Let’s talk basting.
If you are new to quilting, basting is the process of making your quilt sandwich in preparation for sewing it together or quilting. The quilt sandwich consists of the quilt back (backing), the batting (middle of quilt) and the quilt top.
When machine quilting, there are two types of basting methods: pin basting and spray basting.
Pin basting uses safety pins to hold the quilt together for machine quilting. A lot of quilters prefer the pin method. If you decide to pin baste, I recommend using curved safety pins and the Kwik Klip. Both of these allow for faster and easier basting (your fingers will thank you!).
I was a purist for a while and refused to do anything other than pin basting. However, once I tried spray basting, I have never looked back. Spray basting uses a temporary adhesive spray to hold the quilt sandwich together. I prefer this method for two reasons: it is A LOT faster and it prevents the fabric from bunching during the quilting phase.
For my Country Charmer Christmas quilt, I am going to be spray basting.
When I baste I start by finding the center of each layer and finger pressing the fabric to form cross intersection.
I then tape some chopsticks in cross shape to the table. By centering each layer over the chopsticks, it allows for more accurate fabric alignment, especially if you have a directional backing.
Once I have the backing down and smoothed out, I secure it with a couple of clamps.
Once I have the backing securely in place, it is time to tack down the batting. As you can see my table doesn’t fit my entire quilt. So I start in the middle of the quilt and work my way out. This allows me to work out any bunching that may happen as I go.
Once I have the batting secured to the backing I re-center the quilt with the chopsticks and repeat the process with the quilt top.
This whole process took me about an hour, including gathering all my supplies together. Now my quilt sandwich is ready for quilting!