Monday, August 5, 2019

Spray Basting Wall

Do you spray baste?  I do, but I want to do it safely so I made an outdoor spray basting board and I'm sharing how I made it.
The hardest part was bringing the home insulation board home in the car from Home Depot.  I have a SUV and was just able to fit it along the inside of my car above my head.

Can tell you Nutmeg was all in for this project.
I wanted a 60" board since that is about the size project that I would spray basting.  For larger quilts I use pins so I can fold and roll it and manipulate it.
Mr. Fun used a utility knife and quilting ruler.  Nutmeg supervised.  Remember the carpenters rule:  Measure Twice, Cut Once.
The cut edge was raggetty and making a Styrofoam mess, so I taped it.
You don't have to use cute duct tape, but I happened to have this in my sewing room (safely out of other home projects supplies :)
I cut and folded the corners to keep them neat.
Aaahh, much better.
So we taped the pieces to make a 60" square. 
I used large T pins to hold the backing down.
Here is argument for NOT ripping fabric.  See how it pulled the white threads along the edge?  If I had enough fabric, I would have re -trimmed it even more.
After I pinned the backing, I smoothed the batting over it.
and then the top.  (this is when I realized that Abe was upside down.....or my quilt marking was......
I'm using a spray that I got at Joann's or a quilt show.   There are different brands.  Look at this scary label!!  CANCER AGENT.  Look at the list of dangerous ingredients.
Here is the label from a NEW CAN that I bought.  They have changed the ingredients and reduced the dangerous ones.


I happen to have this good painting mask, so I used it.
I set up an oscillating fan too.  I wanted the airborne particles out of my area as soon as possible.

What I didn't show you (because I was working fast).
  1. I pulled back half of the quit top and batting and sprayed the backing.
  2. I smoothed the batting down, then sprayed the back of the top and batting
  3. I smoothed the top starting in the center.
  4. I repeated these steps for the other end.
I've heard it is a good idea to also press the sandwich.  I'm a little mixed.  I worry that heat might release chemicals again.  Thoughts?

I used my board laying flat like this, but you could also prop it up against the garage or deck railing.

I hope you consider making a board to use outside, as that is the safest place to use spray basting.

Happy Quilting!


  1. Hmmm, you are braver than me! I think I can smell that stuff from here. I am just too chicken to use it. A member of our quilt group was spry basting at one of our work meetings - inside with all windows closed! I said I didn't think it was safe and I had to leave for a while. I really don't like to do machine quilting anyway so I guess it is moot. Thanks for the tutorial though! I love this quilt!!

  2. I have only spray basted small quilts with spray starch. So I like your board tutorial. Nutmeg reminds me of my Nutmeg that I had as a child. Thanks for the memories. Pet her an extra time for me.

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  4. I never used spray basting but I think it's another great option !
    Thank you so much for the tutorial ! Nutmeg approves 😻 and lives it so much !
    I'm very sorry for the 2 tragedies which happened yesterday in Texas and Ohio.... what sadness...

  5. I do spray baste various sizes- usually on my garage floor after I've swept and cleaned it up. I do not press my quilt sandwich after. There is only one brand I like and that sticks the layers together the way I like them. I'll need to check out the dangerous ingredients.

  6. I spray baste outside all the time (well, not in the winter,) and I use a table with old sheets for protection, moving the layers on the table to get everything sprayed well. The largest quilts I've done are 65" by 80" with great success. Of course, this is only for machine quilting; for hand quilting I like to hand baste.

  7. Glad you got rid of the old can. That's scary stuff. I've never spray basted before.. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Your assistant sure is adorable! Good tutorial on the spray basting board. I will say, the thought of never having to baste again was probably the biggest incentive for me personally, when deciding to get a long arm. LOL I can baste quilts on it that I plan to hand quilt. Woohoo!

  9. I only spray baste outside, using the deck railing to hold the back. After spraying it, I bring it in to my large ironing surface, put the batt on top, then outside again I spray baste the back of the quilt top. Bring in the top, place it on the batt, and press all 3 layers together. Probably quilts no larger than yours—bigger quilts I pin baste.

  10. I have a design wall made from insulation board and it is taped/hinged in the middle so I can fold it and put it in a closet if I need to get rid of it, @tilwequiltagain made it! I guess I could cover it with a sheet and use it for a spray basting board too!!! I don't worry about the chemicals if I'm outside and I'm not spray basting 8 hours a day! The quilt gets washed and I think that gets rid of the bad stuff. BUT, it is a great reminder to use caution when using any chemicals! Thanx for the inspiration!

  11. I am too scared to use this kind of product since I've already had 2 cancer surgeries. I spend so much time with my skin touching my quilts, and having my nose about a foot from the quilt while quilting for hours that it feels too risky. I wish there was a safe spray glue that wouldn't make me feel scared because this is a great idea and would be so much easier than pin basting.

  12. GREAT tutorial. I have only done small things but may give this a try!

  13. You had me marching to the sewing room to inspect my can of basting spray...I do use this method on smaller projects too and typically set everything up in the basement...which is probably worse as it is poured concrete with no windows! Thank you for the most informative tutorial and we got a chance to see your incredible quilt in progress again!

  14. Good tutorial! Thanks for sharing. I rarely spray baste despite the ease for smaller quilts; the scary back-of-the-can info is why!

    Loved seeing Abe's pineapple again!

  15. Good idea to do that spraying outside! I used to do it on our bedroom carpet--probably a bad idea, but I don't use the stuff anymore. It looks like you have some fun fabrics on the back of your pineapple quilt--can't wait to see this project completed and the big reveal. Your duct tape is so cute--I'm feeling kind of obsessed over it--lol!

  16. Your caution is very smart. I took a class at The Old Country Store in Intercourse and he instructor told us how she became very ill with serious symptoms after creating a large number of kits using the spray. She was ill for over a year.

    1. thanks lynne - sorry to hear about that teacher!

  17. Adorable supervsior! Hope Nutmeg not a ‘paws’ on supervisor like my feline assistant. Very helpful warnings on older spray product. Think I’ll stick with thread basting. May I suggest you try a practice quilt sandwich and then press.

  18. You always have such good ideas to share. I have never done any spray basting. I'm a bit jittery about chemicals. :)

  19. Thanks for a great spray-basting tutorial. I may have to give it a try! Love the sneak peak of your backing fabrics. Nutmeg is a really attentive supervisor!

  20. After reading another blogger's post on spray basting I bought the brand she uses. I have yet to try it out, but do thank you so much for your tutorial! Great ideas for safety!

  21. Basting is a challenge! Thanks for the alert to the toxins! I don't use spray basting but another thing you can do to protect yourself is use one of those gas masks like Painters use. I don't think the low tech ones are very expensive and probably fairly effective for occasional use? Fabulous top by the by!

  22. I don't spray baste. A very interesting post however - love the fun tape :0)

  23. Love your top!!!! Can't wait to see the back!!!!!

  24. You share such great and practical ideas. I spray basted something small once. I'm comfortable pin basting (put on a Netflix movie, take my time) but when I'm no longer in the Tokyo apartment, maybe I will revisit the spray basting idea!

  25. When I learned to quilt I was taught to baste using giant stitches. Do you do it with the spray or the pins to make the process faster or is there another reason.

    Any idea if the newer basting spray has any affect on wildlife? I've put a fair bit of effort into encouraging bees, butterflies, birds etc. to visit my yard so I'd hate to harm them now that they're here.

  26. I don't spray baste for that reason, but it looks like you took all necessary precautions. A serrated bread knife works great for cutting styrofoam wonder if it would work on the insulation board????


Thank you for commenting! If you can't comment here, free free to email me directly at