Sunday, September 23, 2012


Yesterday I exaggerated when I said I didn't have a room to lay out my quilt.  I have one bedroom that doesn't have MUCH furniture in it but there are two sets of futon laid out on the floor.  Hmmm.  If I want to baste that Starr Fire quilt I'm going to have to move the futon!

Julie from My Quilt Diary is the only one who will appreciate my solution to the basting problem.  Usually good Japanese housewives try to air their futon daily over the veranda rails or out in the yard.  It is difficult with the changeable weather and busy schedules but two or three hours out in the sun will drive dust mites away and turn the cotton under-futons into soft, fluffy, warm mats.  A glance around my neighborhood in the mornings and I can see futon hanging over the upstairs rails, trailing out of windows and the farmers will hang them over rods in their yards.

I am NOT a good Japanese housewife.  My futon get aired (gulp!.... dare I reveal this?) maybe once a month... (Oh my gosh.... It is a good thing Tetsu doesn't read English!)  I'm just not at home all day to watch the weather.  I'm just not conscientious enough to remember on sunny days that this would be a good chance to air futon.  I have enough trouble keeping my downstairs vacuumed and dishes washed to worry about lugging futon over the rails and dragging them back onto the bedroom floor before the sun disappears behind the trees.

But I looked at my quilt waiting to be basted and I looked at the futon on the floor and immediately concluded that this would be a great day to air futon!  I felt like Suzy Homemaker!  Ha!  I have a new criteria for being labeled a chronic quilter..

"You know you are a dedicated quilter when the only time your futon get aired is when you want to use the floor for basting."

So out went the futon over the rail.  Down went the backing (ironing the wrinkles directly on the carpet).  Down went my roll of batting.

"Thank you for your help Chip.  The batting will stay put without you."

 Chip is guarding the quilt AND the futon.

And finally I crawled around the floor for an hour and a half basting.  I am happy to report that I can now do this again whereas last year after knee surgery I thought I'd never have to do floor basting again.

By the way, I like to thread baste first and then add safety pins here and there.  Japanese basting thread IS THE BEST!  It is sold in a long loop that the sewer will cut through... thus making thread lengths that are all the same.  Pulling one thread (like when separating embroidery strands) there is actually very little tangling.

This looks like a mess but it isn't.  Each strand came free quite easily.  And Japanese basting thread also breaks at a sharp tug so scissors aren't really needed either.  When the quilting is finished, the threads can be pulled out without finger pain!

The futon were nice and fluffy from their morning airing session too!

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