Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Basting!

I found myself with two quilts to baste this week. I usually baste them on a folding banquet table on risers. It takes me a long time, and I do a lot of re-positioning to get everything square and smooth. I really don't like basting part of a quilt and then shifting everything over to do the rest. Last year I had to baste a quilt that was way too big to do on my table. The only place I had room for it was on my basement floor. Crawling around on the floor was literally a pain, but that quilt was so smooth after basting that I had no trouble keeping it smooth while quilting it. It really helped to have the whole back secured at once.

I decided to do something to combine the quality of the floor basting with the comfort of standing up to baste. A few weeks ago there was a sale on banquet tables at a nearby big box store, so I bought another along with more risers. When it was time to baste this week, I set the tables up next to each other. 
My husband calls these Mickey Mouse legs.
Together, they are the perfect size for most of the quilts I make. And a bonus is that I can use the "seams" where the two tables come together and where they fold in half to center the quilt and keep it square. No more re-positioning and trying to smooth and square everything again. I clamped the backing on the sides and taped it on the ends (I need a few more clamps), quickly smoothed the batting and first quilt top over it, and finished the basting in a very short time. 



Oh, my. I still had time to baste the second quilt!  



Using two tables together means I have to baste in the basement, which is not the most attractive environment, but now I can boast that I have a three-story quilt studio. Ha!

And now I have two quilts to finish! I'm halfway through the first one. I'm trying really hard to do big meanders so that it stays nice and soft. Big meanders are a challenge for me. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I have to move the quilt around more than when I do little meanders. But it's going well, and I love the feel of the quilt with less quilting than I normally do. 

You might recognize this quilt as the top I made with the leftover charm squares from my Old Fashioned Values top. Well, here's another story about those charm squares. Awhile back when I was rummaging in the closet, I heard something fall, but I didn't know what it was and couldn't find it. As part of my closet clean-out a couple of weeks ago, I removed a bookcase so my husband could paint it. And there behind it was a charm pack! It turns out that the windfall of charms I "won" was 12 packs, not 11! So I sent the extra one on to Shelley to share more of the wealth. Good thing I moved that bookcase, or who knows when I would ever have found those extra charms?!

If you noticed the little addition to my side bar, you might already have seen the pictures above. Yes, I finally joined Instagram and made an account just for my quilting projects. I couldn't use Instagram before because I didn't have a smartphone. My previous phone was this one: 

You laugh, but it was a really good phone--it got reception everywhere!! And at the time, all I needed was something to make calls and text on. But after more than 12 1/2 years (!) it finally lost its ability to keep a charge, so I made the scary move (for a technophobe like me) to upgrade in a major way. Now that I'm catching up with the social media world, I'll be sharing pictures when I'm not posting on the blog. (And as I get used to this format, I hope the pictures will mostly be different from the ones I show here.) Fun! I would love to put my Instagram pictures on the sidebar, but apparently with the platform I use for blogging, that would require going through an intermediate website, and I don't want to do that--at least for the time being. So if you'd like to see the pictures, you can just click on the link to follow me. 

Okay, that's it for new stuff this week. Tomorrow I'll post something from my quilting past for Throwback Thursday. 

Oh, one more picture. Our front yard Spring Snow crabapple is pretty much at peak today. Love Spring! But it's supposed to rain, and I'm afraid the petals will be washed off by tomorrow.



I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts. Have a great quilting week, and I hope you have something fun to baste!

6 comments:

Mari said...

Basting is a pain, but if it's done well then the quilting is smooth sailing. Nice to have those tables! Half the reason I send out the big quilts is because there's just no space to baste them properly. Maybe I should make smaller quilts! The great thing about smartphones is that you can get pictures of your grandchildren on them to carry around with you everywhere. It's pretty cool!

Jennifer said...

Basting sure isn't one of my favorites, but it is a necessity. I have two of the banquet tables, but use tape and I like the big clips that you use and the risers. I need to get both.

Bernie Kringel said...

What a great set up you have in your luxurious, spacious, three story quilting studio! I baste on my dining room table. I open it as big as I can and put my larger cutting mats under the fabric. I pin and carefully slide the mats along with me. It seems to work well enough but I do have to slide the quilt over to get the edges. Nothing is perfect, that's for sure!
Do those crab apple blossoms smell good? They look like they would, know what I mean? My meyer lemon tree is blossoming and I just want to stick my head in there and inhale the frangrance. It is so yummy.

Jasmine said...

Putting those two tables together seems to work great. I will have to tell my FMQ students about what you did.

Valerie Reynolds said...

OMG!! I love your phone! Don't feel bad...I just transitioned to the modern world of smartphones after our grandson was born two years ago! I was missing out on all the pictures and videos...oh and facetime!! :) ENJOY your new phone.

Claire said...

I'm being left in the dust with my dumb phone. :-(