Welcome! This is the blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace Designs

Welcome to the Blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace

To find out more about Legend and Lace please visit the website http://www.legendandlace.com/

Quilt Gallery

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quilt Basting

With my husband away, it was a good opportunity to get my quilt basted.  There are various methods and ideas about what is right and wrong in the basting stakes.  I don't know all the rules, but I can show you what works for me.  When I am going to hand quilt, I can either baste by safety pins or by threads.  In the end I don't think it makes any difference to the result, but there are a few reasons why I wanted to thread baste this one.

I think it is easier on the hands to thread baste, rather than safety pins, and you also don;t have to take them out as you move the hoop.  Just cut the threads and pull them as you move along.  It is also light to handle, if you are working on a large quilt.  Mine is 74" square which is large enough to handle.

I lay the backing on the not so large dining table and secure it with bulldog clips all around.  The batting is then layed on top and smoothed down, patted - not stretch.  Put the quilt on top, and smooth down again.  Don;t stretch it.  The quilt is larger than the table so it falls down all the sides, and that kind of stretches it anyway.

I tack with these big fat needles and crochet thread or candle-whicking thread.  I pick them up from garage sales or markets when I see them cheap

I cut off pieces of thread the whole length I want to baste, and start in the middle and work out. The basting is done about 6" apart, up and down the length of the table, then across.  If the quilt is over the edge of the table, I just let the thread hang loose.  Later on I can move the quilt and re-thread and finish off that piece.
Just let them hang over the side.  When all the centre is finished, you can un-clip the backing, and move it over to one side.  I pull up the sides of the quilt, toss the clips into the centre, move it right over to one side, and then clip again.  Pat down and smooth the batting and the quilt top.  Re-thread the needle with the thread ends and start tacking again.

I started this about 7pm and had it 3/4 finished by 8.30.  The rest I can finish in the morning.  Much easier than crawling about on the floor, don't you think?


  1. You make it sound so easy. Generally takes me a couple of goes, even with the bulldog clips. Probably says more about my piecing than anything else. How about a short post on piecing the back?

  2. Trial and error, Liz! After a number of years of trying different ways, this is what I find best works for me. Wendy

  3. This is pretty much how I do it too, Wendy! Bulldog Clips have proven to be a great tool! One thing I do differently is to include the batting and the quilt top in the bulldog clip as I layer them on. Haven't used crochet cotton before but will certainly give it a try because it does seem so much more substantial than sewing thread! Really big quilts go to a longarmer friend for basting!