Don, a friend who took up quilting right around the same time I did, sent me a message I could truly appreciate just a short while ago. He outlined the relaxing, meditative qualities his quilting experience was bringing him:
“OK. Just exactly how does one assemble the top, batting, and bottom of an 87×96 inch quilt for quilting by sewing machine?
I am quite frustrated.
I started by laying the top face down on my pool table/cutting table. Then I tried to put on the batting thinking I would then put on the back, pin the whole thing together, and sew away. No such luck. The batting sticks to the fabric so tenaciously that it seems if one actually ever got the batting to lay smooth on the top it would certainly be impossible to add the backing without effing the whole thing to heck.
Next I’m thinking I could lay the top face down, and pin one edge of the top and batting together. Then I would turn the whole thing over, lay on the backing, and pin it to the batting/top layers. Then with all three layers pinned on one edge I could somehow smooth the whole thing out, pin the rest of it, and sew away. I’m having so much trouble with this I am giving up and asking the master quilter… you.
How did you assemble your quilt for quilting? Did you have four or five good trustworthy friends over to help? Did you hire the Quilt Squad?”
Poor Don – man, do I ever feel his pain. I outlined what I now know about basting, but sadly, a master quilter I am not.
On the plus side, he has a Flynn Frame he’s now going to figure out how to use and very nice Bernina embroidery machine, so I think he’ll end up having a better time of it than I did. Four or five friends surely is a good start, though!
Don’s your basic genius, though – he’s going to figure it out, and it’s going to look spectacular.
It’s good to know, now and then, that we do not struggle and swear and want to throw things at the wall all by ourselves.