Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Triple 'T' Tuesdays: Spray Basting

Welcome back to Triple 'T' Tuesdays. Today I've got a great tool to share with you. It's finally time for me to wax poetic about the joys of spray basting. I used to dread that moment when I had finished piecing a quilt and I knew it was time to start basting. Often, I would set the quilt aside for a day (or longer) procrastinating. Finally, I would muster up enough gumption to lay out my quilt sandwich, dig out my old pickle jar of safety pins and start basting, hoping that our dog, Jack, would stay away long enough for me to finish my work. My fingers would get tired. I would prick myself and start to bleed. I'd worry that I wasn't basting enough but would be to aggravated with the process to baste too much. And then I found this little can of wonder...


Yes, there are a few drawbacks to spray basting your quilts. And I will never fault anyone who refuses to use them, but I love them. Really, the pros outweigh the cons for me. Spray basting take a fraction of the time as traditional pin basting. And I was surprised how well the spray baste actually held up during the quilting process. I was certain that there was no way this adhesive was going to be strong enough to keep the sandwich together as I manipulated my quilt through my machine. But it does! And, while the quilt may be slightly stiffer than with traditional pin basting, it is still completely pliable. And the adhesive rinses right out as soon as you wash your finished quilt, restoring it back to it's original, snuggly quality.

One of the drawbacks of spray basting is the aerosol. Glue particles will end up in places other than on your quilt (i.e. your floor or furniture if you're working too close) especially as you spray toward the edge of the quilt. Initially I laid paper down on my hardwood floors around the edges of the quilt sandwich to minimize contact between the glue and my floors, but I have found that the glue comes up easily enough if I do get it on my floors. I just give them a little rub and the adhesive comes up quickly and clean.

Another complaint I have is that some spray bastes can gum up the needle in your sewing machine. I have found that this depends on which brand you use. Thus far I have tested out two brands - June Tailor and Dritz. The June Tailor is more tacky and I like how sturdy it feels when my quilt sandwich is together BUT I have noticed a residue on my machine needle when using this brand. I switched over to the Dritz brand and while it's not as tacky as the June Tailor it still does the job AND it doesn't gum up your needles.

If you haven't tried spray basting your quilts I would definitely recommend it. And it's not just for full sized quilts. You can use your spray baste on smaller projects and appliques, etc. The uses are unlimited. Spray basting has changed my quilting life and now I can't imagine basting quilts any other way.

Do you have a great Tip, Tool or Technique that you'd like to share? Email me and I'll set you up to do a guest post on an upcoming edition of Triple 'T' Tuesdays.


  1. I love spray basting!! I'm way too lazy to sufficiently pin baste a quilt, but spray basting works every time!!

  2. I loved spray basting until...the depressor got stuck in the down position and would stop spraying and it left tons of gluey dots all over my quilt that never washed out :(

    It was the June Taylor brand, so maybe I will try a different brand next time.

  3. I bought a can of basting spray at a quilt show recently, but haven't had a chance to use it yet. It appeals to the lazy side of me lol

  4. I use the Dritz kind and I don't have any trouble with it gumming up my needle at all. My floor is another story. Unless I mop up the overspray right away, it stays sticky and attracts dust and dirt and has to be scrubbed on your hands and knees to get it up. I also pin the quilts in addition to spraying them because sometimes there's a day or two delay between preparation and quilting, if I'm prepping a couple quilts to be done at a sewing bee, for instance.