Need to make a quilt sandwich in a hurry? Spray basting to the rescue (how-to)

Bon-Appetit-Table-RunnerAs the holidays draw near, do visions of quilty gifts dance in your head?

Do you wonder how many gifts you can start and finish before Christmas?

Do you assume you’ll be burning the midnight oil—along with Santa and his reindeer—come Christmas Eve?

Often it’s not block-making or row-sewing that halts our gift-making progress: it’s the finishing.

All finishing starts with step one, before the quilting stage: the “sandwich” stage. Layering the quilt top, batting, and backing in preparation for quilting can be time-consuming. But the following tutorial on spray basting will speed up this important step. In an excerpt from Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners, author Molly Hanson explains how she gets it done in a snap.


Speedy quilt sandwich: spray basting

From Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners—and those who think they can’t by Molly Hanson

Free-Motion Quilting for BeginnersBasting spray is a time-saver in a can—literally! While it may take me two to three hours to pin baste a queen-size quilt, I can spray baste the same quilt in about 45 minutes. Interested in learning more? I bet you are!

I especially like to spray baste small projects. I spray baste by hanging my quilt on a wall. First, I hang up some newspaper roughly around the area where my backing will be, which makes cleanup a breeze. I then tack the quilt backing to the wall, with the right side facing the wall, using thumbtacks every few inches across the top edge of the fabric and making sure the backing is smooth and flat. Then, after laying more newspaper on the floor beneath the backing, I spray baste following the manufacturer’s instructions.
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How to spray baste a quilt
Spray basting a quilt, from
Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners

I tumble my batting in the dryer for about 15 minutes to reduce wrinkles and static. Once the backing is lightly coated with basting spray (and still pinned in place on the wall), I remove the batting from the dryer and, starting along the top edge, I pat the batting in place. Take your time to carefully position and stick the batting to the backing, making sure the batting is smooth. Once the batting is in place, spray the batting (as you did the backing before) and adhere the quilt top to the batting in the same way. And that’s it! It’s a very fast and easy process—and quite addictive if I do say so myself.


Get all of Molly’s tips from Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners right now—in print book or eBook form—and get confident about your Christmas list! Plus, you can turn practice pieces into 15 functional projects that are perfect for gifts.
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From Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners
Projects from Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners, all made from practice pieces.

How do you usually baste your quilts: pins, thread, or spray? Tell us in the comments—and share your tips for quick finishing if you’ve got ’em!

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