I’m Confused, Where Should I Start Basting a Quilt?


“I’m curious about the comment ‘one should baste in a grid pattern and not from the inside towards the edges.’ I baste in a grid, but I start at the center. Could you expand on the comment above, please?”

– Quilter’s Review reader

If you baste on a frame with one hand over the sandwich and one hand under it, then starting in the center is a lot of work for no gain and possible headaches.

How do you get to the middle? If it’s a large quilt, I guess you have to wad up the quilt to reach the middle. That tends to push the layers out of the position you’re so carefully trying to maintain with the basting.

Of course if you don’t baste with thread on a frame and if you can nail those layers without having to put a hand under the sandwich, and if you don’t mind crawling over your quilt to get to the center, then starting in the center wouldn’t be so awkward after all.

Like so many things in life, it boils down to personal preference. So if you like starting in the middle, go for it!

Opinion #2

I like to baste my quilts on my sewing table. After putting the layers together, I put in a few safety pins to stabilize the quilt, then spread it on the table and baste from the center to both sides, then from the center to the corners.

You can slide the quilt easily to reach from the center…and take large basting stitches.

It works for me.

Opinion #3

I baste my quilts on the wall. I use the long, plain wall in my hallway and use masking tape to tape my backing up on the wall. Then I spray it with basting spray. I turn on the fan in the bathroom for better ventilation.

I add the batting, spray again, and put on the quilt top. I add a few safety pins around the edges because I don’t spray all the way to the edge — I don’t want to get my walls sticky!

I also used this method before I started using basting spray — it works well with safety pins. I just tape up the backing, then tape up the batting, then tape up the quilt top, then pin all over, using a grapefruit spoon to close the pins. I put my pins, tape, and any other tools I need on a TV tray next to me.

The reason this method works best for me is because bending over a table for any amount of time bothers my back. Also, my wall is much larger than my dining table and is never covered with mail, homework, dishes, crumbs, and so on!

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