Gotta Get this Off My Chest...

ritaweedaSeptember 15, 2013

I detest making the sandwich, always have and always will. (Especially on a large quilt.) I pleaded with DH to look at the situation and come up with some ingenious method or gadget to make it easy and he walked away. We would be so filthy rich if he would. And don't say "why don't you come up with it yourself" - I'm too ignorant.
There, I feel a little better.

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Hating to sandwich a quilt is what drove me to buy a frame - I don't have a longarm on it -- only a regular straight stitch machine with a 9" throat -- small by today's standards for a sewing machine. Every time I quilt in 5" of space and grumble, I remind myself how much I hate to sandwich & pin.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:56PM
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I used to take mine to the fellowship hall at church and put tables together. It was so much nicer than rolling around on the floor. If there is a quilt guild near you see if they have a frame you can use to hold the back while you pin the sandwich.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 1:05PM
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I can't get down on the floor to do mine so I take it to work and either use the Board Room table or put some tables together in the training room. I can usually find someone interested enough to help. I can get a good sized quilt laid out and pinned over a lunch hour.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 1:49PM
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I'm with you! I sometimes think I'd finish more quilts if it wasn't for that step. I can't deal with the floor either and end up doing parts at a time over folding tables. Not a perfect solution.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Boy I'm with you on that one!!!

For a baby size I can use my ironing board. Other sizes I lay out on top of the hot tub.

I have tried the sprays, basting glue, boards, and gun things and nothing makes it easier for me.

I would love to have a frame, and DH said go for it, but my sewing room is small so I keep putting it off.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 3:05PM
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I agree!!! I have several tops done, but that sandwiching is for the birds! I can also do a baby size or sofa quilt on my sewing table with lots of frog clips to hold it, but you have to move it every 15 inches or so. I have room for a frame, but would want a machine to go with it, so that is out!
Our church got rid of our old tables that would have worked with frog clips to hold and gone to the white plastic tables, so that doesn't work well either!
You have the support of the rest of us!!!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Forget about the floor. I have one of those conference tables (or maybe banquet tables??) in the sewing room and I use those plastic carpenter's wood clamps to hold it taught to the table while I pin-baste, but I have to do the middle first, then move it to one side, smooth it out, clamp, pin, then go to the other side and do the same.
I hate it.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 6:42PM
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I had the absolute worst time with sandwiching. I dreaded it, and it was never perfect. I finally decided to try Patsy Thompson's method--and it works so well for me. I wasn't sure if it would work, so I didn't want to go to the trouble and expense of a design wall. So I bought poster boards at the dollar store; put them up on the wall with finishing nails (the least damaging to the wall); taped the seams between the boards...and Voila!, a design wall.

The plan was for this to be a temporary solution...and if it worked, I would get fancy boards and cover them with felt. They are still up there and work great. Because I never put felt on the boards, I have to pin the quilt up there, but that's no problem. With my "design wall" and spray basting, I no longer dread sandwiching--and I no longer get puckers in the quilt backing. I still use pins to hold the sandwich together (I don't trust spray basting that much).

Here is a link that might be useful: Sandwiching a Quilt

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:04AM
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I would love to try the spray basting method BUT isn't it harmful for you to breathe in the spray fumes? Especially in a room like most of our quilting rooms. I too hate to sandwich so I do it on my bed (what a pain) or my dining room table (only for couch quilts).

I wonder if Patsy Thompson has anymore YouTube video's. I haven't seen any new ones in a long time.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:49AM
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I am so glad not to be the only who dreads this part of quilting. My knee won't bend so I can't use the floor.

For GS's quilt, I scrubbed the [asphalt] driveway and had DH's help. Won't do that again, he's willing but is unable to comprehend that 'smoothing the fabric' doesn't mean stretching it diagonally. Used spray baste and loved it, but I would emphatically NOT use it inside. Not only do mfg's directions advise to use only in a well-ventilated area, the sprayed mist *does* migrate to the surrounding area.

For DD's quilt, another scrub-the-drive session and a neighbor's help, but the wind made it impossible -- and for the next month, every day she was free turned out to be a windy day. I finally bought two small folding tables (each opens to 4'x2' end-to-end makes 8'x'2') and pinned. That worked out, but the weight of the sandwich meant holding the bulk of the quilt on chairs; awkward but do-able. The tables fold very neatly and fit under the bed when not in use. Gonna save my pennies and buy 2 more so the opened area will be 8'x4'.

Or I'll just bundle the thing up and send it off to be long-armed. VA quilting is well-established now, and her prices have gone up, but her work is truly very good. OTOH, quilts the size I make would cost $160 to $300, which is enough to make me a bit more willing to pin or spray!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:18AM
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I sandwich my quilts on my living room wood floor, but the older I get the harder it is on my knees to move around on the floor for pinning the layers together. I usually don't have help, so I use 10 lb and 8 lb weights to hold the layers stationary as I pin them and stretch them to make sure the backing fabric does not bubble up on me. We plan to downsize in future years when we move to our next house and probably won't have the floor space then, but there is always the dining room at my church that I can use.

Best to you,

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:07PM
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My only experience with spray basting was a disaster and almost made me stop quilting. The queen size quilt I used it on is a puckery mess and always will be. I'm glad to know it's worked for others and perhaps I would consider it on a small wall hanging, based on your experiences, but never again on a bigger quilt.

When I can't take the quilt to work to use the larger tables there, I use painters tape to hold the backing in place and drape the backing over my dining room table. After pinning the center section, I move the backing, batting and top a couple feet at a time until I have it done, taping each section as I go and supporting most of the weight of the finished or waiting sections on chairs. It's not perfect, but it works. I can't afford to have them long armed, except for very special quilts.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:14PM
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All together now.....G....R....O...A...N....oh, the knees....oh the back.......oh the arms........what a pain!
I make do with laying my quilts on a folding cardboard cutting surface that I lay on my bed. Larger quilts (what few there are) are sent to a longarm quilter.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Nice to know I'm not alone...also a reason I've steered clear of doing anything larger than a twin size quilt. Also the reason I have several tops done, but there they hang...waiting for me to finish.

I do mine on the floor, and the results are just ok. I may give the dining room table a try for the next go round.

I did find a video where where the quilter used two- two by fours (sanded and painted so they did not snag) and wrapped or sandwiched the layers using a wrapping technique...,Anyone ever try it?

I'll take a look tonight and see if I can find the was awhile ago I came across it...I'll go searching again.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:50PM
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I used to use the floor for large quilts but that is a thing of the past age dictates that it is either sent out or I do it on the dinning table. I have spray basted small quilts but being small makes them easier to pin so I have done both.
My question is: I have a lg. hand quilting frame and have often wondered it that could be used to baste a lg. quilt. It isn't exactly easy to put the quilt onto it but it might work for one I would other wise send out.
What are your thoughts on the subject?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:37PM
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I think you're talking about Sharon Schamber's method at the link below.

I used it on a king-sized quilt a few months ago and it worked great. I highly recommend this method. Really so much better than crawling around on the floor. And has some advantages, in my opinion, to working in sections on a table without using the boards. I would do it again next time I have a large quilt.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sharon Schamber hand basting a quilt

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:59AM
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I don't know that I'm ever going to baste my quilts instead of pinning, but Schamber's method with the boards is fascinating! It looks like a great idea and I'm going to give it a try. Thanks to Valarie/Valerie for posting about it!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:02PM
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I have seen Schamber's method before and think it would work with pins but I am not sure how it would work without a large enough table to start if you have a big quilt. Has anyone used it?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Yes Valerie...that's the one, thanks for finding this and posting the link.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:21PM
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I am so with you. I am ashamed to say I have tote boxes full of quilt tops I have made in the past few years! To me the fun part is making the quilt top. I have never sent my tops out to be quilted, always quilted my own. I don't want to step on any toes here but I was telling DH how many quilters sent their tops out to be quilted. He said to me, if they don't quilt their tops they aren't quilters, they are sewers...hmmmm What do you all think?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:28PM
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I personally need to do the entire thing myself from start to finish. But I realize there are those who have no problem only doing part of it, whether it be no interest in it, a physical problem, or just can't master that particular step well enough. I guess if one wants to get technical, a quilter quilts, a piecer does patchwork. But then there are very few people who can build a house or a car from start to finish, there are plumbers, carpenters, electricians, mechanics, upholstery and body finishers, etc. So it's OK to specialize if that's what floats your boat.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Like Eleanor Burns says..."I quilt with my credit card". I dare anyone to say she is not a quilter. Of course, she has done the quilting on many quilts.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:06PM
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