I have been a busy little quilter lately. Well, sewist. Last weekend I went as far as I could go on a charity top, finished the top of a quilt started in July, 2008, got backing together for my quilt from Retreat 2013,  finished a happy quilt top for someone, and all but finished a surprising something. Maybe by the time you are reading this, I will have the borders on, and the backing selected, bought, and pieced.
Charity top lacks inner border though pieces for outer border are cut and ready

If you do not know a lot about quilting, there is a part of the whole mess where the quilter has to "sammach".  

That is a technical term that means stretch the backing out nice and flat, roll out the batting nice and smooth, layer the quilt top over all of it evenly. Then is the really hard part. They need to be connected to each other temporarily so the actual quilting can occur.  

In the 70s, Georgia Bonesteel taught us to do a little at a time and "quilt as you go".  A lovely idea but many times I like to see the whole picture and design out from the center. I guess if I had that computer program I keep putting off buying, I could design virtually. Still, as someone who has Kindle apps and libraries of free downloadable books, I like to turn an actual paper page. Likewise, I like to arrange and rearrange with real fabric.
What is it? Who is it for?

Anyway, in the past when I had a "sammach" job to do, I would spread everything out on the floor and use big curved safety pins. A lot of times I would get carpet pinned to the backs of quilts.Then, when I retired and joined a guild or two, I had help and tables with extension legs. I could tape down the backing, spray baste the batting, spray baste the top, then pin.


Note: Spray basting makes a gluey residue which slows down the needle. Try pulling a #7 crewel embroidery needle through a gluey "sammach" trailing a #8 perle cotton.

Then I discovered that long arm quilt professionals can help me out a bit. They will machine baste my quilts so I can quilt them. I am a long way from "quilting by checkbook"--that is designing and making the tops and letting another creative person select stitching designs and apply them to my quilt.  
What could it be?

Are you wondering what quilt I started in JULY 2008?  Click the link to read the post or just look at this.
I was modern before Modern Quilting was cool.
I remember when I bought the backing--enough for a KING sized bed.  I took it out of its resting place and spread out. 

NO! It couldn't be! The pieced top was only as large as a double bed quilt. In about three hours, I found the border fabric, made some decisions about placement and had it together. I can't wait to see the whole thing all basted. The plan was to feature the pieced part in a way that makes the king size bed seem smaller. It will be a challenge to quilt because it is difficult to roll a king size quilt under a standard home sewing machine. But it can be done. I have seen it done. I expect to follow the lines of the design with the machine and hand quilt in the borders. It would actually be easier to do it the other way around.  Time will tell.

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