I finished putting together the quilt sandwich. What do you normally do to hold your quilt sandwich in place? Since I quilt on my domestic sewing machine I typically use both the spray basting spray and then pin my top with medium size safety pins. The reason for this is with all the folding and unfolding that my quilts go through, I find that just pinning doesn't give them enough stability and the layers tend to shift. If I use just the spray baste spray often towards the end of the quilting process there are areas where the glue is starting to unstick because I don't like to use a heavy application of the stuff. So using both has typically worked for me in the past.
Well with the Wild Mustang quilt it has so many additional layers in it that pinning with medium safety pins was completely out of the question and the spray glue would only hold the layers that were against the batting. So I figured that this quilt needed to be hand basted which I have never done before.
I started to get my various tools together and then my friend Elizabeth ( http://sandandsunshine.blogspot.com/ ) informed me that she had seen on someone else's blog these long sewing needles that might be of interest. So I did some research and sure enough there are special needles for hand basting quilts. I went to my LQS and was fortunate to get their last package. This is the exact type that I got and they really did make a difference from just using the longest regular needles that I had ( http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-Quilting-Quilters-Basting-Needles/dp/B001UAH1GK ). These ones are almost 4" long and more sturdy than your regular needle yet still fine enough that it doesn't leave big holes in the fabric.
So I started to baste my quilt, got a few rows done and then thought perhaps there is a better stitch to use than the simple running stitch that I was using. I then did a search on the net and found these 2 videos ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_EjBGz5vGQ ) by Sharon Schamber and they were very informative and I decided to use her technique with the herringbone basting stitch (details in the second video). She also had some other interesting suggestions about how to prepare a quilt for hand basting which I will likely try the next time I need to do hand basting of the sandwich. I found that the basting went fairly quickly considering all the layers that I was working with. Here are a couple of pictures of what this stitch looks like.
This week I will be working on the actual quilting.