Quilted Block of the Month 1A – Batting Choice

I’m starting today’s blog post with a link to Lisa Sipes GoFundMe. Lisa shared on facebook that in early June she lost the lower part of her left leg. She shared this on a post started by Tracy Mooney. As quilters we rally for people we know and love; and for people we’ve never met. I have long admired Lisa’s quilting skills, and the hilarious blog search terms we were sharing with each other on facebook for a while. Lisa is a beautiful soul, with a kind, generous heart. This is my way of helping her right now as this is what I can do.

Now onto sandwiching the quilt:

Doreen of Treadlemusic asked a really good question, on the sandwiching step for the New York Beauty Block. I mention in the supplies list a 12 1/2” square of needle punched cotton batting. In this case it’s a square that I saved from a project ages, and ages ago. While I don’t remember exactly what batting this is, more than likely it’s Quilters Dream Request loft, as this is my go-to for cotton these days.

Cotton is grabby, it likes to cling to other cotton. So, for pieces up to 24 inches (or so) there’s not a whole lot of work involved.

Lay the backing down wrong side up:

quilt backing

The fabric is still a bit damp so it looks fall stretched out of shape werid.

Lay the batting down:

batting layer

So, you see how I have this folded in half? If I were using spray baste I’d spray the folded over side, and gently move it over. Taking care to not stretch the batting or the fabric.

Because I’m working with fat quarters I lay it down, then check to make sure everything is smooth. If it’s not I press it down with the palm of my hand.

Lay the top right side up:

layered

Next lay the quilt top on. Again use the palm of the hand to gently press the layers together.

What you’re seeing here is one of the class “kits” used when I teach Beginner Free Motion Machine Quilting. I’m quilting this up later and will show pics on Instagram as I do.

If this were a larger quilt the process would be very different. Either I would take the quilt to Debby’s house and baste using her long arm, or I would spray baste using the largest carpeted area in the house. The backing gets pinned to the carpet, tight but not drum tight, so as not to over stretch the backing. If the backing is over stretched a weird waviness occurs, and it doesn’t come out. The batting goes on next. Often the batting is removed from the packaging, and opened fully to relax over a couple of days. With cotton giving it a bit of a spritz and putting it in the dryer for a few minutes will relax it. Then the quilt top goes on.
Then the basting process looks about like this vid from Cindy Walters and Jennifer O’Brien:

The only difference is that I have the three layers together and work on one side of the quilt completely, then move to the other side. Pressing, not mashing down, with the hands is important here. Cindy gives a great tip about taking the time, and opportunity to straighten the borders. rulers come in really handy here.

Saturday will be Part 2 of our Quilted Block of the Month.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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