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Sew Retro, Baby! quilting

Posted on: March 17th, 2013 by Lorna McMahon

Not even aware that it was Worldwide Quilting Day…. I went to two shops looking for fabric.  And I found the perfect flannel to use for the backing.

Which I washed and dried, cut and seamed, and through up on the frame I use to baste my quilts.

I have not seen any other blogs ever mention using a quilt frame for basting and thought there may be a few people out there who are interested in another option.

It is simply four lengths of wood, held together by screws, at the measurement determined according to the length and width of your quilt backing.

If you don’t have a ‘freezer room’ to set up a frame…. normally, four chairs can be used at each corner to support the quilt frame.

Thumb tacks are used to hold the edges of the backing to the frame and the butter knife shown in the above picture, is used to take the tacks back out.  Saves the finger nails (or lack thereof).

And after securing your backing, you lay on your batting and quilt top, smoothing it all out, and pin from the center towards the edges.

Remove all the thumb tacks…
Remove the screws and store the wooden rails out of the way.

Then get quilting!
I did get started doing just that and will post again when she’s done!

How did you spend your Worldwide Quilting Day?  I’d love to see what you’re working on!

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, Lorna, now I get it! Thanks for sharing this! Plus, that helps that you don't have to crawl around on the floor. PS. that quilt is BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Karin says:

    That is very clever…have not seen anything like that before. Definitely beats crawling around on the floor. Yes, also love that quilt…that is a really sweet pattern and the colours are just right for that.

  3. Julie says:

    Wow – love the frame idea. Thanks for sharing that!

  4. Sewing Mom says:

    That's a lovely idea for basting. I had never thought of it and unfortunately don't have the space, but I will mentally note that for the future. =) Your quilt is lovely too. Visiting from Anything Goes Monday. Have a great day!

  5. I haven't seen this frame technique before – it's so fascinating and one I'll file away in the back of my basting brain for future reference. I was wondering how you reach the centre of a large quilt to put the pins in – do you crawl under the quilt and frame and push the pins through that way or can you stand the frame up and push the pins through from a vertical position? I'm not that tall and there's no way I could reach over to the centre which is what makes me ask! 🙂

  6. Thanks to ChrissieD for suggesting standing the frame vertically on larger quilts! I had never thought of that and had wondered about first basting the edges and then rolling the rail and repositioning to reach the center. Great idea ChrissieD!

  7. MC says:

    I love the Sew Retro, Baby quilt. Great design! I've never seen a frame for basting, I am definitely curious. I usually use my bed, which works more or less well depending on the size of the project but I've been looking for a way to go bigger.

  8. What a great idea–I have never seen that method before! The butter knife is a brilliant idea. I hated pin basting so much because the skin under my finger nail would get so sore. Now I only do spray basting, but I guess if I wanted things to be perfect, I should make one of these frames (or have my husband make it).Thanks for linking up!

  9. I use binder clips instead of thumb tacks to hold the backing to the frame.-1 inch ones should work if you are using 1x4s for your frame. I often clip backing to a table,too..

  10. Screens says:

    This is a great idea going to send my hubby to buy me what I need for this project. Knees can't take the floor anymore. Thank you love this idea.Screens from Ontario Canada

  11. Screens says:

    Great idea thank you going to send hubby to buy me the things I need. Screens

  12. Unknown says:

    I have used a quilting frame like this since I started, back in 1976!The one major difference is that I use 4\”-6\”, \”C\” clamps instead of screws to hold the boards together in the corners. They are easily found at any hardware type store. This way I can easily adjust the size of the frame to any weird size a particular quilt might be!I've also finally added cloth \”sleeves\” around the two end boards, so I can sew-baste my backing to them, rather than having to deal with thumbtacks (inc. the holes they leave in fabric). Great to see this simple frame show – & w/C clamps I can easily roll my quilt as I'm quilting too.

  13. madeline says:

    thank you for the great ideas for us newbies to quilting ..i agree with the others the floor is for the birds …and my table it to small for the big quilts i have tried the chair and the table not good …keep up sending wonderful ideas …again thank you and yes i agree with the others that quilt will be so pretty can't wait to see finished…