Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quilt Class 101 - Week 9 - Basting

Firstly, WOW!! Thank you to all of you... For your Linky's for last weeks class!!!... What a ton of inspiration to come back to again and again for ideas and tips... Thank you for sharing your great projects with us!!! xx
This weeks Class -
 How to Baste your Quilts!!
Now, there are a few different ways you can baste your quilts.. I'm going to show you the way I like to do it.. Some of you may do it differently, maybe you can link up again this week showing us YOUR way..?? For those of you who don't know how,  try a few different ways,  and you will find what suits you best.
OK, Lets start with a few measurements...
QC Quilt top (if you have followed mine ) measures 50" x 58"
Backing fabric measures 56" x 64"
Batting 60" x 68"
(for the Batting I chose 100% cotton)

You will also need:-
100-200 Curved Safety Pins
2" Masking Tape
Your first step.. is VERY important.. and it start with Ironing. Iron your backing fabric, and lay it face down on a large hard surface.
Start at the bottom Left corner.. Put your tiles or floor boards to good use. Use the lines and grid to line up your backing to ensure its straight and square.
Take your masking tape and Tape your first corner..
Place another strip across to secure.
Next, tape your Top Left Corner, Pull your backing fabric tight along the grain/selvage of the fabric. If your selvage runs horizontally instead of vertically follow my other basting tutorial HERE.. The taping order varies slightly.
 When your taping this corner, make sure it still lines up with your tiles (floorboards). Tape this corner with your first strip.
then second strip to secure.
If you have pulled your corner tight, your backing will buckle slightly.. This is OK and as you continue to pull and tape around your backing, It will ensure your quilt is stretched tight.
Next, Pull and Tape your bottom Right corner, Line up the bottom of your backing along your tiles...
Next, Pull and Tape your Top Right corner. You will notice your backing sides bow in slightly, again this is what you want to ensure its stretched tight..
Your tiles come in handy again... Tape the Left side of your backing, you do this by starting in the middle and work your tape out to each corner.. Pull it in line, each time you tape..
Repeat by taping along the Right side of your Backing piece, again from the middle to the corners.
Repeat by taping the top side and then the bottom side...Your backing should be stretched perfectly flat and tight.
Next, lay out your batting piece... Climb onto the middle of your batting... Start smoothing all the crinkles out so it is also nice and flat.
Lay your Quilt top onto your batting.. Take note, if you have directional fabric for your backing, remember this as you lay your Quilt top on. I made this mistake once!! Painful!!
This completes your Quilt Sandwich.
I learnt a great tip from Ashley, Film in the Fridge..when using a pieced back. Its hard to ensure your quilt top is straight and lined up correctly with your backing fabric underneath. For my pieced back I have the zigzag going vertically down the Quilt back.. I want this to go straight an even down the back. So, Ashley suggested you clip the batting in line with the seam lines from your backing, so you can now line up your quilt top accordingly... Genius!!
Climb onto the centre of your Quilt Sandwich. Starting in the centre of your Quilt top, slowly and carefully smooth out all the crinkles. Once it is all smooth, again start in the centre of your Quilt top, Take your curved safety pins and pin through all three layers, in the centre of your square. Curved Safely pins work great! It really is a must. When you put the pin into the fabric, the curve allows the pin to pop back up easily to secure it closed. Its way too difficult to try and use regular pins.
Continue to pin in the centre of each square roughly 3-4" apart. I constantly smooth and pin, smooth and pin, working from the centre out towards the edge.

Your nearly done!! When you have finished pinning all over your quilt.. Cut around the edge of your Quilt top, 1" away from the edge through the three layers.
And you ARE done!!!
You are ready for Quilting!!!



  1. What a great tutorial Rebecca! I've always done it a different way, but your way seems so much EASIER! I'm all about easy. ;-)

  2. Nicely done tutorial. But how do you sew around all those pins. I still baste with needle and thread the way my grandma taught me! :) Never could get the nack of getting around the pins.

    Anyway your tutorial was easy to follow and understand, good job


  3. Thanks for the tutorial! I find lining up the back and front difficult (and I don't have a tiled or wooden floor to help me) so I have two long pieces of beading (the wooden DIY type!) that I tape to the floor (I use my 6.5"x24" ruler to ensure they are parallel) and then I line up the seams on the backing. When I lay out the top I can feel the beading and it helps me get everything straight. If I'm pinning a baby quilt on a table I use either cotton buds or cocktail sticks the same way. I also use the back of a teaspoon to help me close the safety pins - saves my fingers!

  4. great instructions, and the quilt is so bold, love that!

  5. Great tutorial, I'd highly recommend getting some knee pads, I think they are available at gardening stores (not sure about in Australia though) because if you're going to be crawling around on the floor you'll want to save your knees. You could check at sporting stores, they would be the kind you wear when roller skating (Does that make me sound old?) Also, the notions people sell a tool that has a wooden handle and a piece of metal with a couple of notches in the end of it. They sell it as a basting tool to help you close the safty pins. OH and last tip, when you take them out as you quilt, there isn't much need to close them, just stick them into a pin cushion so you don't have open 200 pins the next time. (maybe you were going to cover that in the next tutorial)

  6. Excellent tutorial! I have never been very good at basting, so any little tip helps! I can't believe I never thought to use the lines in my floor to line up the quilt. Granted, I don't have tiles, but there's gotta be something down there that I can use as a guide!

  7. Excellent! I'm a newer quilter and this sure helps. I have a large table but have trouble knowing if the back and front are straight. The floor will be easier and making a cut in the backing is a great too. I sure thank you.

  8. Great tutorial! You know I love spray basting so I added a new tutorial and a link.

  9. Great tutorial - I've been hanging out for it because I'm usually frustrated that things get creased up on me. I wouldn't have been game to pull the backing so tight without seeing your photos, so thank you!

  10. I do something similar, but I don't trim the batting/backing until after I finish quilting.

  11. Hi
    Your exercise for this was great and easy to understand, I use two tables to pin my quilts or take them to our quilting group and we share to help each other, have a pinning day.


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