I recently learned some VERY helpful tips for basting your quilts and wanted to share them because of how much they helped me. I was having a hard time with the back of the quilt bunching when I was machine quilting. It was something that seemed unavoidable when it was happening, although I knew it had to be avoidable because I had only read a couple other blogs that had described that problem. I was watching a quilt show this weekend that brought up this issue and my ears perked up. I was so excited at the possibility of no bunching. :-)
The first thing I learned was the use T pins to pin the quilt back to your carpet. This makes it possible to make it very smooth- much smoother than tape does. I really liked this technique and it didn't seem to do anything to harm the carpet.
The second and I think most important thing I learned was to use size 1 safety pins instead of large ones. I am using low loft cotton 80/20 batting and because of that the small safety pins do a much better job of holding the layers together. This made such a huge difference that I am happy to report there was no bunching during the quilting of the patriotic quilt. yay! The only down side is that it is harder to work with the smaller size and my fingers got a little sore. But it was well worth the hard work when I saw how great the back of the quilt looked.
Happy Basting! :-)