So you've decided to do the machine quilting on your next quilt, that’s great! Now, let’s make sure you have the most success with the least issues :) Pin basting your quilt layers together properly will ensure no puckering or tucks during the quilting process.
Stretch your quilt backing out, pretty side down, on a smooth flat surface (we are using a linoleum floor here). I always press any seam in the backing open to make them lie as flat as possible. Tug gently on each corner, and tape them down as you go, then tug and tape the edges between corners in a few places. You want the backing to be taught and smooth but not pulled too tight.
Next, lay out the batting just inside the backing edge; you want to see a little of the backing all the way around the edge. Cut away the excess batting so you don’t have all that bulk to deal with.
If you choose to use a quilt basting spray, now would be the time to whip it out! On bigger quilts, I use a light dusting of basting spray before pin basting. Peel back the batting you just cut, and spray the back side. Smooth it out with your hands working from the middle out.
Then spray the top side of the batting, and smooth the quilt out over the batting.
Now for the pins! I like to use the coilless curved safety pins. They have a “belly” so they scoop through the layers and right back out. The coilless version is nice because it doesn’t snag or get caught in the quilt top.
Pin in a grid-like pattern, about every 4”. This will ensure even placement and less room for the layers to shift.
I leave the pins open as I go, then when I have them all set, I go back through with this tool and close them all up, without destroying my fingers! I've heard of people using a spoon for this step, so maybe that’s another option!
Peel your quilt off the floor, and you’re ready to quilt!
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