After years of crawling on the floor and trying to lean across tables to baste a quilt, I figured out that I can baste quilts on a wall. In my old house, uninterrupted walls are hard to find, but I have two long narrow hallways I can use. Here’s what I do.
Move the runner carpet out of the way (ignore me ignoring this in the photos). Put a towel on the wood floor under the area that will have the quilt hanging.
- BACKING – Using blue painter’s tape, tape the entire long edge of the backing to the top of the wall. The fabric should be laid so that it is pretty side (right side) is touching the surface. Often, I’m taping the “side” of the quilt to the top of the wall.
- If the back is big, get some help for the next steps. Go down one side of the fabric and tape it to the wall. Tape the entire edge flat. You are taping every inch of the fabric. No gaps.
- Go to the opposite side, and tape it also, But, you have to add a bit of tension by pulling a bit. Not a lot, the goal is to make the back taught – not tight. How taught takes some practice.
- You now have the top and two sides taped. Now, tape the bottom edge of the backing to the wall, Again, add tension. You can see this quilt filled my wall. So, we taped to the floor a bit.
- BATTING – Using long pins, pin the batting to the top of the backing. Do not add tension. Just lay it down. Again, not tension.
- Put on your organic mask. Get under the batting between the batting and the backing. Using spray basting (Odif 505 if you have ventilation, KK2000 without) and spray a section about 18 inches wide from one side to the other. Make sure to get up close to the line of pins. Float the batting down onto the spray starting in the middle and top and working down and out. Then, work the batting flat.
- Repeat. Climb under the batting, spray an 18″ section. Flatten it and make sure there are no wrinkles. Repeat until finished.
- FRONT – Pin the front to the top of the batting so that there is 4-6″ of batting showing along the top. Take a bit of time to get is level to the ground so it won’t skew the whole thing. The right side (pretty side) of the front should be facing you. Is your organic mask on? It should be. Climb under the quilt top and repeat what you did for the batting. If the quilt is large, get a helper to help keep the quilt out of contact with the batting until you are ready for it to touch the batting and get smoothed. You can re-position the front if you need to. Again, no tension. You are really trying to float the top into position and then simply smooth.
- Using basting pins, pin about every 12-18″. This is not the basting. This will just help support the spray as you man-handle the quilt during quilting. I make sure to place pins around the entire perimeter close to the edge to make sure the backing does not secretly flip and get stitched down the wrong way.
- Remove the pins you used to support the batting and front.