Quilting Tip#14: Stabilizing your Quilt

Stabilizing the quilt:  This is pretty straightforward for most quilts.  If you are using a domestic or George-type machine, you will want to pin or baste the top, batting and backing together.  A longarmer can do this for you quickly and at a very reasonable price.

Chemical/glue/fusible  basting is problematic because you are putting some kind of chemical on the quilt, and these have a tendency to gum up your needles.

Like many longarmers, I float the quilt top, which means I attach the backing only to the machine, layer on the batting and top and baste those edges down.  I quilt the area under the machine throat, advance the quilt, and baste again as I go.  The only time I have had a problem doing it this way is with large medallion quilts, where the borders get increasingly smaller as you approach the center.  I sometimes ended up with pleats on the backing of larger quilts.

To avoid this heartbreak, I took a tip from Sharon Schamber and baste a stitch line across the width of the quilt each time I advance it, before that section is quilted.  Works like a charm every time, no matter how densely I quilt the sections!

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