So you’ve got your quilt all cleaned up- threads snipped, paper pulled, and all the blocks/sashing assembled? Now it’s time to sandwich and start quilting!
I use spray glue to baste my quilts. My favorite method (when the weather is nice) is to go outside and use the garage door. I do this for two reasons- First, it’s the smoothest wall surface I have outside, and second, it’s outside so rain helps clean up any over-spray. (I did this in the garage one winter, and it took FOREVER to get all the sticky residue off the floor and wall!)
I prefer wall basting to floor basting because gravity helps keep things in line. This seriously took me about 5 minutes to baste, and I was working alone. (I need an extra pair of hands for larger quilts!) I learned this method from this YouTube video. Thank you Sharon!
To start- Make sure you have a backing and batting piece that is several inches wider and longer than your finished quilt. (You’ll see in the next photos that I am lazy about trimming before basting!) If you have directional backing fabric, make sure you know which way your fabric and tops need to lay, and then use masking tape to tape the backing as flat as possible to the garage door (or wall, or floor, or table, etc)
Next- spray baste the area that your batting will lay, and try to smooth out at many wrinkles as possible. (This is part way through the smoothing process!)
My backing fabric is running side to side, and my batting is the right width, but too long, so that’s why the excesses aren’t going the same direction. Again, I am lazy about pre-trimming, so I just work with the excess and trim it as I take it off the wall.
Next, coat the batting in a spray glue and smooth the top across the batting, working out all the wrinkles. Spray glue is awesome because you can lift and re-adjust the fabric for a few minutes before it looses it’s tacky feeling- this makes it extra easy to get everything perfect.
This is much easier to do working WITH gravity- So for my quilt, I smoothed the column that includes the owl and raccoon, and then worked my way across the quilt to the other edge. Then I cut the excess off leaving a few inches on all sides.
Next, I took chalk my longest quilting ruler and chalk marked my quilting lines. (I skip this step if I’m doing something like straight all-over parallel lines or am free motion quilting.)
Once I’ve got my bobbins filled and my machine threaded, I switch my foot to my preferred quilting foot. If I were doing free motion quilting, I would use the foot on the right. I decided to use a walking foot (back left foot) since this is straight-line quilting. Your feet attachment might look different depending on your machine. Refer to your machine’s instruction manual if you need guidance.
Now I’ll audition threads. I decided to play with the invisible thread (right). This is a new tool for me, and I’ve enjoyed using it with FPP patterns, as it allows the quilting to not be distracting over the FPP images. For my bobbin thread, I selected the off-white.
Thread your machine and make yourself a practice quilt sandwich using scraps from the sandwiching phase (about 6″x6″ big) to test your machine’s tension settings, and to make sure you like the thread on your fabric. Now sew until you’re happy with your stitches. If you are doing free motion quilting, you may want a larger practice sandwich to really get the feel for your quilting.
And the quilting is all done! I used this pin from Pinterest to inspire my walking foot quilting design. (Walking foot quilting is by far my favorite method. It takes little time once you have a plan, and the results always turn out great, unlike when I do my own free motion quilting.)
Here’s a close up on the back!
Don’t forget- once you have your quilt finished, please share using the QAL hashtags or #StarsOfTheForest!
Not a fan of my quilting, but looking for some other walking foot quilting? Here’s my own Pinterest reference of walking foot quilting. Sometimes if I can’t get an idea of what it will look like, I take a photo of the quilt and doodle on it using the edit mode on my phone. It’s ugly, but it gives a rough idea.