When I started to quilt it was the basting step that nearly finished me off. I could never get how to put big basting stitches in without the backing shifting. And I could never understand why, if you were supposed to put big stitches in without it shifting, you could not just put the little stitches in right off.
Then I tried saftey pins. I spent a whole afternoon in the basement of a quilt shop putting the darn things into a king size quilt on their large table (and making several runs back up to the shop for yet more pins). Then I spent even more time taking them out everytime the machine foot was about to hit one. It did not make for free and flowing machine quilting. I was told that long armers would machine baste your quilt but that cost money for something you would rip out.
Then I discovered you could pin the backing to a carpet and spray baste with 501 spray. Much better. Apart from the fact my knees are much older than I am and disliked the kneeling. And it always required my husband to help float the top over the sprayed wadding and that inevitabley involved a mini argument about who was going the wrong way. And then we moved house, put the same carpet all through the house and got fussy about anything that might mark it.
But fear not. I now have the perfect solution. I am very sure I am not the only one to do this but I don't recall reading about it anywhere. So for newbie quilters googling basting a quilt, here is my method.
2. Spray with 501 spray.
3. Hold two corners of the wadding andmatch them to the top corners of the wadding much as if you were going to hang it on a washing line. The wadding sticks from the top as if you had pegged it on a line and you can just smooth it down over the whole backing.
6. Remove the pins from the edges of the wadding and voila! Perfectly basted wrinkle free quilt in five mins flat.