Tuesday, January 24, 2017

10 Minute Tip

Pin Basting is my least favorite step in all of the quilt making process. It's a necessary evil for machine quilting, and I have worked hard to make it as efficient and accurate as possible over the years. I described my design wall basting method HERE a while back. It saves the back and knees from crawling around on the floor. Not to mention being tackled by crazy dogs!

I also have a method for where I place the pins. I like to quilt a grid or stabilizing seams first when I'm machine quilting. For example, I'll stitch in the ditch between the blocks first, or outline all of the sashing first. It gives the quilt stability so that I can remove pins without worrying about the backing or batting shifting. Once the stabilizing quilting is done, I can go back and fill in all the detail work later.

So what's the tip?

I never place pins in the areas that will be quilted first! I leave enough room along those lines or grids so that I can accomplish the stabilizing quilting without removing pins. It speeds the process and allows me to get some good quilting added before I start removing pins. Then I remove them as I go.

If you look closely at the photo above, you can see that the pins have all been removed and my quilting lines on either side stabilize the area I'm quilting. This works really well when straight line stitching like I did on this quilt.

If you enjoyed this tip, click on the tab at the top of the blog for more 10 Minute Tips! Or click HERE. I hope you found this helpful.



  1. I try to do the same thing, but I end up having to use a lot more pins!:)

  2. Your presser foot doesn't touch the fabric ? It's easier to move the quilt ?

  3. I went back and read your older post about pinning on your design wall, and I am curious: How to you avoid pinning the quilt sandwich to the design wall???? Do you keep your non-pinning hand behind the sandwich? If so, how then do you avoid pulling the whole sandwich off the design wall and only to the floor??? (lynnstck[at]yahoo.com)

    1. Hi Lynn,
      I pin through all the layers and into the design wall. Once all the pins are secured, I start from the bottom and pull the quilt sandwich away from the design wall and close the pins working my way from the bottom to the top of the quilt. When I reach the top row, I can remove it from the wall as I finish securing the last pins. Thanks for asking!


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