The $25 Quilting Tip

I just paid $25 for the best quilting tip I've heard in a long time! (And it was totally worth it!)

Look Mom! I'm quilting!

In my quest to perfect my machine quilting skills, I bought a book.

By Jacquie Gering, Walk, is a comprehensive
guide to quilting with your walking foot. 

Walk is a nifty book to have if you're starting out in small ways, like me. My plan is to learn how to quilt out some of these small tops I've accumulated over the past few years - baby quilts, wall hangings, etc. Maybe even throw size quilts (if I'm brave enough!).

Although I have a free motion foot, and I intend to learn that too, I thought I'd start with straight line quilting. It seems less intimidating and more realistic for my current skill level. Plus, Jacquie's book offers tons of inspiration and how to's for making walking foot quilting more interesting than just long straight lines.

Some big questions I had entering into this endeavor were: what thread to use, and how to lock the stitches when starting a line of sewing (both answered).

But the biggest revelation in the book for me was how to baste a quilt. I have used spray baste for many years and if you've ever used it, you understand how frustrating it can be - especially on larger quilts. I have struggled and struggled, on the floor, to get the layers together without the inevitable endless repositioning to eliminate the huge wrinkles.

So here's the $25 tip: Don't spray baste your quilt sandwich all on the floor!

Spray the backing on the floor, but put it on the design wall to smooth it out. Then put the batting on the backing, which is on the design wall, and smooth the batting out. Next, take that to the floor to spray the batting layer and put it back on the design wall. Add the top and smooth it out again for the final time! Brilliant!

Close-up of my project on the design wall showing the three layers.
I used spray baste and joined the layers
on the design wall, not the floor!

It seems so obvious now, but honestly, this is another game-changing moment in my quilting life! (Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!)

This is a 30" block that was going to be part of a larger quilt.
After making this block, I decided to abandon that project
and shift gears. But, it is a perfect practice piece for walking foot quilting!

Close-up of quilting. I used what Jacquie calls Partial Echoing In.  

You can really see the quilting on the backside.
I'm really happy with how straight those lines turned out!

For the $25 price of the book I got a genuinely game-changing quilting tip! I feel like there will be many more great tips in Walk! I'll keep you posted as I work my way through the book!

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My quilting buddies - Netflix and Poppy!


  1. Last week I tried my first quilt, spraying it on the design wall, so much easier than the floor.


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