Basting A Quilt – Tutorial

A while back I had asked for help with trying to find a new way to sandwich my quilts.  I had been using my dining room table, but when we bought a new one, I didn’t want to use it anymore.

My friend Joan sent me a link to this video:


I really liked the method, but I had problems with making sure my batting and backing was centered.  I also had problems with rolling the quilts on the boards without making a mess.  So I made some alterations to the way I do it.  Several of my friends have asked me to write the directions out, so here it is:



Mark the center of both of your boards.  I found some MDF molding at Home Depot.  6-foot long pieces of 1×2 (approximately) and pre-painted so I don’t have to “finish” the boards myself.  I am all for saving a step!


Mark the center of your backing top with masking tape.   Place a piece of tape around the center and fold the quilt to crease the masking tape.  The tape does not need to be centered, you just need a reliable way to mark the center of your quilt that will not come off and is pliable.  Repeat for the center bottom of your backing.


Tape your backing right-side-up to the first board.  Make sure to align the center-top of the quilt with the center-mark of your board.  When you are rolling your backing, make sure the edges are somewhat aligned.


Tape the center-top of your quilt top and again to the bottom-center.  Again, the tape does not have to be centered, just the center mark clearly identified.


Tape your quilt top seam-side-up (right side down) to the board aligning the center-mark on the board with the center-top of the quilt top.   Again, make sure the edges are somewhat aligned when rolling.


Unroll about a foot of your backing on the table. 


Take your pre-cut batting and fold in half lengthwise.  Align along the center mark of your quilt ( this is one reason for marking the bottom of your quilt with tape.


Unfold the batting making sure the center is still along the center of your batting.  Smooth out any wrinkles.


Unroll the top.  Making sure the center-bottom of the quilt top is aligned with the center-bottom of the backing.


(A close-up of the alignment).  Place the quilt top about an inch to two inches away from the bottom edge of the batting/backing.


You can start pinning or thread basting or tack basting.  Smooth as you go.  You will only be pinning about a foot of the top at a time.  The weight of the boards will keep the edge taught.


Move the pinned portion down off the edge of the table.  Flip the top and batting so you are able to unroll about another foot of backing.  Flip the batting back and smooth the section you are working on.


Roll out the top and smooth.


Pin again.  Repeat the last three steps until you are completed with your top.  Once you are done, you can remove all masking tape and then quilt as desired.

Have fun with this easy basting method.  You no longer have to pull two or more tables together and try to stretch to the center of them.  You no longer have to crawl along the floor to baste your quilt.  I will no longer do either when I need to sandwich a quilt.

Let me know what you think if you try it.