Friday, November 5, 2010
Spare your knees (an alternative way to "sandwich" your quilt)
When we moved from Michigan to Oregon a year ago, like so many families, we had to downsize. Not a bad thing, really (less house to clean), but I no longer have much space to quilt in. I quickly adapted in all ways except one. I have no floor space big enough to sandwich together a quilt any bigger than a crib (unless I move furniture). Necessity, though, is the mother of invention, and I experimented, and asked everyone I could think of for ideas, until I developed this method. Now that I do it this way, I don't think I want to ever go back! So I thought I'd share it with you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. This is what I did yesterday, as I got my niece's quilt ready to finish up.
All you need is a table and some large binding clips (thank you Colleen!). I bought the table at Jo-Anns, in Michigan a few years ago with a 50% off coupon, and it's been one of my best quilting purchases! It folds up compactly, and has wheels on it that can roll around to be moved from room to room. I also use it for cutting and all sorts of stuff. When the kids are in school, I bring it out and block all sorts of doors and hallways :-). But then I can move it back quickly.
I start by folding my quilt and quilt back into quarters and marking the center of each side with a safety pin. That way I can line these up as I layer them together. I can also use these as guides on the table to keep it pretty centered. Warning.... I am NOT a perfectionist...
I then unfold the quilt back (face down), and straighten it our and use the binder clips to secure the edges to the table. No tape, and I can WALK all around the table. No crawling on the floor, no need to vacuum first, or to keep the dog off (although the cat sometimes likes to jump up to "help").
Once the back is all smooth and tightly attached to the table, I lay the batting on top, then the quilt top. Once I make sure the centers are all lined up, and that I have all 3 layers in all spots, I start pinning the layers together.
I start at the center, and work my way out. Once the top is done, I take the clips off and work on each "corner". It's no perfect, but it works!!! Now my quilt is ready to "quilt" together!!!