Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Developing a quilt, part 3 "The Zen of Basting"

I know the title of this post has you riveted for more! So, even though these musings are not really in the order of quilt developing, each is part of my process, so, here goes.

This is one of the definitions of the word from Dictionary.com:

zen definition

 To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment.

As I have mentioned before, I find the process of making a quilt very relaxing. It takes over my mind in a set of repetitive actions and removes the thoughts and demons of anxiety from my consciousness. Very New-Agey huh? But it allows me to enter a calm, meditative state though these actions, and that makes me feel good. I enjoy parts of the process more than others, but all are important to the conception and completion of a quilt that I am happy with. One of the parts that I love less is basting, but it is the action that stabilizes the quilt sandwich and makes it possible to free-motion quilt with wild abandon! Yes, I pin baste first, but ever since I learned to baste with water-soluble thread, it has become a key step for my quilts. As crucial as it is to the quilting process, I find myself putting it off, watching one more episode of "Real Guidos of the North Couture" instead of basting. Well, it is awkward to start and you don't see the basting (it just melts away). But I make myself start and soon I find myself calmly feeding the quilt under my walking foot, forming a grid on my project. It is a step when the personality of the quilt starts to show, as if the action of the needle and basting thread awakens the quilt. Sounds silly, but at this point, it is a quilt, but you can't get it wet! And it makes free-motion much easier since I don't have to deal with the pins and since it stabilizes everything, I can start the quilting anywhere on it and move in any direction.

This baby is ready for the free-motion to begin!

1 comment:

Renee said...

oh what a great idea! I spray past most of my work, because I do more wall hangings than anything else. But I have 2 baby quilts to make and I don't want to spray those, so I was dreading the basting... pins allow for much to much movement, when free motion quilting to me. But to baste with water soluable thread once pinned... genius!

Thanks for sharing....