore

    I have been having some problems quilting without puckers. I tried a method where the backing was placed on a wall and the batting and the top were spray basted. I did get one done by marking the centers and it came our better but the whole process became a night mare. The first quilt is still in the package waiting to be straightened out. I am in a transition stage right now and all of my works are packed away. I will try this method as soon as I get things together. I do have more pieced than I have quilted and hope to turn things around. My first project will be the giant dahlia. It is all cut out and ready to be pieced. That will be my treat for meeting my goals. Best wishes in quilting. It is meant to be a relaxing pastime.

    Reply

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