How do you baste your quilts? Take our poll!

on May 3 | in Polls + Surveys | by | with 15 Comments

On my knees on my cement floor, pinning, pinning, pinning the layers of my quilt, I kept thinking, there’s got to be a better way! Which got me to thinking, I wonder which method most people prefer….



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15 Responses to How do you baste your quilts? Take our poll!

  1. Inder says:

    I thread baste when I’m going to handquilt, and pin baste when I machine quilt. So for me it’s the quilting method that determines the basting method. Thread basting gets tangled up in the presser foot on the machine, and pins tend to get rusty with age and get in the way of the hoop for hand-quilting projects (which often take me much longer), so it may seem random but there’s a logic behind it ….

  2. Krista says:

    I mostly spray baste smaller projects – I take both the top and backing outside and spray them at the same time, fold them wrong sides together to bring them back in. I then tape the backing to my tile floor, smooth on the batting, then the top. Takes about 5 minutes.

    I have not had good luck spray basting larger quilts, I almost always get puckering in the backing. Because of this if it is lap sized or larger, I pin baste. On my knees on the tile 🙁
    I’m getting faster tho. I can pin baste a queen sized quilt in 1 hour. And I normally send anything larger than a twin out to the longarm quilter so I don’t do it that often.

    I also pin baste a baby quilt if I know the family is really chemical aversive. I also use organic cottons and batting. That way if they ask I can reassure them and increase the chance they will actually use the quilt.

  3. Vicki says:

    Yay for spray basting! Here’s how I do all my quilts now:

    I lay two 4′ x 8′ masonite boards over sawhorses in the garage for a large, open-air spray basting surface. I use painters’ tape to hold the backing taut, right side down, spray the backing and lay down the batting, half at a time. I position the top over the batting and spray the top, half at a time. After basting, I like to set about a dozen pins around the perimeter, especially if it’s going to sit around for a while before quilting.

    I can baste 2-3 large quilts in a few hours, with no back strain and no fumes. I have used both 505 and Dritz – both work fine. I’ve never had any problems with wrinkling or tucks. Occasionally I need to reposition the top or the top/back peels away from the batting due to handling – in that case I just pick it up, reposition and lightly press it back down with my hands. The spray stays sticky for months.

    I’ll never go back to pinning.

  4. Lori says:

    I pin on the floor, but I use knee pads, the kind you use in the garden. I actually DO use my knee pads in the garden, so I have to wash them very thoroughly before my pinning jobs. Oh, and I also always sweep & mop really good before too. I guess that goes without saying, but with a dog & a toddler in the house, the floors are never really all that “clean” except directly after they’ve been washed.

  5. Justine Malinski says:

    I agree, I drape over a narrow table that is counter height. Back ache- and knee pain-free method. I also check it by hand a couple of times, smoothing over the entire surface, to be sure it is free of wrinkles and tucks.

  6. M's Stitchery says:

    I prefer to tape to the floor, not carpet! Tabletop is ok but it still causes back ache, and the backing doesn’t always stay flat when you’re done. Just like being beautiful, beautiful quilts come with a cost. My other suggestion is to hire a long arm quilter to bast it or rent a long arm to baste it yourself. Only take a few minutes to pin to the leaders and then use the machine to baste across the quilt and up and down in several areas. The basting stitches can be set at 1″ which makes them super easy to remove. Good luck everyone!

  7. Gretchen says:

    I pin baste on my raised bed, sliding a cutting mat underneath as I go.

  8. Kris says:

    I spray baste over a banquet table. First I mark and line up the middle line of each layer. Line up the center lines, taping the backing to the table. Next I fold back the top and the batting and begin spraying the portion that will be supported by the table. I do each layer and then move the whole quilt to position a new portion on the table and do it all again. I can spray baste a twin/full in about 20 minutes with a helper to hold the layers up. It takes a little longer if I have to keep moving around the table.
    After the quilt is basted, I tend to stabilize it by doing some straight line quilting starting in the center of the quilt, or working in quadrants. My favorite way to Stitch in the Ditch is with the fmq foot.
    P.s. i rarely get even a pucker when I fmq the quilt.

  9. Adri H. says:

    Small quilts, I said “other” because I’ve used those quick clips before to just hold the sandwich together.

  10. Lynda says:

    To make the quilt sandwich, I bought two 1 1/2 inch dowels that are 60 inches long. I roll the backing (secure with pins) on one dowel. Roll the other end of the backing on the other dowel. Rest both dowels on a table. Place the batting on the top on the quilt back, then place the top of the quilt on the top of the batt. (spraying glueing would by an option at this point or pinning)
    Continue to roll out al little, roll up a little until you are finished.

  11. Dee Whyte says:

    Spray with 505 and add a few pins (12″ apart). For very large quilts, I .sandwich in two halves using the same method. Then quilt to within about 8″ of the centre on both pieces. Right sides together I join the two halves of the quilt top, butt the batting, and hand stitch the backing. I then complete the quilting down the centre. Makes it much easier to quilt a large quilt under my Bernina 440!!

  12. Pamela says:

    Just started thread basting a few quilt sandwiches to avoid using the pins. Like it so far because I feel I can leave it and not worry about pin holes getting pulled bigger. The ping pong table works well when I take the net down. My husband’s rolling shop stool helps keep me from bending over too much.
    Thank you for all of the good quilt information and inspiration!

  13. Gail says:

    I used to pin until I discovered spray basting. I have never looked back. It is so easy and can repositioned if necessary. I have had really good luck with it.

  14. Lainie says:

    I actually press my quilts once the layers are together and they don’t really shift around. For large quilts, I do pin but instead of floor or large table I drape it over the upstairs railing. Works great 🙂

  15. Kristel says:

    I mostly pin-baste on tabletops these days – saves the knees and hunched over back – but it would help enormously if I had a bigger table to do it on! (I sew on an old kitchen table, which is about 2.5′ x 3.5′ which too small even for most baby quilts. I keep thinking I’m going to take my larger quilts to work and make use of the conference room tables on a day I know it’s not in use….

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