Glue Basting is Great for Tricky Seams – Here’s How

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Deliberately Put Glue on a Quilt? Really? Yes, Really!

While it may be hard to believe that glue has a place in your quilt-making toolbox, it’s actually quite handy for piecing curves and other tricky seams.

As it turns out, glue is great for basting. We’re talking specifically about Elmer’s Washable School Glue, which washes right out. Don’t confuse it with other types of glue, which might not dissolve in the wash.

Elmer's School Glue

The beauty of using glue instead of pins is that you can temporarily adhere two pieces of fabric together exactly how you want them, down the entire length of the seam – and they stay put. This makes sewing tricky seams, like curves, much easier and more precise.

This picture shows a seam glued and ready to sew.

Glue Basting Quilt Pieces

Be sure to apply a very thin line of glue in the seam allowance (not on the stitching line), and quickly dry it with a hot iron. Then sew the seam as you normally would.

Voila! Perfect curved (or not) seams every time, in a fraction of the time and minus the headache.

Watch the video below for exact instructions.

Click here to watch the video at YouTube if it doesn’t play on your device.

Glue basting is also great for tricky points, applique, bindings, and other pieces that you want to stay exactly placed until they’re stitched. Think of glue as a more accurate substitute for pins. The fabric simply cannot wiggle out of place if it’s basted with glue.

Glue Basting Seams

A great tutorial by Cristy Fincher  for Diary of a Quilter also walks you through the process. She goes on to answer common questions and outlines several places where you may want to use glue basting.

Click here for the “Quick Tips: Glue Basting perfect points, curves, and applique” tutorial.

You’re sure to discover many situations where glue basting eases a tricky process for you.

Just remember to only use this technique on quilts that will be washed once finished!



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