I flip flop between spray basting and pin basting, but lately I've been reaching for a can of spray more often than not!
Below is a simple how to for spray basting, including 15 headless photos of me. ;)
I've used multiple types of fabric adhesive and 505 is my favorite. It's a bit more expensive, so when I have a good coupon I get a couple of cans. One of the smaller cans lasts me through 2, maybe 3 throw size quilts, the larger 12 ounce can maybe double that. I'd say that the cost is the biggest downside to spray basting.
As for the fumes...the 505 doesn't seem as bad as other brands, but it still has a strong odor. Open windows and doors, and keep kids and crawling babies in red striped pajamas out of the room. When I remember I'll even wear one of my dental masks, but you probably don't need it with good ventilation.
The first step is to tape your backing to the floor so it's taut but not stretched. If you are working with a baby quilt, you can probably do this on a table. Next lay your batting over the backing and smooth it out. On one end, fold up the batting up nicely until you reach the quilt center.
Spray the batting on the fold until it's well covered, holding the can 8" or so from the batting. Fold and pull the section of batting back down onto the backing and smooth it out. You can go back and smooth it out more later.
Repeat with the next fold, and the next, until you have basted them all to the backing. Basically you are just spraying and smoothing out sections. Smooth out that side of the batting and press it down well so it sticks to the backing.
Repeat on the other end, folding the batting up until you reach where you already basted.
Lay your quilt top on the batting and smooth it out well.
Neatly fold up one end as you did with the batting. Spray the batting where you will fold down the quilt top. Always spray the batting!
Fold down the section of quilt top, press it down and smooth it out, and repeat. Spray the batting and fold down the quilt in sections.
Smooth out the quilt top and get out any wrinkles. If you get a wrinkle you can gently pull up the quilt top and get it out.
Repeat on the other end of the quilt top.
When you are all done and the layers are well basted, trim the edges but leave 2-3" (or just leave it as is). I also like to do a quick basting stitch with my machine around the edges. It makes it much easier to quilt the edges when you can hold onto the already sewn or pinned edges. Sometimes I just do this on the ends as I'm quilting.
Roll it up along the short ends and you are ready to get quilting!
I don't notice over spray on the floors around the quilt with the 505, partly because I spray fairly close to the quilt. If you notice it, just take a rag or a mop and go over the area with water.
Here are some other Pros and Cons to spray basting:
Pros: Fast...this process takes me maybe 10 minutes or less. No pinning...especially if you have pain in your hands or wrists. I think I get better results when I spray baste and less crinkles on the back, but I also pin baste a lot and don't have too many issues. Works great with minky and flannel backings, although if it's a thicker backing I will also do double duty and add some pins.
Cons: Cost, fumes, over-spray, and even though I've never noticed it...you might find it gums up your needle a bit. Crawling around on your knees....although I should add that I usually wear my husband's ugly construction knee pads and it makes this job way easier!
The quilt top I'm basting in the photos is made from this free pattern in the Throw size (click here).
Got any other basting tips I missed? I feel like there is something I missed. Leave it in the comments below and happy basting...if there is such a thing! ;)