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learn how to baste a quilt

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How to Baste a Quilt with Spray Adhesive

One of the essential steps to do as you learn to quilt is learning how to baste a quilt. I personally prefer a method of quilt basting known as “spray basting” where you use a spray adhesive to adhere the layers of a quilt, but you should know there are other methods involved in making the quilt sandwich that can work for you too! This quilting tutorial will teach you exactly how I spray baste a quilt!

If videos are more your speed, check out this quilt basting tutorial video here:

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Supplies Needed to Baste a Quilt

Before we can get started basting the quilt, you need to gather the supplies. In addition to having your pieced quilt top, quilt batting, and quilt backing, you’ll need these tools:

If you’re not sure what type of quilt batting to use, check out this tutorial that will help you learn the differences and decide which one to pick for your quilting project!

Step 1: Get your Batting Wrinkle-Free

If your batting came folded up in a package, you’ll want to freshen it up and get the wrinkles out. The easiest way for me to prepare my batting is to toss it in the dryer for about 15-20 minutes with a damp washcloth. You could also use your iron and press the batting, but certain types of batting don’t do well with high heat. I only recommend pressing with an iron if you are not using wool or anything synthetic such as polyester.

Step 2: Tape Your Backing to the Floor

While my batting is in the dryer, I’ll get my backing ready. If your quilt backing has wrinkles, iron them out before taping it down.

I like to use masking tape or painters tape to adhere the quilt backing to my hard wood floors for basting. The right side of the backing fabric faces the floor, with the wrong side facing up. I’ll typically begin by taping all 4 corners, and then go around the sides to make sure it is flat, but not stretched out. See the video above for more visuals!

If you don’t have hard floors, you could also consider doing a similar process but instead of taping to the floor you’d hang the pieces on a wall.

Step 3: Lay the Batting & Quilt Top on the Quilt Backing

Next, grab the quilt batting from the dryer and smooth it out over your backing, aligning one edge of your backing to one edge of the batting. Once the batting is nice & smooth, do the same with your quilt top. I personally like to trim off any extra batting with a pair of fabric sheers after laying out the quilt top. I save the batting scraps for smaller projects, and often zig-zag stitch them together so they can be reused in my next quilt.

Step 4: Spray the Backing to the Batting

Once your quilt sandwich is assembled, it’s time to spray the layer together so they’ll stay put for quilting. Begin by rolling the batting and quilt top up about half way, and spray a light layer of spray adhesive on the wrong side of the quilt backing. I like to do it in sections of up to about 10-20″ at a time, starting in the middle of the quilt.

Spray the adhesive in a section, then unroll the batting. Next, press down to get the batting & backing to stick together. Repeat this process until the entire batting piece is adhered to the quilt back fabric.

Step 5: Spray the Batting to the Quilt Top

Repeat the process we did in step 4 to adhere the batting to the quilt top. Press it out smooth and flat and check to make sure the corners and nice & secure!

Step 6: Add pins for extra Security

I’ll be honest and say I really don’t think this step is essential, BUT I still do it every time! I just can’t help myself! Grab your curved safety pins and pin your quilt layers together. I typically pin about every 10 inches or so, with extra attention around the edges and corners. The pins aren’t entirely necessary, but if it may take you a while to finish the quilting they can help ensure the sandwich stays in place!

Now it’s time to QUILT

Once your quilt sandwich is basted, you’re ready to quilt it on your home sewing machine. You can try Free Motion Quilting or Straight Line quilting, or do a fun design using a walking foot. Learn more about straight line quilting over at this article 3 Hacks for Quilting Straight Lines.

The quilt shown in this tutorial is the Sprightly quilt pattern. I also have a blog post up all about the floral baby quilt.