Baste Your Quilt on Your Ironing Board

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This Easy Method is Quick and Doesn’t Require Pins or Hand Basting!

Once your quilt top is ready for layering you need to baste it to the batting and backing. This is often the most dreaded step in the process of completing a quilt.

Traditional basting methods often require crawling around on the floor and inserting countless pins (or hand basting) to hold the layers together. Fortunately, there’s an easier way.

Paul Storm bastes her quilts, large and small, right on her ironing board. She uses a very light spray of basting spray to hold everything in place. Once the layers are pressed with an iron they stick together nicely. The small amount of spray means you’re unlikely to gum up your needle when quilting.

Paula prefers Helmar 101 Quilt Basting Spray. Another popular choice is Odif 505 Basting Spray. Both are water soluble so use a dry iron when pressing.

Be sure to set the heat of your iron to what is required for the batting fibers. Cotton, wool and poly blends work well. A very low temperature can work with high quality poly batting (test it first!) but inexpensive puffy polyester batting may melt.

Watch along as Paula bastes a quilt together. She provides many helpful tips and points out the benefits of this basting method. One is that any seams that inadvertently go in the wrong direction can be fixed during basting so that quilting goes smoothly in that area.

Another great tip is to square up the quilt and straighten the edges while basting. Paula’s method is easy and precise.


While Paula does finish up by doing some quick machine basting on her longarm machine, that won’t be necessary with smaller quilts. For larger quilts simply stitch a few widely spaced rows using a long stitch on your machine. You might want to use a soluble thread so you won’t need to remove the basting stitches.




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