Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quilt Basics ++ Quilt Basting

Today, I would like to to show you how I bast quilts.  The step of basting is definitely not one of my favorite parts of quilt making, but it is a very important step to make sure you wind up with a nice finished quilt without any tucks or pleats in the quilt top or backing.  I came up with my way of basting over the last few years, reading about how other bloggers bast their quilts and by trial and error.

In developing a process that worked for me, my "musts" were:
  1. Uses basting spray instead of pins.  I prefer the speed of spray and it is easier on my hands.
  2. Sprays the basting spray outside, I do not want any fumes in my house or spray glue on my floors or furniture.
  3. Uses a wall to wall carpeted floor (because that is what my house has).
Tools / Notions
You can find these and many of the products I use in quilting making on my Amazon page (all Amazon links are affiliate).
  • Basting spray - I only use Odif Usa 505 Spray.  I find that this spray holds well and washes out (some other brands I have found not to wash off, leaving fabrics with sticky residue).
  • Basting pins - I use stainless steel T-pins to hold the quilt backing to the floor through the wall to wall carpeting.
  • Batting - My favorite batting is Warm & White by the Warm Company which is a cotton batting.  I have never used all polyester batting, but heard that it sometimes has more difficulty sticking with basting spray.


Here are my five simple steps to making basting as easy and pain free as possible.

1.  Spray the backing

I take my quilt backing outside (I usually lay the fabric on the grass away from the house) and spray the wrong side of the backing with the basting spray.  If the fabric is light colored, I first lay down an old sheet and then the backing fabric to make sure the backing does not get dirty.



2.  Pin the backing to the floor

I lay out the backing (spray basted, wrong side up) onto the wall to wall carpeted area.  Using T-pins, I pin the perimeter of the backing to the carpet every 3-5 inches.  I make the backing taunt, but try not to stretch it.



3.  Lay batting onto the backing

Next, I lay the batting over the backing and smooth it flat with my hands.  I usually start in the middle area of the quilt and spread towards the edges.


4.  Spray the quilt top

I take my quilt top outside and spray the wrong side with the basting spray.  Once again, if the fabric is light colored, I first lay down an old sheet and then the quilt top.


5.  Lay the quilt top onto the batting

I lay the quilt top onto the batting and using the same process as with the batting, I start in the middle area of the quilt top and smooth towards the edges.  If the quilt is very large (anything larger than a lap size) then I also add a few safety pins through the quilt sandwich to make sure there is no slipping.  I space the pins out about every foot or so.

After the three layers are all together, I actually walk all over the quilt, using the weight of my body to press the fabric, batting, and adhesive together (to make sure that the three layers are all adhered well together). I have tried ironing my quilt sandwich after it is basted and have not found it to make a difference in my quilts so I skip that step.

Baby version of Celestial from the Modern Plus Sigh Quilts book

Congrats!  Your quilt is basted and ready to quilt!  I have had quilts basted and ready to quilt for 5+ months and the basting spray still gives a great hold to the layers.  Come back Friday to see the reveal of the finished Celestial baby quilt.

Are you a spray baster or pin baster?  Do you have any tips that make basting quicker or easier? 

I am excited for the upcoming Tips and Tutorials Festival (starting on June 11th) I am co-hosting with Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl and will be linking up this tutorial :)






Friday, May 18, 2018

Isosceles Addition ++ Love Patchwork & Quilting

Today, I get to show you the last of the plus sign designs that I had made for magazines to celebrate the release of my book, Modern Plus Sigh Quilts.

This quilt is called Isosceles Addition and it appears in the latest issue (#60) of Love Patchwork & Quilting.


I really like the strong geometric shapes and the bright colors of this design.  I was so happy to see that a little piece of the quilt made it to the cover :)

Photo by Love Patchwork & Quilting

My thanks to Robert Kaufman for the Kona Cotton Solids, Aurifil for the piecing and quilting thread, and the Warm Company for the Warm & White batting. 

In my quilt, I used Kona colors honeysuckle, chartreuse, and white.  The bright pink and green pop against the white.

It took me a very long time to figure out the quilting design for Isosceles Addition, I wanted something more than an allover design, but I could not think of how to custom quilting it.  Many thanks to Paige for helping me come up with the design.

Using Aurifil soft white (color 2021) in 50 wt, I quilted a series of randomly spaced straight lines between the plus signs, then filled in the areas of the plus signs with a bear claw quilting design.  I really like the contrast of the straight lines and the curved lines.


Here is a beautifully styled shot from Love, Patchwork & Quilting.

Photo by Love Patchwork & Quilting

I love the Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine, the magazine is so bright and happy. Check out Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 60!

If you love plus sign quilts as much as I do, be sure to check out the Modern Plus Sampler Quilt Along that I will be hosting with my book co-author Paige Alexander.  The reveal of the design will be on June 7th and the quilt along will kick off on July 5th.  You can find out more information here.





Friday, May 11, 2018

Chalk ++ Modern Quilts Unlimited

Today I am so excited to show you another of my quilt finishes from last fall! The quilt is called Chalk and it appears in the just published Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine Issue 23.

Chalk is one of the modern plus sign quilt designs I made for magazines to help spread the word about the Modern Plus Sign Quilts book. The design reminded me a little like the chalk outlines of bodies, so the pattern earned the name "Chalk" :)


I would like to thank Michael Miller for the beautiful fabrics: Cotton Couture solids in magenta and white. The batting was Warm & White by the Warm Company and Aurifil thread was used in the piecing.

I knew that I wanted a large overall curvy quilting design to compliment all of the straight lines in the piecing.  I wanted a very exact repeating design, one that I could not achieve on my domestic machine so I turned to Carol Alperin for her wonderful quilting.  Carol used a repeating curvy design using a light pink thread.  


I had a lot of fun working on this quilt. Chalk was hung in the Modern Quilts Unlimited booth at QuiltCon.

Photo by Paige Alexander

I love the Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine, the magazine is so full of great quilts and inspiration. Check out Modern Quilts Unlimited Issue 23!



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Splendid Sampler II

Have you heard the news about The Splendid Sampler 2?  A few weeks ago Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson announced a sequel to their successful book and quilt along The Splendid Sampler.

The Splendid Sampler 2 begins shipping in mid-October and is now available for pre-order on Amazon (affiliate link).  The book contains 100 different 6" blocks using a variety of piecing techniques and styles.  

I am some fun news to share about the Splendid Sampler 2 ... I am on the design team and the book contains one of the blocks I designed!


The Splendid Sampler 2 has its own website where you can read all about the book / quilt along and how you can join in. The sew along for the book starts on June 14th with 20 free blocks being launched! There is also an active Facebook group where quilters share their blocks and progress.

Splendid Sampler 2 now available for pre-order on Amazon (affiliate link). 

Here’s the plan:
  • June 14 – Sew Along STARTS with one block a week on Thursday
  • Nov 1 – the 20th block is given out
  • Dec 6 – we start sewing from the book with blocks announced on Thursdays.
  • May 2 is the planned end date. So it’s a full year of fun!
Are you planning on joining in?  I am planning on sewing along, sewing as many as I can.  I am not sure which fabrics to use yet.  




Thursday, May 3, 2018

Modern Plus Sampler Quilt-Along Announcement

I am very excited to announce that the next quilt along, the Modern Plus Sampler will begin in two months on July 5th!  

I will be co-hosting this quilt along with my Modern Plus Sign Quilts co-author Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms.



1.  About the Quilt Along

The Modern Plus Sampler is a free quilt-along that will run from July 2018 until April 2019 that uses most of the blocks from the Modern Plus Sign Quilts book together in a brand new lap sized quilt design! 

As this quilt along is a compilation of all different blocks from the Modern Plus Sign Quilts book, the book will be required to quilt along.  The good thing is that the book is on sale at Amazon!

(At the time of this post), the kindle edition is only $12.60 and the printed version is only $16.94 (you can get the book for less than the cost of 1-2 yards of fabric!).

The book is available at:

2.  Quilt Design Reveal

I am calling this an "unsampler" because it does not look like a traditional sampler quilt, but a whole new quilt design that incorporates many different blocks.  

This is not a mystery quilt and the design will be revealed next month on Thursday of June 7th.


3.  Confident Beginner Level Pattern

This pattern will be at the confident beginner level with a few more challenging blocks.  Don't worry if you have questions or get stuck, we will all be quilting together and you can ask me or the Facebook group any questions you have along the way.

Most of the quilt will be traditionally pieced, but there will be a couple of applique blocks and paper pieced blocks.  I encourage you to try these and learn some new skills.  If you would like to avoid applique and/or paper piecing, we will be giving alternative instructions to avoid these methods.


4. Facebook group 

We have over 3,000 members in our Facebook Group (Meadow Mist Designs Facebook Group) sewing together! Join the group today so you can share and see everyone else's fabric, progress pictures, and finished quilts.

5.  Schedule

This quilt along will be run similarly to my previous mystery quilt quilt alongs, a nice slow pace with a set of instructions posted the first Thursday of each month.  The quilt along will finish up in April 2019 with a fun reveal parade where you can show off your quilt.  Here is the schedule for the first few months:

May 3rd - Modern Plus Sampler announcement
June 7th - Design revealed!
July 5th - Fabric requirements
August 2nd - Piecing of the first section


6. Quilt-along Instructions

The monthly instructions will be posted to this blog as blog posts (and can always be found in the Quilt Along tab above) and each instruction blog post will contain a link to an easy to print downloadable pdf version of the instructions.

The instructions will be written such that you will need the blog post and your book to complete most blocks.


7. Blog button

I have made a button for the Modern Plus quilt :) If you decide to join in on the quilt-along and have a blog I would love it if you posted the button.


grab button for Modern Plus Sampler
<div class="meadow-mist-designs-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://meadowmistdesigns.blogspot.com/p/modern-plus-sampler-quilt-along.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3pOVT-p25l4/WufNWWp-hyI/AAAAAAAAJCA/ydDiwSTchb0PSL7Le0L_DwF1RejqI-DmQCLcBGAs/s320/Modern%2BPlus%2Bjpg%2Bversion.jpg" alt="Modern Plus Sampler" width="200" height="200" /> </a> </div>


8. Prizes 

We will have prizes! Prizes will be given out randomly to quilters who submit finished quilts or quilt tops to the reveal parade in April 2019.  Paige and I are working with sponsors to finalize the prizes and will be posting more about the sponsors and prizes as the start date to the quilt along approaches.



9.  Questions?

I think that is everything for now. I hope that you are planning on joining us for a fun quilt along! If you have any questions you can leave them in a comment below or e-mail me at MMDmysteryquilts@gmail.com, I look forward to quilting along with you!