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.
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.
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.
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. Fabric simply cannot wiggle out of place if it’s basted with glue.
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.
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!