BEWARE! BE WARNED! Read the Sad Saga of the Batting Shrinkage after Pin-Basting Tale & Learn!

Once upon a time (yesterday afternoon), I pin-basted the Christmas 11ChristmasWheels-1on the Roundabout Road quilt. Normally I would have:

  • placed the quilt backing on my kitchen floor, wrong side up; then
  • gently layered the batting on the backing, ease to smooth; and then
  • flung the pieced top over the layers.

Then I begin the “flip/smooth, flip/smooth, flip/smooth” portion of the task, flipping from front to back and lightly smoothing until I feel that both top and bottom will remain “tuck-less” while I machine quilt.

Yesterday I deviated from the usual routine and I added an extra step. I “flip/smooth“-ed after I added the batting AND after I added the top.

Then today (nearly 24 hours later) when I started to machine quilt with my walking foot along the lines of the sashing, I noticed that my walking foot wasn’t doing its job! Yikes! The fabric on top was pushing ahead of the foot , it was all I could do to control the puckers forming.


Not one to panic…no wait, honestly, I panicked…I turned the quilt over to find the same problem on the back. Huh??? After a cup of tea and a handful of granola (with dark chocolate bits),  I realized that when I added the extra “flip/smooth” step, I was STRETCHING the cotton batting. The quilt batting had time to sit and relax overnight, back to its original shape, pulling the top and back up with it.

09MadLearn from my mistake, ladies. Don’t end up like me – alone, eating chocolate and pin-basting the same quilt twice. Always, ALWAYS use a light touch with your fabrics and batting. I’m SERIOUS!

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” –Marian Wright Edelman


~ by Kimberly Mason on September 17, 2009.

6 Responses to “BEWARE! BE WARNED! Read the Sad Saga of the Batting Shrinkage after Pin-Basting Tale & Learn!”

  1. Sorry about your problem, but thanks for the heads up. I was not aware of that, so will be more careful about handling my batting.

  2. Awww Kim, I’m sorry 😦 It definitely explains the problems I’ve been experiencing on a couple of my quilts, though. Thanks for the head’s-up!

  3. My heart goes out to you. It really is a sacrifice to eat chocolate alone.

    This may explain how I have ended up with this problem myself from time to time. That tendency to smooth could really be the incarnation of that phrase “the devil is in the detail of smoothing.” Seriously though. Bummer.

  4. Great tip- I am putting finishing touches on cotton baby quilt- will do no smoothing!

  5. Oh, God, been there, done that — though not in that particular way. Ouch. All my sympathies…

  6. Oh my….so that is my problem! Thanks for posting this.

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