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This is always the final instruction, the last step of each quilt pattern in McCalls Quilting Magazine. “Layer, baste, and quilt.” Like “Ready, steady, go!“ or some spell that—if pronounced correctly—will magically turn your quilt top into a quilt sandwich, a flock of small silver needles busily coming up and down through the fabric layers, threads buzzing so fast that you can hardly make them out. Wouldn’t that be nice!

I always found it a little strange that the task of quilting your quilt is described only in one step, a short paragraph. Of course, there is no need for step-by-step photos for this process. But considering how much work still lies ahead and how long it will take, I always thought quilting your quilt would need a little more than this.

I am often inspired by seeing what other people did. I get my best ideas by looking at other people’s works. So I would appreciate more detailed photos of the quilt patterns in McCalls. If I can have a close look I am quick to decide if I like it or not. And if not, what would work better (with my taste). In rough, this is one possible way to make decisions on how to quilt, where and what, and how much.

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

Layer, baste, and quilt apparently is not a spell. In fact, it means that I must leave my sewing space, move the dinner table and chairs to make room for—this time—America the Beautiful, 73 to 95 inches. This always means some havoc, and I need to make sure either that I have time enough to do all the basting at once, or that we do not need the dining room for some time.

Furthermore, it appears that this work does not agree with my knees anymore. I always felt a little sore at my knees and my fingertips after crawling for two hours on our tiled floor and pulling up the needle so many times, or recently pulling up and closing so many safety pins. But now my knees have reached an age where they demand at least a cushion.

I promise you now that I will post some detail photos of my quilting as soon as I am done.

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann