An archive of sewing tutorials and inspiration


Quilt Basting 101 - Beginner's Quilting Series

This post is part of the Beginner's Quilting Tutorial Series. We are going through an in depth series which will teach you everything you need to know to establish a solid quilting foundation. Click here to see all of the posts and learn more about the series. Today for our Beginner's Quilting Tutorial Series we are going to talk about basting your quilt. Basting is the process when you create a quilt sandwich with your Quilt Top, Batting, and Backing, to prepare for the Quilting step. There are a myriad of different basting techniques, and I really think it takes trial and error to find the method that you really prefer.

Basting 101

I made the Easy Pezzy Crib Quilt a few months ago and took the photos for the tutorials at that time. I have since tried a few different basting methods and have already found different things I like! So I have decided to give you a master list of really great online tutorials for some different basting methods so you can do some experimentation like me.

Basting Techniques

Pin Basting

Pin Basting

Pin basting uses basting pins which are like safety pins all over the entire quilt. Some basting pins have a bend in their center, which makes it easier to bring the pin back up through the three quilt layers as you baste. Machine quilters generally pin-baste because it is easier to remove pins than basting threads. Pin Basting Tutorials

Spray Basting

Spray Basting

Basting sprays work really well for small projects, quilters even use them for large. The most common basting spray is 505 Adhesive Spray. This is the method I most often use. It can be a little messy, but it is the fastest method. Be careful not to over spray, which can lead to a gummy buildup over your work surface and quilting needle.

Hand Thread Basting

Hand basting is most common when Hand Quilting, because there is no pins in the way of your hoop. It can be used for machine quilting as well. I haven't tried this method yet, but I recently met Cristy Fincher at a Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild Meeting, her Mother is Sharon Schamber. We talked about basting and she told me to check out her mom's tutorial on thread basting. So I may give this method a try one of these days. Thread Basting Tutorial

Other Important Resources

Have you heard of Craftsy? If not let me introduce you to my new favorite classroom! Craftsy is a community of people who love to make things. They are dedicated to providing the best education and resources for crafters. They have a wonderful selection of online quilting classes from the best instructors around the world. You can watch your classes from anywhere, from any device with an internet connection. Take them anytime you want, as many times as you want. Your access never expires.

Creative Quilt Backs with Elizabeth Hartman

I just enrolled in a few classes and one of them is the Creative Quilt Backs class by Elizabeth Hartman. I have only just begun the class, but it has already helped me tremendously! Now you may be thinking what does this have to do with basting? Elizabeth talks about how to baste your quilt with proper quilt math, so that everything on the front of your quilt lines up with that on the back. I think the techniques she presents in this class are CRUCIAL to a good quilting foundation. And this class is FREE! So I highly encourage you to sign up. So like I had said, I encourage you to try a few different basting methods out until you have found the method that works best for you. If you are reading this and already have a preferred method of basting I'd love to hear which method you use and why. Next week we will begin Quilting!
Alyssa Williams

Alyssa Williams

Creator of Pile O' Fabric

Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.