After prepping your quilt back, you are ready to baste your layers.  
A few things you will need:

masking tape
safety pins
an hour or so of time

To begin, clear a flat surface large enough for your entire quilt back to be spread out, in this case the floor, you may have a quilt you can baste on a table top, be sure you can pull it taut on a flat surface.

Then tape your edges down, notice I don’t have my corners taped – you don’t want to pull it out of square.  Put down a couple pieces on one side then move to the other, adjusting the tape as needed.  When you feel it is nice and flat, but not stretched you can move on.

Lay your batting over the top.  Make sure you are orientating it in a way that all of your quilt top will have batting.  My piece is larger than needed, so I turned it for the least waste.  I can put little pieces to use in other projects, like table runners, bags – you name it!

I’ve been known to use a warm iron at this point (on the floor – yes!)  for those stubborn wrinkles in the batting – usually just smoothing it with your hands works fine!

Next add your quilt top.  Try to keep things straight working from the top or a side down.  Smooth the top in place as you work.  You will notice that it’s sticking to the batting, gently smooth it with your hands.

All smooth?  Good – now comes the tedious work!  :)

Start in the middle, and pin every 5″-6″ — poke straight down and come back up with a little of each of your layers in the pin.  If you get to much it won’t close.  How do you know you got all the layers?  Trust in your abilities!  If you need a little proof put a pin in at the edge to test, then take it out until you get back to that area.

Keep pinning!  I usually work from the center, up to the top, then from the center down to the bottom.  Out and up, or down.

Once you finish pinning, take a break!  Ha – just kidding.  You are almost there :)   Trim away any excess, leaving plenty of backing and batting (3″-4″) this makes it a bit easier to maneuver while quilting.

At this point, even if you are done working for the day – Don’t fold it!  It puts creases, that you don’t want.  I roll it to the center, or whichever works best for your planned quilting method.

Then roll it from one side to another so it fits in your lap!

I hope this helps!
Next up – straight line quilting.


The quilt pictured is available as a tutorial here.
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