Sunday, September 5, 2021

Inspiring HSTs :: Elmer's Glue :: Rainbow

Seems like it's been a minute or two since I took the time to blog!  But here I am and here we go!

When I was writing my 'Sparkle' quilt pattern back in April, not only did I make the actual quilt but I made extra Half Square Triangles to use in the future.  Making HSTs is a process I enjoy from start to finish.  So making lots of them seems to make sense when I'm in that kind of mood.

Then one day as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across a post by Summer at squats_and_runningstitches for a quilt along she was hosting (#enthropyscrapalong) and I was immediatly inspired!  I grabbed my HSTs, crossed my fingers and went for it.  All the while hoping there would be enough blocks to come up with a pretty little rainbow quilt.

46" x 57"

Happily there were plenty of blocks and colors to make this quilt.  I layed out the blocks in a pleasing to my eye way, but had the constant fear that I wouldn't have enough of the background gray for the solid blocks needed to complete the design.  It was a color that I don't usually have on hand all the time, so it was important to work the design around what I had available.  

It couldn't have turned out any better!  Plus, it used almost all of the HSTs which is a win, win in my book.

When it came time to sandwich the layers together I did something entirely new to me, something I had never heard of actually but decided I was going to try it regardless of the outcome!

I'm a pinner.  It's something that fits my budget unlike the expensive spray basting method.  But when I saw Summer (squats_and_runningstitches) show how she sometimes bastes her quilts I was intrigued, curious and skeptical!  

Have you ever used Elmer's Washable Glue to baste a quilt?!  Could it possibly work?  I'm here to tell you it does!!  (Click HERE to see Summer's Instagram post)

I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but like I said I was skeptical!  If you look closely you can see the drips and splashes of the glue through the top of the quilt.  Summer suggests diluting the glue to 70% glue and 30% water.  I added too much water but even so it still worked.

I taped my backing to the floor, squeezed the glue all over the backing, smoothed the batting, glue again on the batting and smoothed the top to finish it up.  It was pins and needles...fingers crossed the entire time!

My thoughts on this method:
  • Don't dilute the glue too much! 
  • Be sure you apply the glue all over leaving spaces of 3" to 5" like you would with pins.
  • Using this method requires waiting for the glue to dry which takes 10-12 hours.  Or you can use your iron to dry the glue.  If you aren't in a hurry, this is a good method.  
  • The glue soaks through the fabric and will get all over your floor!  I had to scrub the floor to remove the glue.  Next time I'll tape plastic on the floor to avoid the mess.
  • Using this method requires that you was your quilt afterwards to remove the glue.  This would not be good for show quilts!
I was pleasantly surprised that the layers stayed together throughout the quilting process, but will most certainly add a little more when I'm applying it next time.  Nothing shifted, moved or puckered while I was quilting.  Which could happen when adding diagonal straight lines. 

The quilting is a combination of 1" and 1/2" lines using Aurifil 'Baby Blue Eyes' 40wt variegated thread.  I like the subtle color it added to the entire quilt and especially love the center quilting.   

This quilt was an adventure in so many ways!  Would I have enough HST blocks, am I going to have enough background fabric, will Elmer's glue basting really work???  In the end it all worked out perfectly.  I even bought a couple more bottles of glue to use on future quilts!

Have you ever used washable glue for basting an entire quilt together?  It makes sense that it would work since it works great for matching points and bindings.  

The inspiration to use HST's didn't end know how I am!  One inspiration leads to another and another and so on...


  1. Beautiful rainbow finish, Jayne! I have used glue basting on a couple of smaller quilts, but I've got a longarm for the larger ones. The method worked and I will use it again, but it is by no means a favorite technique!

    1. I don’t think any basting method is my favorite…basting is my least favorite thing to do in the quilt process! The glue worked better than I thought it would, so I will do it again in the future!

  2. Cool! Thank you for the info. Will have to try this method.

  3. Whenever I see that you have a new post, and see the photo of it, my first thought is, "Oh look at that!" And that's exactly what happened with this one. Beautiful! That rainbow star with your HSTs is so appealing to me. And the gray background, too. Cool idea with the Elmer's glue, too! Did you apply it with a brush?

    1. I was so happy I had enough HSTs for this quilt. I literally worked it around my background fabric hoping I would have enough. It surprised me that the glued layers stayed together and didn’t shift. I’m not sure how often I use this method, but it was worth a try and good to know about as an alternative! I squirted the glue straight out of the bottle being careful not to glob it all over. It was more thin lines criss crossing all over the place!

  4. Your quilt certainly turned out beautifully, and I know what a good feeling it is to "use up." Yay for using nearly all your HSTs! I've never heard of Elmer's Glue used for basting, and it's certainly intriguing. Like you, I most often pin-baste, though I have also had success with homemade basting spray made with cheap vodka. I can't imagine using Elmer's but perhaps someday, when I have just the right quilt for it, I'll give it a try. Thanks for sharing that1 It's apparent you're having lots of fun designing and creating, as it should be. That's my favorite part about quiltmaking... making something that's completely unique to me. Keep enjoying!

  5. Another fun quilt, Jayne! And thanks for the glue basting tip!

  6. Very bright and colorful finish Jayne. I am so thankful for my longarm - I hope I never have to baste a quilt again. Thanks for linking up with oh Scrap!

  7. I'm definitely curious about the glue basting method and glad to know that it washes out so well. Good idea to baste on top of plastic next time!

  8. interesting. no, I've never tried it. might be tempted on some smaller quilts

  9. I am intrigued with the glue basting. I do use Elmer's glue for 'pinning' points that I want to match perfectly, it works great for that.

  10. Terrific finish. I envisioned your local Walmart getting empty Elmer glue shelves!! I use Elmer in to hold my labels/beginning of binding in place. Or to hold applique edges in place if not using a fusible web.

  11. Beautiful quilt, and lovely quilting. I admire your adventurous spirit, first with the quilt along and then with the glue basting!

  12. I'm still in awe you had enough HSTs 'on hand' to make this lovely quilt!!


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