Quilt basting is a crucial step in the quilting process, ensuring that the quilt top, batting, and backing stay securely in place during the quilting process. While there are various methods to baste a quilt, one popular technique is floor basting. Floor basting provides ample space and allows for a smooth and even basting process.
I have tried several different ways to baste including basting on a table, and on the wall but doing it the floor is still the best method for me.
In this blog post, I’ll walk you through my process of basting on the floor. If you baste on the floor too, drop in some tips! If you’re a beginner quilter and wonder how you can baste a quilt, I hope this post will give you a better idea.
Benefits of Floor Basting:
- Ample Space: Unlike other methods that might require a smaller workspace, floor basting allows for more extensive quilt layouts. You can easily spread out your quilt layers, ensuring proper alignment and avoiding any wrinkles or folds.
- Accessibility: Working on the floor eliminates the need for bending over or reaching across large surfaces. This accessibility provides better control and precision during the basting process.
- Versatility: Floor basting works well for quilts of all sizes, from small baby quilts to large bed-sized creations. It allows you to work on any project without limitations.
For this basting tutorial, I am going to demonstrate with photos of my basting process for this colourful house quilt which I talked about earlier in this post HERE>
While floor basting offers many benefits, such as ample space and accessibility, it also has a few potential disadvantages:
- Physical Strain: Basting on the floor can require prolonged periods of kneeling, sitting, or crawling, which can put strain on your back, knees, and joints. This can be uncomfortable, especially for individuals with mobility issues or physical limitations.
- Floor Surface Limitations: The type of floor surface you have may affect the success of floor basting. Uneven or rough surfaces can make it challenging to achieve a smooth and wrinkle-free quilt base. Additionally, if you have carpeted floors, the fabric layers may not lay as flat or secure as they would on a hard surface.
- Floor Cleanliness: Ensuring a clean floor surface is crucial for successful floor basting. Dust, pet hair, or debris on the floor can transfer to your quilt layers, potentially causing stains or affecting the overall appearance of your quilt.
- Lack of Adjustability: Once you’ve positioned your quilt layers on the floor, making adjustments can be cumbersome. If you need to make changes or fix alignment issues, it may require rearranging the entire quilt layout, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
- Limited Accessibility for Some Quilters: Floor basting may not be suitable for everyone, particularly individuals with physical limitations, such as back or knee problems. It may be challenging for them to maneuver on the floor and perform the necessary tasks involved in basting.
Despite these disadvantages, many quilters still find floor basting to be a viable and efficient method. It’s important to consider your personal circumstances, physical abilities, and the condition of your floor surface before deciding if floor basting is the right choice for you.
Here is a step-by-step on how to baste on the floor.
Step 1: Prepare the Space & backing fabric
Before basting, usually, we need to prepare the backing. Piece the backing if you need to make it the right size. You can find ideas how to piece backing from smaller cuts of fabrics HERE>
These days, I love adding quilt labels on the back before I baste so that the labels get quilted as well. So that’s what I did with this quilt! I am using one of my many ready-to-use quilt labels that I have printed only once! You get a lot of labels from one print, so make sure you check out Quilt Label Wizard where I share how you can make these labels too! In fact, you’ll get the same exact templates I have and you can simply change it to your name!
Once the backing fabric is prepared, it is time to clear and clean to make some space on a hard floor surface. Remove any objects that could potentially interfere with your work, such as furniture or rugs. Ensure the floor is clean and free from debris.
This is probably my least favorite part when I am about to baste a quilt. But on the other side, it is also a good time to do some deep cleaning especially behind those sofas and furnitures.
But this spinning mop is a delight to use! I love this invention!! So much easier to get your mop dry with the spinning bucket!
Step 2: Gather the Materials
You will need the following materials for floor basting:
- Quilt top
- Backing fabric
- Curvy Safety pins or basting spray
- Masking tape or painter’s tape
Step 3: Lay Out the Backing Fabric
Start by laying the backing fabric on the floor, right side down. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds and secure the edges to the floor using masking tape or painter’s tape. This will help keep the backing taut and prevent any shifting during the basting process.
Make sure there are no creasing visible. You want to slightly pull it tight to the side to make sure the backing is as flat as posibble
See example below, I have a small hill of crease which is gone when I pull a tape down to the floor near the crease/wrinkle.
Step 4: Position the Batting and Quilt Top
Carefully place the batting on top of the backing fabric, aligning the edges. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases. Next, place the quilt top on the batting, right side up, aligning the edges with the backing fabric and batting.
You’ll need to do a lot of patting and smoothing with your hand as you put the layers together.
Step 5: Baste the Layers
Now it’s time to baste the layers together. There are two common methods for floor basting:
- Method 1: Safety Pin Basting: Starting from the center of the quilt, work your way out towards the edges, placing safety pins every 4-6 inches to secure the layers together. Make sure the pins go through all layers of the quilt. Continue this process until the entire quilt is basted.
- Method 2: Basting Spray: Alternatively, you can use basting spray instead of safety pins. Spray a light coat of basting spray on the backing fabric, then carefully lay the batting on top, smoothing out any wrinkles. Finally, spray another light coat of basting spray and place the quilt top on the batting. Smooth out the layers, ensuring they are aligned and free from any wrinkles or bubbles.
- I find that the quilt that I basted using the 505 basting spray remains in tact even after 5 years. But sometimes, I also pin sparsely just in case the basting glue would not remain over the length of time that it takes me to quilt it. Honestly, I should not let my quilt basted but not fully quilted for that long, but sometime the quilting part takes time.
Since I ran out of my spray, I am basting mine with pins!
Using these special basting pins with covers! These are curved basting pins that I covered with these colourful handles so they don’t tangle when stored together making it easier to pick them up and use them when you’re basting! Such a game-changer.
They are also so easy to handle as it is easier to grip on these colorful handles.
You can buy pins that already have the cover on HERE, or get the cover and put them on. Mind that they have a certain size, these covers are for size 1 pins, so make sure you get the right size pins for them.
As you pin 2-4 inches away, make sure to smoothen the surface with your hand. I like to start from one corner working diagonally to cover the whole area of the quilt.
Make sure the pins go through all three layers. And this is where I fin the curve shape basting pins really help. They pierce through the three layers easier and pop back out easily so that you can close them up.
Step 6: Trim Excess Fabric:
Once the layers are basted together, carefully trim any excess backing fabric, batting, or quilt top that extends beyond the edges of the quilt. It is safe to remove the tape as well at this stage as you three layer quilt is already fully basted with all the pins.
Floor basting is a convenient and effective method for securing your quilt layers before quilting. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can achieve a well-basted quilt that is ready for the next stage of the quilting process. Remember to take your time, ensure the layers are aligned properly, and work in a clean and clutter-free space.
The basting process is very important especially if you are quilting on your own home machine. The better the basting is, the better result you’ll get when quilting the quilt.
- Sweet Home Quilt – find all the details about the quilt top HERE>
- Creative backing ideas – if you don’t have enough yardage, check this post out.