Trying New Things: Success With Spray Basting

14 Sep

I’ve been working on my most recent log cabin quilt this month and tried a few new things this time. I have made a Log Cabin baby quilt before where I made each block individually, which was really stupid and time consuming. With this recent one, I did everything in big chunks and chain pieced like a madwoman. Cut all the squares and strips at once, pinned at once, ironed at once, trimmed at once, chain pieced, etc. It was so much easier and gave me plenty of couch time to watch Netflix while I ironed, trimmed, and pinned (I just pulled a small table up to the couch and did everything on that). Everyone has been telling me I made this quilt really fast, but I don’t think I made it really fast. I just worked on it a LOT every chance I had. If I had a day off, I’d just work on it all day long right into the evening and night. So, I can see why it seemed like I made it really fast. I was just so excited, I HAD to see the finished product as soon as possible.

I tried several new things with this quilt. Instead of basting in my tiny living room and wrestling around with it, I went to my mom’s house where she has ample floor space and one less cat to be a nuisance. I also decided to use masking tape to tape the batting to the floor in order to prevent it from shifting and sliding around. Instead of using safety pins to baste, I used 505 Adhesive Spray. I followed the basic instructions from Ashley’s instructions on her blog here. However, I did a couple extra things that she didn’t do. I’ve heard people complain that the one time they’ve used this it was a disaster. From what I can tell, it was a disaster because 1) they used too much spray and 2) they didn’t take precautions to cover their floor properly in order to account for the over spray.  If you’ve ever spray painted anything in your life, you know that less is more. You don’t want to slather on a ton of spray paint all at once. It’ll look like garbage with drip marks and uneven coating. A little goes a long way with 505. I followed the directions on the can by holding the can about 12″ away from what I was spraying. I did quick even sprays and hoped that would be enough. It was plenty. I also took care to cover part of the batting and part of the floor with newspaper like this.


Because of the newspaper, I didn’t leave any sticky residue on my mom’s floor. Before I started, I used masking tape to tape the batting to the floor. I didn’t pull it super tight because I didn’t want to stretch it, but I pulled it enough to get out the wrinkles. Then I laid my backing over the batting and smoothed it out. I then folded half the batting down and sprayed in nice even strokes, laid the half I had folded down back out on top of the batting and smoothed it out.  Then I folded the other half over and sprayed nice even strokes of 505 on the batting and laid the backing back out. I then crawled around and smoothed everything out. After that, I moved the newspaper, took off all the masking tape and flipped the batting over, re-taped, and put the newspaper back in place and did the same thing with the quilt top as I did with the backing. I didn’t make any marks on the batting like Ashley’s tutorial because my backing was all one fabric so it didn’t much matter to me that it was completely straight, so long as it covered everything.


I have yet to do any free motion quilting. So, I just stuck with straight lines. I probably didn’t need to do what I am about to show you, but I found that it really helped me. I measured out with a ruler and made lines with masking tape. I’m sure there is an easier way to do this with my walking foot guide, but I get so frustrated with that thing that I would rather just mark it out like this. I’ve used disappearing inking pens for this before, but I always have a hard time seeing the lines and keeping everything straight so this really helped me. I sewed next to the tape and NOT on it. I do NOT recommend sewing on the tape. AGAIN, DO NOT SEW ON THE TAPE.


After I got all the lines marked with masking tape, I folded it up and took it home to sew. I only sewed on one side of the masking tape so that the lines would be spaced 3″ a part. After I finished one direction, I peeled all the tape off and taped in the other direction so that there would be a grid when all the quilting was done.

I’ve heard different schools of thought on quilting. I’ve heard, don’t roll your quilt up as you go! And I’ve heard, roll your quilt up as you go! Who do you believe?! Well, my school of thought is: Do what works best for you. So, that’s what I did. I’ve found that rolling the quilt up as I go helps me so much more than when I haven’t rolled it up. Here’s what I mean by rolling it.


I surprised myself by getting all the quilting done in one day! I really think the 505 spray and masking tape significantly improved my results. Like I said before, I usually have a really hard time wrestling with quilts as I quilt. And I’d go so far as to say, I hate the process of actual quilting. Yes, I said it. But this time was different. I had a MUCH easier time of it. I think it’s safe to say that I am a full on convert to 505. Sorry, Safety Pins, we’re over. It’s not me, it’s you. Of course, it helped that I had invited a few lovely friends over and we chatted  and sewed. I worked on the quilting, while they worked on hand sewing or knitting. You can see their adventures here, here, and here. It was really fun to have them over. Next time, I hope it won’t be so dang hot out!

Here’s what my sewing area looks like while in the process of quilting. I have a lot of lovely inspirational items hung up in front of my machine that were made for me by Jenn and Charise.


After I got everything quilted and trimmed, I chose binding. I didn’t quite have enough, but luckily my friend Ale came to my rescue!


Now I’m almost done and only have one and a half sides left to hand stitch on.


Franklin didn’t think it needed binding. It was fine just the way it was.


Fiyero? Well, Fiyero couldn’t care less. It was too hot out for quilts.


Two posts in one month?! It’s a miracle! See? I told you, I’d start posting more. I just needed a little time.

If you’ve never tried spray basting, I highly recommend it. It might be best to start with a small project first just to test it out and get the hang of it. It’s not for everyone, but I highly recommend finding out if it’s right for you. Good luck! I’d love to hear your experiences.






4 Responses to “Trying New Things: Success With Spray Basting”

  1. BulgingButtons September 14, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanks for giving so much detail in your post. I’ve been thinking about using the spray adhesive, but I’ve been worried about it. Doesn’t it gum up your needle? Not as much as masking tape, I assume (yes, I’ve done it too). I may try it on a small piece. I’m with you on the machine quilting, not my favorite part of the process. That log cabin looks fantastic,though! Well done.

    • threadforyourlife September 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      I’ve only used 505, so I can’t speak for the other brands, but it did not gum up my needle in any way. I did find that I had a difficult time getting the tape off the batting if the tape had been stuck to a place that had some over spray on it. That didn’t bother me since I would be cutting that part off before I put binding on anyway. Thanks for reading my post and thanks for the wonderful compliment! 🙂

  2. bertcollections September 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Thanks for a comprehensive post on the spray adhesive. I have tried this once or twice and found with larger projects that the adhesive has let go by the time I have done half the quilting. Maybe I should have another go and see if I can make it work now I have your instructions. Thanks! 👍

    • threadforyourlife September 15, 2013 at 4:51 am #

      I did my quilting fairly quickly because the lines were 3″ apart, so I didn’t have that problem. Maybe it was also the brand? Like I said, I can’t speak for any other brand. I’d say try it again and give it another shot! Good luck!

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