B is for Basting

A to Z of Machine Embroidery and Quilting

B is for BastingBasting is defined as:

“The act of moistening food while cooking, especially with stock or pan juices.”

Oops! Wrong kind of basting!

The kind of basting we do in machine embroidery and quilting is:

“Sewing with long, loose stitches to hold material in place until the final sewing.”

Basting is important for both machine embroidery and quilting.

When you’re making a quilt, most people are familiar with the concept of basting the layers of the quilt together (backing + batting + quilt top). For a small quilt, you might baste the layers together using long, loose stitches. For a larger quilt, most people use safety pins. I prefer to use long straight pins. Even quilts quilted using a long arm machine are basted, ensuring that the layers don’t shift when the quilt is being wound and unwound on the rollers.

For machine embroidery, I like to float my background fabric on top of a piece of stabilizer which is in the hoop. It’s then very important to baste the background fabric to the stabilizer in the hoop so that the fabric doesn’t shift around. Another benefit to this basting is that it stops the background fabric from drawing in while the embroidery is stitching, thus eliminating puckers.

The majority of design from Sarah Vedeler Designs have a basting stitch built into the design: you can be sure that your background fabric will stay in place and you won’t get any puckers during stitching.

Some embroidery machines have a built in option to add a basting line around a design. If you’re using a design that doesn’t include this basting line, adding it has the potential to significantly improve your finished result.

The Daily Deal

From 12:01am on June 24, 2017 until 11:59pm on June 26, 2017, Better Than a Paper Plate is 20% off!

Enter the promo code “A2Z-B” at the checkout.

Add to CartBetter Than A Paper Plate, $50.00
(Delivered as a digital download. Optional CD available at the checkout)


What I love about this collection… There are two versions of most of the designs: In one version, the plates have outline stitches only and there are so many possibilities for creating kaleidoscopes out of the plates by fussy cutting gorgeous prints. In the other version, solid fabrics can be brought alive with the thread work that is stitched onto each blade. Of course all the designs in the collection include a basting line around the appliqué shapes.

Better Than A Paper Plate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Better Than A Paper Plate
Stitched on a BERNINA 880
featuring AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 wt thread
and Fabric from the Transformation line by Sarah Vedeler for Benartex

Better Than A Paper Plate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Fussy Cutting
Stitched on a BERNINA 880
featuring AURIfil Cotton Mako 50wt thread

Better Than A Paper Plate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Fussy Cutting
Stitched on a BERNINA 880
featuring AURIfil Cotton Mako 50wt thread

For a closeup look at a Better Than A Paper Plate quilt in blues with yellow accents, click here.

For some fussy cutting ideas click here.


  1. I already have “better than a paper plate” and yes, the designs are beautiful!

  2. Beautiful collection

  3. I have this collection, too! Have my fabric gathered, but haven’t started stitching yet. Love the happy colors!

  4. This is a great collection. I’ve made 20, 15″ plates using 1930s reproductions. Beautiful designs, excellent as usual.

  5. So many possibilities!

  6. The embroidery on this collection is stunning!
    Oh wait – ALL your collections are gorgeous! 😍

  7. I too have this collection and love it.

  8. I have this collection too. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it.

  9. I just bought it last week 🙂

  10. Beautiful collection, among many others, Sarah! I love how you make this (ALMOST fool-proof). Seems I may be the one who makes it difficult…:) I wanna be you when I grow up!

  11. Yes I have purchased this set, but have not been game to try it yet, but want to make it into a quilt for my daughter.

  12. Wow!! Me too, Mary….want to be Sara when I grow up. Now here is another set that I want to buy! Oh my, which ones to choose?

  13. I agree, Sarah. I do baste all of my embroidery projects in the hoop. One more assurance that everything will be held together, smooth, and secure. (Much prefer basting embroideries and quilts than basting a turkey!!). Another day of good tips. Thanks! Beautiful designs with marvelous fussy cutting. Betsy

  14. I love this collection also! It’s so happy!

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