How to Pin Baste a Quilt ~ We All Sew

How to Pin Baste a Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week when I posted my Mayflower quilt, I mentioned I created it as the base for a new set of tutorials I wrote for BERNINA’s We All Sew blog. Today I’m happy to share the first with you, How to Pin Baste a Quilt.

How to Pin Baste a Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

If I’m being totally honest, I’m always a bit nervous to post technique tutorials. There are probably as many ways to baste as quilters, but I hope you enjoy seeing what works best for me. If you are new to quilting, it’s a great way to start down your journey. If you are an experienced quilter, you may see something new to try!

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25 Comments

  1. Reply

    Cindy M.

    February 10, 2016

    Wonderful, wonderful wonderful steps!!! Gave me the confident!
    Big thanks!

  2. Reply

    Susan G

    February 10, 2016

    What a great tutorial! It makes me wish I had the carpets and the knees to pin on the floor. Curved pins are a big help. So are safety pin grip covers. They are both finger savers.

  3. Reply

    HokieKate

    February 10, 2016

    Great tutorial! I’ve had luck recently working in sections. First I loosely baste the entire quilt, then more densely in a section. I quilt that section, then check to make sure the adjoining sections are still smooth. They generally are not, so I remove pins and re-smooth everything. Then it is an iterative process until I’m done.

  4. Reply

    Jane Holbrook

    February 10, 2016

    Thank you. I have tried many techniques and this looks like the most sure-fire. I am going to use your method. I have some tops ready to baste and quilt. Nicely written.

  5. Reply

    Karen

    February 10, 2016

    Faith, thanks so much for the tutorial! As a beginner, basting is still a new and intimidating step, and you’ve made it seem much more manageable. And the ruler tip–genius!

  6. Reply

    Meg

    February 10, 2016

    What a great tutorial! I’d always thought I needed to start pinning in the middle and work my way out, but then worried that I was shifting the quilt layers in the process. I like your method so much better. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Reply

    Anastasia

    February 10, 2016

    Hah! I always try NOT to pin it to the carpet. I never considered using the carpet’s powers for good.

    Thanks!

  8. Reply

    Linda

    February 10, 2016

    Thanks for the tutorial! I never thought to fasten down the bottom layer first, I’m going to try the painters tape method on my next quilt.

  9. Reply

    Sherry

    February 10, 2016

    Never thought about doing it this way – love it! New carpet in family room and livingroom so I’m set to go on getting some of those quilt tops basted and quilted! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  10. Reply

    Laura

    February 11, 2016

    Really like this tutorial. One question: When you start to use the curved safety pins to actually pin the quilt layers together, how do you avoid snagging the carpet with those pins?

    • Reply

      Faith

      February 11, 2016

      Thanks Laura! I might have one or two pins that end up grabbing the carpet, so when I’m lifting the quilt at the end, I just “redo” those. It’s never been a real issue though!

      • Reply

        Laura

        February 11, 2016

        Thanks! I could see me having the entire quilt securely pinned to the carpet! I have tried pinning on carpet, but usually slide my cutting mat under the area I am working on. But I really like your method and will give it a try.

  11. Reply

    Barbara S.

    February 11, 2016

    As a beginner I want to thank you so much for this tutorial! My current project, a table topper, is puckered on the back despite repeatedly resmoothing and repinnIng it. I want to try a bed-size quilt next and am looking forward to using your technique. A question: Do you have a preferred size of curved safety pin? I couldn’t tell what size they were from the photos.

    • Reply

      Faith

      February 12, 2016

      Hi Barbara! I use the Dritz “size 1″, measuring around 1”. I hope that helps!

  12. Reply

    Diana

    February 17, 2016

    I never thought of using a ruler to smooth areas I cannot reach. Great tip, thanks!

  13. Reply

    Nancy

    February 17, 2016

    When you begin to quilt, do you remove the pins from the area you are quilting first so you don’t hit the needle on the pins? It looks quite crowded with pins if you are quilting in free motion.

    • Reply

      Faith

      February 17, 2016

      Hi Nancy – great question! I will remove about 2 to 3 pins at a time when I start quilting an area. It might mean stopping a bit more, but also no fabric shifting.

  14. Reply

    Lanya

    February 18, 2016

    Thank you for the great tutorial on basting. Being a new quilter of “larger” quilts…your help is most appreciated and the ruler trick really was a life saver for me!

  15. Reply

    Ruth Hurley

    February 19, 2016

    I use a plastic coated cutting table fully extended because I am too old and arthritic to crawl around on a floor (and all our floors are solid wood which might get scratched). I use painters tape and large office binder clips to secure the layers at the edges of the table. I have permanently marked the exact center of the table and I tape chopsticks there so that I can feel the correct placement of each layer. Then I pin away.

    • Reply

      mary wright

      February 21, 2016

      I cannot get down on the floor either. Your tips are great, thank you. Do you machine quilt or hand quilt? If you machine quilt do you use a regular machine? I would love to hear all your ideas if you would want to email me at sm5wright@comcast.net. Thank you! mary

      • Reply

        Faith

        February 22, 2016

        Hi Mary! Yes, I do my own quilting too. I use my BERNINA 440 QE, which I bought about 5 or 6 years ago. Then I am also a BERNINA Ambassador now, so I use a BERNINA 750 QE which they have loaned to me. I love them both!

  16. Reply

    Monica

    February 25, 2016

    I have a Bernina 880 and I don’t know how anyone could quilt something very large with it. Is there a certain way to maneuver the quilt so it fits into the space to the right of the needle?

    • Reply

      Faith

      February 25, 2016

      Hi Monica – I lay my quilt out, and roll it from the side that needs to fit on the right side of the needle. Then it’s a nice compact roll in that area. I’ve quilted up to a large full sized quilt on my BERNINA 440QE (which is smaller there), so definitely try rolling yours too!

  17. Reply

    Susie V

    May 11, 2016

    Thank you — I’ve tried this method and it definitely worked better for me than the way I originally learned. Do you have a recommendation for basting a large quilt (queen or king size) when you don’t have floor space large enough?

    • Reply

      Faith

      May 16, 2016

      I typically only make twin and smaller, but I might try to either go pin on the floor of a library conference room or church, or move some furniture around 🙂

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