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Pin basting for me. I have found that with thread basting the layers move a little; pins are steadier.
AHA! Debra, I remember the name of the tool that closes safety pins! It is a "Kwik Klip" patented by Paula Jean Creations in Sacramento, CA. It has saved many pin pricks and sore fingertips for me.
p.s. I don't pin baste for hand quilting because I like to use longer cuts of quilting thread than some quilters, and it's a little frustrating to have them wrap around a safety pin and yank the thread right out of my needle. or get hung up in the back spring part of the pin. Also, you handle, rotate and drape your quilt in your hands more often when hand quilting, so I thread baste closer together to hold the three layers than I pin for machine quilting. Does that make sense to you? I never know if I'm being clear enough. Hope this all helps. Quilting a large quilt for the first time is tough!
Debra, I pin baste regardless of whether I'm machine quilting or hand quilting. I know Pam from NY mentioned on my other blog about holes being left behind if the pins are left in for too long, but I have not had that experience. I don't know what size Pam uses, but I only use the pins that are no more than 2" long to avoid that problem.
I only pin baste my machine quilted projects. I agree, it's easy to move them when you get close.
Cat Lady is absolutely right. Pin basting is best for quilting by machine (your own domestic machine, not a long-arm), for the reason she stated. You can catch the presser foot of your machine under thread basting stitches -- a mess!
I use "bent" pins, about 1 inch long, placing them about 4 inches apart and, away as much as possible, from the area you plan to quilt (in the ditch, for instance). There is a tool you can use (the name escapes me at the moment) to close the pins, rather than using your fingers. So I pin one area, starting from the middle and leaving all the pins OPEN, then come back to close them with the handy tool. Good luck!
If you are machine quilting I would pin baste, as you can easily move the pins when you get close to them.
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