Basting is temporarily holding the three layers of a quilt together so they don’t shift as you quilt them. Pin basting is a relatively quick and easy way to do this. (You can also try thread basting with our Thread Basting Tutorial.)

To begin you will need to lay the backing, batting, and quilt top on top of one another in a quilt sandwich. Here’s how…

Pin Basting | Purl Soho

First, press the Backing and then, with the wrong side facing up, lay it down on a clean, hard surface, most likely a floor.

Using masking tape, tape the fabric down to the floor around all four sides, pulling it taut as you tape. First tack down the centers of the opposite sides and then tape along each side, from the center out.

Pin Basting | Purl Soho

Cut a piece of the batting just a little bit smaller than the backing fabric, and center it smoothly over the backing.

Finally, place the quilt top, right side up, onto the backing and batting layers, centering it so that the batting and backing show around all four sides.

This is the quilt sandwich.

Pin Basting | Purl Soho

Using curved arm safety pins, begin to pin baste by placing the first pin at the center of the quilt. Make sure to pick up all three layers: backing, batting, and quilt top. Then, pin outward in concentric circles 3 to 5 inches apart. Pin all the way to the corners and edges. That’s pin basting!