Since I quilt using a domestic sewing machine, I am sharing my method of pin basting, or prepping for machine quilting.
I am blessed to have a banquet table (2, in fact). If you don’t have one, perhaps your church will let you use their’s (this is what I did before I got mine). It is important to have the type of table that has a small enough lip on it that you can clamp office clamps to. I bought these tables with the intention of using them for pin basting…do not use your dining room table unless you don’t mind the distressed look!
If I am basting a large quilt, I will match the center of the backing to the center of the table. However, this is a baby quilt and I am not concerned about it. Clamp the backing to the table. Allow for an inch or so of excess backing all around. Do not stretch the fabric! We want it taut, but fabric has memory and we do not want it bouncing back when we unclamp it. This will cause puckers in our machine quilting.
This particular quilt is shorter than my table on one edge. Therefore, I will secure it with tape. I like to use painters tape, but I’m improvising and using transparent tape since I don’t have any painters tape left (I’ve actually used it for painting trim and walls!).
Smooth out the batting onto the backing. No stretching; no wrinkles!
In this case, I am using a low-loft Dream Poly. The thicker the batting, the harder it is to machine quilt on a domestic machine, so ya might want to stick to low-lofts.
Hubby brought sweet goodness home!
Smooth the quilt top on the batting. Again, no wrinkles and no stretching! Pin baste about every 4″ (I pin about a fist apart).
Cut off the excess batting and backing if there is any.
Unclamp and slide the quilt sandwich over. Reclamp the pin basted side. Move the unpinned quilt top and batting out of the way and clamp the unpinned backing. No stretching or wrinkles; just taut! Continue as before.
Unclamp and we are ready to machine quilt!