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Assembling the Quilt Top Layers

Layering the quilt top, batting, and backing before quilting is an important step in preparing your project for quilting.

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Basting


Safety-pin or baste all the layers together, beginning in the center. Be careful not to shift the layers, and work toward the edges, smoothing fabric as you go.

Thread-Basting
This method is the most common for hand quilters because it works better in a hoop than pins do.

With stitches about 2" long, baste the three layers together by stitching horizontal, then vertical lines through the center of the quilt sandwich to form quadrants on the quilt top. Next, baste diagonally in both directions. Add basting stitches 3 to 4" apart over the entire surface of the quilt top.

Pin-Basting
Machine quilters generally pin-baste because it is easier to remove pins than basting threads.

Pin the three layers together with rustproof safety pins, making horizontal and vertical lines through the center of the quilt sandwich to form quadrants on the quilt top. Add pins over the entire surface of the quilt top at 3 to 4" intervals.

Spray-Basting
Basting sprays are best for small quilt projects such as table runners or wall hangings. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to adhere the layers to one another. Take care not to over spray, which can lead to a gummy buildup over your work surface and quilting needle.

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