Friday, February 22, 2013

Spray Basting Tutorial

I want to share my favorite way to baste a quilt....spray basting! I started doing this about a year ago and will NOT go back to pinning my quilts unless forced to!

Hopefully this tutorial will help you with your quilting to make it easier, more fun and faster!
This is my favorite brand/type of spray basting. I found this at Hancock Fabrics for about $15. You can also purchase this online from Wal-Mart. If I can't get over to Hancock Fabrics to get this can, I can also go to Wal-Mart and get a smaller can of spray basting in a blue and white can. 

When finding a spray basting can, just try any and see if you like it. But make sure that it says "spray basting". 

How To:

 1. Lay your quilt back on any flat surface and tape it down. You can use masking tape or any other tape you may have. You just want to make sure that it is secured firmly to the floor. I like to do this in my living room because 1) it is the only place large enough I can lay a quilt flat on the floor and 2) the carpet adds a little more padding to my knees.
 On the corners I double secure them. You want to make sure that the quilt back is secured to the floor, so that if you need to rearrange your layers you can pull them off and mover them without your backing coming off the floor.

If you don't think you need this much tape, it only takes once for you to have to "re-tape" the entire backing to make sure that you add enough tape the first time.

With it firmly secured to the floor, this will guarantee that the back of your quilt has no puckers or gathering when you quilt your quilt. Before when I used pins, I would always end up with a pucker or two, but since spray basting I no longer have that problem!
 2. Once your backing is secured, lay your batting (of your choice) onto the backing. Make sure that the batting is where you will want it when finished.
 3. Trim the batting to the size of the backing. If your backing is considerably larger than your quilt top, you can lay your quilt top on top of your batting to get an idea of how of where it will lay, then trim you batting accordingly.

I have found that I like to make sure that I have plenty of room for movement. When spray basting you might get your quilt twisted slightly or you might find that your quilt top once spread out evenly is larger than you realized. I just like to be prepared. I hate going back and have to add more batting to any area because I didn't allow enough room for movement.
 4. Once you have your batting trimmed to your desired size, starting in the middle of the quilt fold back one half of your batting. You always want to start in the middle of the quilt and work outwards. If you start at the top/bottom or at the sides you might end up having everything shifted too far in any area. I also find it easier to begin in the middle.
 5. I then kneel in the middle of my quilt and have the batting folded back onto my lap (you don't want to sit on it because we will be spreading it out  in a moment. I then use an even spray up to 12 inches above the batting. If you are doing this for the first time, you may want to do smaller sections until you get the hang of it.

You may also not be able to see where you have just sprayed very well. Just eyeball it the best you can and make sure that you are actually spraying the fabric.
 6. Once I have sprayed a few inches above and across the backing (or where ever your batting will be - this is why you laid out your batting before hand to know where you will need to spray). Make sure you have a good layer of spray down. As you keep doing this you will find that you used too much or too little, just stay flexible and learn as you go. Now lift UP the batting (your holding down the other portion of the batting with your knees) and lay down the batting in one movement. I then move to the right or left (it doesn't matter) and repeat the process as I did for the middle. Keep going until you have the batting on all the portions that you just sprayed.
 As you go along make sure that you smooth out the batting to make sure that there are no little puckers or gatherings. If you find a pucker or gather, simply lift it back up (another reason why we tape really well) and lay it back down. You shouldn't have to respray if you rearrange it once, but if you have to do it 3 or 4 times you might have to re-spray. Just depends on how much spray you used in the beginning.
 7. Once you have all the batting attached to the backing, pull back the batting again until you reach your previous section. You will be able to tell because you will have to tug harder to remove the batting. Don't worry once you do this you will know what I mean.
 8. Now repeat the same as you did before. Spray a few inches above your batting (the spray adhesive is now holding the batting in place where you are), lift up and lay flat the batting. Continue until you reach the end of your backing or until you have used all of the batting. Once you finished one side turn around and start in the middle of the quilt and repeat the same process on the other side.
 9. When you have all the batting spray basted to your backing (I ended up using a double batting for this quilt shown. You just do the same process as you did with the first batting as you do with the second layer). Now take your quilt top and lay it out on your batting. Arrange it until you are satisfied with your alignment.
 10. Now repeat the same process with the quilt top as you did with the batting. When you spray the first section, this will determine your alignment of your quilt top, so if your backing alignment is important, make sure that you align your quilt top accordingly. (In the picture you can see the blue/white can of spray baste that I got from Wal-Mart).
 In this picture you can see where I laid my quilt top down, but ended up with a small pucker. No problem, I just lifted it back up and laid it out smooth.
 11. Now you have your quilt spray basted! As you go along, rub the quilt top smooth and this will also help with the adhesive. You will be able to tell if everything is securely adhered because you will be able to see that the quilt top is "tacked" down.
 12. Now that you are finished you can now trim around your quilt. I usually leave about an inch around the entire quilt. As you quilt your quilt the backing might loosen up (depending on how taught you taped it down) and this way I know that I will still have plenty of layers while quilting, but not enough that the edge gets caught underneath while quilting (I hate it when that happens!)
 I usually cut around the whole quilt first, then go around and pull off each section. Now sometimes I like to save the extra backing from my quilts. If you want to save yours just peel the batting off. Depending on how much spray you used, you will be able to pull it off with no problem and not have any residue left. If you do happen to have some on the fabric, just wash it and it will come off.
 Now you have your quilt completely basted and ready for you to quilt! I love how I don't have to stop every few inches while quilting to take out a pin.

You do not have to quilt right away, you can fold your basted quilt and put it away until you have time or whatnot. I currently have a quilt that has been basted for about a year now and the adhesive is still strong! I have also unfolded it and refolded it quite a few times and that has not affected the adhesive bond. 

After you are finished spray basting you might find that you r house has a "polluted" area. Just area it out if leave it, it will go away eventually. Also you might find that you have breathed in the adhesive into your nose and find your nose all sticky. Not worry just blow your nose and all will be okay. 

Hopefully this tutorial has helped you find an easy way of basting your quilts! If you have any questions please feel free to ask! 



Sara Birch said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I've just started spray basting and was a little shocked at how much the spray bast was, but after trying to pin and quilt, it is definitely much easier to have it sprayed. Have you ever tried 505 Basting Spray? I've heard it is awesome, but haven't tried it yet.

Jody said...

Spray Basting is wonderful, isn't it! I love your tutorial, and have pinned it for my friends on Pinterest! Thanks so much for the great post!

Anonymous said...

I have tried spray basting with limited success. Do you have any suggestions that address this two issues: I am 66 and getting down on the floor (even with carpet) isn't practical; and what do you do with the "spatter" from the spray on your floor/carpet?