I've done this several different ways. I was taught to do it with needle and thread. Although I see the benefits of this method, I dislike doing it. I always end up with puckers on the back, it takes forever, and kills my back.
The second way I have basted is with pins. This is my second choice, but still not my favorite. I can't stand it when I'm on a roll and all the sudden a pin is in my way. It is also annoying when you are hand quilting and the thread gets caught around a pin.
My favorite way is spray basting. Maybe it's the lazy way. Maybe it's the environmentally unfriendly way. It can gum up your machine if you are too heavy handed. It's still my favorite.
How I do it is this:
- I spread a flannel backed, plastic tablecloth on our picnic table outside on a sunny day. I try to wait until the wind is calm.
- I smooth the backing fabric, wrong side up, on the table.
- I lay the batting on top of the backing fabric and smooth it, double checking to make sure the back is still flat.
- I lay the quilt top, right side up, on the batting so that there is some back and batting showing around the edges.
- Unless the quilt is very large, I flip it over so the backing fabric is on top. Then I roll up one end of the backing fabric about halfway. (Disclaimer: these pictures are of me basting the top, not the back, but it's the same process.)
- Shake the can of spray basting thoroughly.
- Lightly spray the batting in a sweeping, side to side motion.
- Roll the backing fabric carefully back into place, making sure that it is smooth.
- Follow steps 7-8 with the other half of the quilt back.
- Allow to dry for a minute or two, then flip the quilt back over so the top is face up. Make sure it lays smooth.
- Follow the same steps as for the back, rolling the top up, spraying the batting, and smoothing the quilt top back into place.
- Get quilting!