Used My Noodle (and I don't mean lasagna)

Okay, so now I'm back to chipping away at my UFO's.  They're not UFO's so much as PhD's, a new quilty term I learned recently.  (I always thought it meant "piled higher and deeper," which certainly applies in my case.  For those of you just learning like me, it means "projects half done.") 

The project I worked on today is one of the quilt tops I made while we were traveling.  It's for a friend who is on home dialysis.  He has trouble regulating his body temperature while he's getting his treatments, and so I thought this quilt would help.  I made this particular quilt because he and his wife call their place the "Dancing Frog Ranch"; thus, frogs.  I'm calling this quilt "Ribbit, Ribbit."

I'm a novice when it comes to free motion quilting.  I've done a few Downy quilts and a few wall-hangings.  But this quilt, at 55 x 55 inches, will be the largest thing I've attempted.  I wanted to try spray basting, which I've read a lot about on my quilting forum.  So, I posted this question.  Wow!  Did I learn a lot!  I'm using 505, which is a product I love.  It's expensive, but the can I'm working with has been with me for over a year, and there's still plenty left, even after using it today.

If you look closely at the bottom, you'll clearly see the message, "Danger!"  It's a highly flammable product, containing ether, propane, and other noxious chemicals.  It's probably not a good idea to inhale it either, one would imagine.  The can warns to use it in a well-ventilated area.  Unfortunately, my sewing room is in the back of our basement where the furnace and water heater (both propane fueled) are located.  There are no windows.  Even if I move to another part of the basement where I could open the windows and a sliding glass door, there is a propane fireplace--with a pilot light.  The can warns not to use 505 around such things because it can lead to "flash fires."  Now, I don't know about you, but those kinds of warnings get my attention!

So, what to do in soggy Oregon? I didn't really want to do it upstairs around my wood floors and teak furniture. Taking it outside didn't seem an option at first. Then, I got the bright idea to hang it on my little clothesline outside in my covered breezeway.  I used these little plastic clothespins to hang the batting on the clothesline, then sprayed one side with 505.

Then, I took the batting down to the basement where I work at a ping pong table, which serves as my cutting table.  I laid the batting down spray side up, then smoothed the quilt back down to the now-sticky batting.

(I kinda like this pieced backing I came up with.  I used scraps left over from the quilt.)  When I had it stuck down and smooth, I took the whole thing back outside and hung it again.  Then I sprayed the opposite side of the batting and took it back inside so that I could apply the quilt top.

It all worked out great!  It's nice a smooth and feels very solid, even without using any other pins or thread basting.  Now I'm ready to quilt it.   As I said, I'm kind of a novice when it comes to free motion quilting, but I'm going to give it the old quilter's college try. 

I'm not fortunate enough to have a table that holds my sewing machine level with the table's surface.  So recently I purchased the extension table that goes with my machine.

And I'm using the Supreme Slider.  I've read mixed reviews about this product.  I happen to like it.  I was hoping to set my sewing machine up on my ping pong table, but I wasn't sure the table height would be right.  As it turns out it is!  I'm so happy about this.  And so, here's my set up.  

I set the sewing machine at the extreme right of the table to give me plenty of room for the quilt, and I'm using my little kitchen stools to support the quilt that hangs off the table. I'm hoping I'll have a minimum of drag with things set up the way they are. I'm not confident, but I'm ready to go. Wish me luck!  By the way . . . all suggestions are appreciated.  Suggest away.

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Mommarock said...

Suggestion: go for it ... enjoy!!

WoolenSails said...

That is one reason I haven't used the spray, lol.
I hate pinning, seems to take too long and then I end up doing it wrong;) I do love free motion though and I need to quilt a large one, so going to have to get it into a sandwich the hard way.


quiltzyx said...

Good luck! Looks like you're all set & things should slide right along.... ;^)

Laura said...

What a great way to spray your batting without the overspray on the floors. Thanks for the tip and good luck on the quilting!

Kate said...

I love your "Ribbet" quilt! Good luck with all the quilting!