Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I Baste My Quilts....

It's sometimes interesting to see how other Quilters put their quilts together...
...so i thought id show you how i do mine...

 I lay my backing fabric out on my floor (Fabric side Face down).... I line up a selvaged edge with the lines on my floor boards and use the floor board lines as a guide....

I use 2" Masking tape and tape the Bottom left corner first. See in this picture how i line up the edge of the selvage with the join on my floor... Lining this up properly, comes in handy in the next few steps...

 I add another piece of tape...to hold the fabric firm in place... I then proceed to tape the other corners...In ORDER -  Bottom Left, Bottom Right, Top Left, Top Right pulling each corner really tight. When taping each corner, I line them up along this same join in my floor boards...

Once all the corners are done.... You will find it bows up a little in the middle between corners...... This is where the floor board join comes in really handy....Starting in the middle you begin taping the Bottom selvage edge... Pulling the selvage edge down, until it is also lined up on the same floorboard line as the corners...... Repeat with Top edge and then Left and Right sides.... 

The back of your quilt should now look like this...

Next, lay your batting on top... i try and use the fold in the batting as a guide and lay this fold along the join in my backing fabric....My favourite batting to use... is 100% Cotton, Or a Bamboo Batting... There are alot of different qualities and thicknesses out there... I use a thin batting and the best quality i can buy.

Throw your quilt top onto your batting.... I line up the centre seam in my backing fabric with the middle of my quilt. Sometimes... a pieced back works great and you may want the seam 3/4 way down or in various other positions depending on the quilt... Just remember to pay attention to where you want the seam and esp if you have a backing fabric that is directional... I made this mistake once... the backing was pinned upside down... took ages to unpin and redo!! SO be careful.....

Next, Climb onto the middle of your quilt. I like to start in the centre and smooth out all the creases. Take your time making sure it is nice and flat...

Now comes the pinning!!.... For me its a MUST to use proper angled safety pins (Cant remember the 'proper' name)... these are angled so when you put the pin into the three layers it easily pops back up through to secure in place...

I start in the middle of my quilt and with my Left hand smooth the fabric out really flat and pin with my Right hand... I place pins about 3 - 4" apart.

 I constantly smooth and pin, smooth and pin...from the middle I work out towards the edges...

Once its all pinned... I cut through the three layers, about an inch away from the edge of the quilt top....
all around the edge.... It is now ready for Quilting.... mmmm yes and with this quilt...I'm a little stuck!

Everyone does baste their quilts a little different. I have learnt to do it this way through a little trial and error mixed with different techniques from a few quilt classes I took from my local quilt shop Blueberries. I have found my quilts never crease on the back... they are always perfectly smooth and flat with no bunching... this way works for me....and i Hope this helps some of you!! xxx


  1. what about the pins scratching your floors? i always place an old worn out cutting mat under my quilts and move it around as i go.
    julie :)

  2. I was thinking the same as Julie, doesn't your floor get scratched? I never pin directly onto a valuable surface. I have been spray basting lately, but I do pin baste the edges and I have thread basted quilts too.

  3. I love process posts like this. I use a yard stick to smooth out my top. I glide it over the top from the middle out. It acts like an arm without you having to climb all over the quilt.

  4. Rebecca, thanks so much for that post! I am about ready to sandwich my third quilt and have been puzzling over how best to do it! I'm going to try your method, and also "Me? A Mom?" who said she uses a yard stick! I like that idea, too!

  5. What a great idea, in my next house I'm going to get the wood floors if for no other reason that to layer my quilts. I have to use the dining room table and that basting spray. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This is great, I do mine much the same, though I tape down the quilt top as well just to be safe. Also I use a hook thing to help close the pins, it saves my hands so much hurt :)

  7. Thanks for posting this! My method is pretty similar, but I can see I'm pretty lazy about the taping. I think I'd have better luck if I taped more like you do.

  8. Thank you! I'm going to quilt my next quilt myself instead of sending it out to the longarm quilter. This is exactly what I needed to read! Thanks!

  9. This looks like a great method but I must say i am totally distracted by that gorgeous quilt!

  10. good method and beautiful quilt!

  11. great tip! I'll try this next time. I've been using basting spray, but this method looks less smelly :)

  12. I use a similar technique, but like Katie B., I am a little more lax in the taping department. I love your technique and think that I will remember to do more taping next time. Oh, and I usually use painter's tape.

    I haven't noticed the pins scratching my wood floor, but we also have a dog that probably scratches it up all the time with her nails...

  13. Thanks for sharing. That's how I basted my current one, but didn't use nearly as much tape...

  14. Gorgeous quilt top! I'm going to try basting my next quilt this way. I've seen others do it this way also, but I haven't tried it yet.
    Saying HI! from Crafty Girls Workshop!

  15. You use heaps of tape - you're very thorough. And you use lots of pins too. I'm a bit more slap dash, but it seems to work okay.

  16. I have only pin basted 1 large quilt and I used a somewhat similar technique and it seemed to work well... I think I may have used less pins though. Thanks for the great tutorial Bec!

  17. I pinned this on Pinterest. I typically use basting spray, but it is a tad expensive, smelly, and if used indoors, requires a mop of the floors afterward!! This looks like a great method!

  18. Ahhh, awesome, thanks so much!! I just made my first quilt and it's a little wonky in places because it bunched up during the stitching, and I'm quite sure it's because the basting part didn't work out as well as it should have. This should help me really improve my next one!!


  19. I'm in the middle of piecing a few quilts but have never actually quilted...this tutorial makes it a wee bit less intimidating...thank you for sharing!!


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