Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The 15 minute Challenge with Kate

You know when you put off a task forever and then when you make a start it gets done really fast and you wonder why you put it off for so long? That wasn't me this week. I know why I've been avoiding finishing my quilts. It's the basting process.  Ever since we laid tile my basting has gone to crap. My tape won't stay taped. My backs don't stay taut. I get puckers when I quilt  and I end up crying like a three year old. It's even got to the point where Mr. P finds something massively essential to do out of the house in another suburb the very second I drag out my basting pin container.

That left me with a choice this week. Do I baste one of the two quilts lurking round here that are ready to take that next step towards quilting greatness? How resilient was I feeling? Did we have any alcohol to soothe my wounded pride if it all went pear shaped? 

I decided to ponder those questions and other mysteries of the universe (like why you can't actually tickle yourself) while quilting and binding Hamish's quilt which was already basted. 

And then because I am a whizz at practising avoidant behaviour I moved on to finishing the Wonky Blocks quilt top. Since this one is going out to be quilted the finish felt amazing instead of "Oh shit-another quilt to baste ".

Then I wandered away and played with my stash for a while (which sounds a bit rude now that I come to think of it ) and pulled some fabrics for Kat's scrappy stash swap. These are for my secret partner. 

And then ,and only then, I decided to suck it up and baste the blue and brown quilt. And since I have the un-stickiest floors in the known universe I did it outside on my table , with high hopes of a stellar result since I used about 84 clamps and 33 bulldog clips to stretch that backing nice and taut.

And then I moved it very carefully and basted the other side. There are so many pins in this it looks like a freaking hedgehog. 

I know you're all waiting for the punchline. The one where I tell you I managed to pin that sucker to the table top , or that my  dogs jumped up on the table as I turned my back and danced a rumba across the top.

I've got nothing people - except this slightly puckery quilt back. And the fabric basket with the popped seam that I've fallen in love with in spite of it's imperfect-ness.

Pop on over to Kate's for a look at her "15 minutes" of manic Christmas sewing as well as what other participants have been working on this week.

Current tally on the "7 quilts finished before the end of the year" deal:
1 completed 
2 ready to be quilted (by me ) 
2 ready to be quilted (by the quilting guru ) 
2 still in various stages of undress


Kate said...

Ditto on the tile floor. Though mine stays taped and taut. It's just incredibly hard on my knees to baste. But I need to do it this afternoon, otherwise the quilts will never get done. Sigh.

Shevvy said...

I haven't got any floor space big enough to baste, even if my knees could cope.
I do it on my dining table which is old and "vintage" so it doesn't matter if I scratch it with pins.
I need to try the clamps or bulldog clip trick though, as I can never get the back tight. I hate basting....

Karen said...

Have you ever tried spray baste? I rarely use pins anymore as I have great luck with 505 baste spray. It is great!

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Hi Shay
I'm with Karen on the spray basting. Have you tried it? I LOVE it. Would never pin/stich baste again. I hate the pin thing. They are always just where you want to sew and they make such a lot of noise and scratch your machine. I have a groovy way to spray baste - happy to send you if you want. I don't do any of that bull dog clip stuff.
Love the fabric basket. One of those is on my to do list.

Rachaeldaisy said...

I'm not a basting fan either. It's scrabbling around on the floor that I hate. One day I'll try the table basting method, Im scared of scratching my table with pins though. I really love Hamish's quilt!!

Jill said...

Hi Shay,
I've visited your blog before but I'm now going to put you in my favourites list - your post is hilarious - right up my style of humour alley! You really put a smile on my face. I'm just about to launch into a basting frenzy with a queen size quilt. Waiting for hubby to go to work so I can move the furniture and take over the floor space in the family room.
Your quilts are gorgeous by the way. Regards,Jill (also from Adelaide)

Marg said...

I'm with you sister, I hate basting. I've tried basting on the dining table and so far I've had good results. I also use basting spray and that's been great, but I also use some pins just in case the basting spray fails.
Love all of your projects, but I especially love Wonky Blocks, that is one seriously handsome quilt top.
I'm disappointed that there was no punchline, couldn't you have just made something up?

TheLab said...

UH!!!! Those blues and browns are GOREGOUS. Your quilts make me want to quit my job and just quilt ALL THE TIME. I'd have to learn how first. Which means I'll need to quit both of my jobs. Hmmmm this sounds like it could work! Or not. But wow, when I do learn to quilt someday, I'm copying every single one of your quilts.

Keep Stitchin' said...

First of all, love the quilts! Second of all, congratulations on getting that beauty basted! I know how you feel. Basting is not one of my favorite tasks, but I do have to do a lot of it since I quilt for others and don't have a longarm... but, with that said, you can have a longarmer baste your quilt for you believe it or not. I've never had it done, but I know that some will do it.
Lastly, hilarious post! You made me laugh!

seabreezequilts said...

The last few quilts I have spray basted but I don't usually do it on my own unless it only a small quilt. I also don't like the way the glue gums up my needle but if I am in a hurry I do it that way
A few tips for table top pinning.
I use 10 bulldog clips to hold my quilt down, the key is in how many pins you use and I probably use at least twice as many as you Don't do them all the same way and in rows. And if you have to reposiition the quilt don't do the pins up before you pin the whole quilt (yes you get stuck) but it doesn't pull on the fabric so much and put holes in the quilt top.

Canadian Abroad said...

You are going to make it in your quest to do these seven quilts! Amazing progress, and i love them all. Keep changing my mind about which one is my favourite.

Jennifer said...

I'm with you on that......don't like doing it either......but as Amanda says, use lots of pins. But I like even less the idea of using chemicals on my quilts, so I prefer not to use basting spray.

Brenda said...

Your quilts look amazing, as usual, great work over there! When I pin-basted my quilts, I just kind of smoothed them out on the carpet and pinned the crap out of 'em. Sure, I pinned them to the carpet here and there and they were not perfectly smooth, but I figure, once you wash 'em and crinkle 'em - who knows? (Now I have a frame for my machine so I can pin my quilts to leaders (no floor crawling - yay for my old self)

Pat said...

Basting is not my favorite job either. Congrats on getting so much done. It feels good, doesn't it?

Larri said...

All your quilts are fabulous! Thanks for showing the picture of Brownie Blue and how you pin-basted it. That really helps me, as I had to pull Flurry up off the floor today due to some babysitting of the great-nieces. I'll have to re-baste it. Yikes!

You still amaze me at all you accomplish. Happy Wednesday! ☺

Helsie said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one having trouble getting any tension on the tiled floor. That's what I blame for the disasters I've had with this basteing trick. I have been sending my quilts off to be quilted - very expensive - and so have not really made many quilts. I might give this spray basteing a go for my next project and see if that helps.
PS. Your nephew will be delighted with his quilt , it looks fab!

Kate said...

Wow, you had a busy week at the House of Pyjamas. I love the Wonky Blocks quilt and the blue/brown quilt. At least all your projects are evenly distributed throughout all the phases.

You can tell what a great wimp I am. I don't quilt any of my quilts. I'm too chicken.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

Umm, I can honestly say, you "can" tickle yourself. If you can't, just be thankful.


thea said...

I really like Hamish's quilt; you did a great job .. how big is the quilt? Looks like you're making great progress on your finishes .. and I love the bag too!

Mindy said...

For a procrastinator you certainly got a lot done! I just love that Wonky quilt! Maybe it's 'cause I'm a Wonky sorta girl.

I don't have a floor large enough to baste quilts, sticky or no. I guess that's why I don't ever get them quilted. I love making the tops though!

Shocking Hocking said...

love all your quilts - specially the brown and turquoise one...and i hate basting so much i bought a long-arm - and another fellow aussie - i'm in melbourne

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Loving the Oreo quilt :-) I like reading your comments, full of little tips that will one day stop me from crying on the floor also!

Mistea said...

Love the fur brothers quilt - beautiful colours.
Wonky is looking very good.
Let it go - the quilting will deal with the wrinkles, besides you're always looking for the wrinkles when you wash the new quilt.
Enjoy the quilting.

take the cake said...

It seems that blogger hates me more than your fear of basting, it wont let me comment on any of my favourite blogs except yours. The little imperfections that we sew into our works of art are what labels them as handcrafted masterpieces,its what makes them individual, one of a kinds. And in my world if you fold it just right and dont point out the mistakes then no one will ever know. Those beautiful quilts etc we see in glossy magazines and blogs just dont show the bad bits the same as cookbooks dont show you the burnt bits. Im glad I at least get to coment on one funny blog and Im glad its yours

Sara said...

While I think basting is hard on the knees, I still dislike the actual quilting, and of course the binding, even more. I've probably got a half a dozen basted quilts rolled up ready to be quilted, but the thought of sitting at the machine for a couple of hours sewing straight lines back and forth doesn't hold much appeal compared to going through my stash and holding pretty much every single fabric next to every other fabric and picking my favourites. I'm definitely a piecer, not a quilter.

KendasCrafts said...

oh! I hate basting! mostly because of the sore back, but also because its nearly impossible with a toddler in the house. I use a tile floor when I baste and haven't had a problem with tape unsticking. I use regular masking tape. Maybe try duct tape?

Kay said...

My floors are unsealed so far too filthy to lay out a quilt for basting! I use bulldog clips on my dining table and it works for me (although there have been a few quilts that have been pinned numerous times as I can't get all the wrinkles out of the back). Actually the hardest thing, I find, is getting the front centred over the's always a little wonky for my perfectionist streak!

Char said...

Love the wonky blocks quilt and the blue and brown quilt is gorgeous!
Don't you have that spray baste it stuff over there? That's all I use now. I'm getting too old to crawl around on my hands and knees on the floor. Besides the view from the rear might ruin someones eyesight!

melissa said...

Ahh, it will all work out in the wash.... the puckers i mean, and we all get them! Basting sucks at the best of times but i think at a table it wouldnt be so hard on your back ...or knees...It all looks magnificent ! ( You put me to shame woman! )

Vesuviusmama said...

Good for you! You got one basted AND got some other things done while avoiding the task - win, win!

Elizabeth said...

You never cease to amaze me. Hamish's quilt is so amazing. I love the colors and fabrics! Wow!

And that Wonky Blocks quilt is so pretty. I love the cool colors in it!

But, I think that the blue and brown quilt is my favorite. Love the colors. Love the fabrics. Sorry you and basting aren't getting along. If I told you how I baste, you would probably have an aneurism because of the shoddyness of it.

Glad you and your fabric basket are friends. Again, love the colors and fabrics. You have a really great eye for beautiful combinations.

xo -E