Friday, January 30, 2009

Spay baste warning.

I love 501 spray. I am of the personal opinion that anyone who spends hours hand basting a quilt deserves to be locked up in a mental health facility. (I shall of course allow the walls to be padded in Warm and Natural wadding. )And anyone who pin bastes obviously has a little more sense but needs to go on a compulsory re-education programme. And for those who have objections on the grounds of anti-chemical arguments, well, that at least is a reasoned choice so I shall merely place you on a watch for other signs of lunacy. Anyone unable to use it for allergy reasons has my sympathies and is excepted from my prejudiced comments.




For the uninitiated, 501 is a low tack spray baste. The method of basting a quilt is so simple and quick. Secure the backing taut as you would anyway. ( I use straight pins to anchor it to the carpet. Or with a medium size quilt on my design board so I can baste vertically. ) Spray it with the spray which falls like artificial snow so you can see where it is going. Lay the wadding (batting) over it. If it is a big quilt it helps to have a friend hold two corners, you hold two. Kind of billow it out and let it fall down as you would a picnic blanket on a nice grassy spot. The spray is a temporary adhesive, so if wrinkles appear, you can simply lift and replace or smooth out. Spray again and lay the top down. Done. It holds a king size quilt no problem. It does not need to be quilted immediately. It does not hinder quilting. No pins need to be removed as you quilt. No threads get caught in your foot. It is quite simply the best quilting invention ever.

So why the warning? Well, I use rolls of wadding and so usually cut the wadding to about 4 inches or so bigger than the quilt before I start this process. This quilt at 96 x 96 was too big for my 90 inch wadding roll so I bought yardage of extra wide Warm and Natural and 108 inch backing fabric. My floor space at home is too small to baste a quilt this size so I took it to work after hours ( much to the bemusement of the security guards and the cleaners!).

Once there I realised that, whilst I had iron, board, pins, spray and quilt, I did not have scissors. Those in the clerks room had been used for centuries to cut the traditional pink twill ribbon which goes around our briefs and would not even attempt to cut the wadding or fabric to size. So, I just left a longer overlap to trim at home. No problem. Except, I did not measure where the quilt top would go before I sprayed the wadding - didn't need to check there was enough space - there was loads.

Too much in fact. Because I ended up with a large area of un-topped wadding with spray on it. So? So I crawled over it to smooth down the centre of the quilt a little. And this is what happened to my black trousers....


Warm and Natural might not beard but stray fibres can certainly be spray basted to clothing. Now this may be a discovery of some use to innovative textile artists but I really did not want to have to walk past the security guards again looking like this. I can tell you that the bulk of such stray fibres can be 'waxed' off your legs using brown packing tape from the post room. But the trousers will certainly need dry cleaning. You are warned!

9 comments:

Claire said...

Very handy to know. I just bought a can of the 501 spray last week, which was the 1st time I'd ever seen it for sale in Ireland. Couldnt take hand basting a quilt anymore! :)
At least know I know not to wear black clothes when spraying!

Carlang said...

So that's how Santa does it..

Margeeth said...

Thanks Helen, you made me laugh.

Quilt Pixie said...

ahhh the pitfalls :-) Thanks for the laugh with my morning tea...

I'm often jealous of those who can use the sprays, but even in the summer outside I find myself gagging and hardly breathing. Wonder if I can hire a local kid as a summer project :-)

Gerrie said...

Thank you for a much needed laugh this morning. By the way, the quilt looks fabulous - love, love the colors.

Kay said...

Well what that spray can do to your body is more serious than lint on trousers. Be careful and open the windows! They're really very toxic, even if you don't have immediate allergic reactions.

Laura Jane said...

(Snort)

Oops, yes it can be a hazard.

I haven't spray basted a quilt for a while, but last one I did was a big queen sized log cabin. It held like a dream.

Have you ever used polar fleece as a wadding? This is also a very inexpensive polyester option, warm as toast, washes well, no bearding and drapes well. It spray bastes well.

Just a tip for the economically minded.

Terry said...

I thought you were posting something to do with neutering your pet--you might want to check the spelling in your title!

I hate that spray basting stuff, though I have been known to use it. It gets all over everything, but I have not crawled across it for the very special effect you achieved!

Margaret aka Supermom said...

So while I am locked up in my padded cell going nutso, if I happen to strangle anybody, can I call on you for your services??

I am interested in how it works over the course of 4-8 months. I take a rather long time to hand quilt things, and they take a bit of handling, folding, refolding, etc. Any ideas?