After a big delay I've finally started basting my big quilt. Since I machine quilt I always pin baste. Everyone assumes that I hand quilt. But since I enjoy different types of embroidery I save my hands for that and quilt on the machine.
I've been going to the local quilt store and using their tables to baste but my wrists, shoulders and back are not looking forward to an all-day session. I'd rather do it a little at a time over weeks instead of hours.
I dug the table out of storage and set up in an out of the way area. In the first week I have 3 rows basted and another 7 left to go. Doing it a little at a time sure beats doing it all at once even if its going to take longer.
This is the final smoothing out of the quilt. As it was pieced, the fabric was continually being ironed flat. Now, I'm going to great lengths to get all 3 layers, backing, batting and quilt top, as smooth as possible. Once this basting is complete and it is taken off the table it will never be this smooth again, but I would like it to lay flat without any puckers.
I'll be bunching it up to get it under the sewing machine and wrestling it into position. Once it is fully quilted it will go into the washing machine. A quilt isn't a quilt until its been washed.
However, that's a long way off. I traditionally wait a month or so after a quilt is basted to start quilting. Part of it is mental. It's a big task and I have to start when I'm ready. I'm really not looking forward to it, but to make a quilt you have to quilt it. Also, it's hard quilting in the summer when it's hot. Most of the quilt ends up bunched in my lap and it gets uncomfortable.
So, as part of my stalling process I've made 2 mini quilt tops. I will quilt them first, as practice. Then I'll quilt the big one. The tops were made using some half charm squares (5 inch squares cut to 2 1/2 x 5) that I got during the recent quilt shop hop. Here's the first one:
And here's the second one.
These two mini quilts will be the motivation to get me through basting the big one. I'll write more about them when they are finished. I shouldn't have any more quilt related posts until then.