With the wonderful warm weather the past week, I took the opportunity to spray baste one of my cheater-cloth projects. I use a wash-out spray baste in an aerosol can. It’s not something you would want to do in a closed room, so any chance I get, outside I go.
Depending on the fabric, I may spray starch the top and backing. In this case, the backing is muslin which I lightly starched, but the top I did not.
I tape my backing down with masking tape just as it will be when assembled… good side down. I mark, or use a safety pin marker to indicate the centers of each of the 4 sides. Then I lay down and smooth the batting. Folding back the batting to the half way line, I spray the sticky stuff onto the backing and smooth that half of the batting into place. Sometimes you have to peel it up and stick it down again to make sure there are no wrinkles. Then I fold the un-stuck portion of the batting back from the backing and spray the other half. When I’m happy with the way it looks, I begin the same process with the quilt top.
So the next step is to lay down the quilt top on top of the batting, face up. If not already marked, I make sure the exact middle of the quilt top’s 4 edges align with the backing’s center markings. With a large straight pin, I pin the left and right edges all the way through the layers at the center so when I peel back the layers, they don’t shift.
The same procedure works as for the batting layer… Fold back half of the quilt top, spray (the batting, this time) and work the quilt top back into position, smoothing from the center, out. For large quilts, you’ll start at the center but spray only a band of 18″ or so at a time. When starting on the second half, to make sure I have good spray coverage, I move my pins a couple inches so I can peel back to at least the center and maybe just beyond.
When the sandwich of backing, batting, and top are all sprayed and stuck, you can handle it as if it were stitch-basted or pin-basted. I do add a couple safety pins here and there because I find when a wrestle with it at my sewing machine, sometimes corners become unstuck temporarily.
I have found that even with twisting and turning my projects, I avoid wrinkles on the back. I’m happy with the technique (except for the added cost and fumes.)