Scrappy Stars-Basted

pin basting using the floor, scrap quilts

Yesterday afternoon I started to get my Scrappy Stars basted.  I know some of you have different methods for pin basting that involve boards, tables and what not – when I am not using my 3 roller hand quilting frame I use my carpet!  I hope to get started quilting the quilt today and get a cheesecake made for Melanie’s birthday on Thursday.  She has been ordering a homemade cheesecake for her birthday since she was a teenager we won’t say what she is now LOL.

First pin the backing to the floor after the backing has been pressed – started at 2:15 (the backing had already been pressed and the carpet vacuumed and the furniture moved out of the way) – it looks white in this photo – it isn’t – make sure you have the print side to the carpet.  The quilt top is 79 x 92 I believe is what I said the other day.  (I first lay the backing out without pins and lay the quilt top over it centered and trim the backing to the size I want)


I use T-pins – these actually go in easier than you might think – I kind of help them along with a fingernail.


Smooth your batting over the backing and trim to size. I am using the mid-weight Quilters Dream cotton for this quilt – it is like a thick flannel sheet – it goes down smoothly and just sit or kneel by the edges and smooth the wrinkles out pressing it to the backing – it will just cling to it – I do not pin this down – it just sticks to the backing easily.  (helps to have long arms like I do – but you can gently sit on the edges and reach in if you need to) (the backing is the correct size so when I lay the batting over the top I have to trim that down also to the correct size – I find it easier to measure these and cut when on the floor as I don’t have a large cutting table to use)


Hardly took any time at all – of course I have been doing it this way for a long time and have the routine down pat.

Now smooth that quilt top down over it, centering it in place.  Again just sitting along the edges and reaching in – get your stretching exercises in!  Ok now that this part is all done it is time to take a break and do some other things and stretch out some more – get the kinks out.


got back to work somewhere around 4:15  –  Pins are done for about half of the quilt here  — maybe over kill with the pins, but better than not enough.  When I pin this I just plain sit carefully on the quilt – do not drag your butt along as you move – pick yourself up by your hands, lift your butt and move carefully using your hands and your feet – you do not want to get wrinkles in the quilt layers LOL


Time to take a break and get the chicken soup simmering in the kitchen.  Got  back to work a short time later and finished!



the backing.  I am linking to Sew Fresh Quilts , Jo’s Country Junction and Quilt Fabrication: Midweek Makers and My Quilt Infatuation.


When you have a routine like this it really gets done fast.  Pay no attention to the awful carpet – it needs replacing – I’m not sure how long we have had it – too long – but one room at a time and right now it is the sewing room, the year before or so was the dining room and the kitchen – one day all of this nasty carpet well be torn up – it was a gray blue at one time – now most of it is just plain gray!

(I am compensated for any purchases made through my links.)

27 comments… add one
  • Kathi Feb 22, 2017

    Love your dark blue backing… before my knee issues flared I did mine similarly on the carpet and about as heavily pin basted also… since knee issues I used my frame for machine quilted big quilts and loved that method too… I look forward to seeing how you will quilt these scrappy stars… hope your mouth is painfree now also ?. Kathi

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      this quilt will be done simply – I don’t do fancy machine work – straight lines or slightly wavy – mouth is much better

  • Marianne Feb 22, 2017

    Love your backing fabric!

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      thanks Marianne – it is a pretty blue – on sale from Hancock’s of Paducah

  • Teri Dingler Feb 22, 2017

    Ha! We pin baste the same way!!! I used to use the upstairs conference room table at work while I still worked until they separated them and put them in a U shape- then I used their floor!! I really like this quilt and may have to “copy” your idea!!!
    Teri Dingler recently posted…Chef Salad SkewersMy Profile

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      go for it – I didn’t have a pattern but made stars the same way I have been doing them for years – only difference from one that I had a pattern from is I used 16 patches in the center instead of 4 that I had in a pattern on line

  • Margaret Feb 22, 2017

    What a wonderful scrappy quilt. I pin mine on the floor too but am not as meticulous as you (sadly!) Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      I like to get the back tight as I can then I have no problem with wrinkles when I quilt. thanks for dropping by

  • Ruth Feb 22, 2017

    Basting is an aerobic activity, plus you get in some good stretches. That is one stunning quilt!
    Ruth recently posted…Knitting! Stitching!My Profile

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      I got a lot of “steps” on my fitbit for crawling on the floor!

  • Susan Feb 22, 2017

    This a fantastic quilt – can’t wait to see your quilting! Thanks for sharing as I’ve enjoyed seeing it’s progress!
    Susan recently posted…Midweek Makers #60My Profile

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      just straight lines – nothing fancy

  • Jayne Feb 22, 2017

    Your contribution to Let’s Bee Social is a tutorial, and so is mine. Yours is quite helpful, too, I must say. I never have been satisfied with how my quilts come together when sandwiching the layers. I am going to try this method the next time I have one to do. Thanks so much for the great advice – and now I hope my knees will cooperate! 😀

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      glad it was helpful to some! – I don’t kneel all that much but sit and scoot along – my knees wouldn’t take it real long

  • audrey Feb 22, 2017

    Great idea to use the T pins! Will have to remember that tip!

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      yes the T-pins work great – I started to use them years ago to attach the quilt to the big frame and have used them for basting like this since then – (they last a long time)

  • Dottie bishaw Feb 22, 2017

    Thank you for the tip about the T-pins, I’ll keep it mind for my next quilt. You’re instructions are wonderful, along with your pictures! I’m going to do this next time. I like your idea of simple straight or wavy quilting. I always think less is better. The blue backing is just beautiful for that quilt. You’re such a great teacher!

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      thanks Dottie! I’m not really a quilt teacher but don’t mind sharing how I do things 🙂

  • maggie Feb 22, 2017

    wonderful tutorial- it’salways good to see how another does things
    maggie recently posted…A bit of historyMy Profile

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      thanks Maggie – I have seen the way so many others do there I thought I would share how I do mine

  • Astrid Feb 22, 2017

    Love your tutorial, and quilt! Great tip for those having carpet on the floor. We don’t, so I’m using my big sewing table. ‘Worst’ is I have to empty the table before I sandwich a big quilt. I have two in line to be done…
    Astrid recently posted…Time to count UFO’s and WIP’sMy Profile

    • Karen Feb 22, 2017

      yes one day I will not have the carpet as we have plans down the road to tear it up and put down laminate wood flooring – I’m not sure how i will do it then – but until then this works for me. I will need to get a couple long fold up tables I think.

  • Nanette Feb 23, 2017

    Stunning! The long arm spoils me without having to do the aerobics and the new Grace frame does the same. I remember when I started quilting – down on the floor… Do not think I could do that one anymore – darn!

    What is the finished size of your block and the center squares? Absolutely beautiful quilt. Will this be your quilt, or was it made for a gift?
    Nanette recently posted…Am I Nuts?My Profile

    • Karen Feb 23, 2017

      I know what you mean – I am used to my 3 roller hand quilting frame – I can baste quilts on those if I do not have a quilt on it but normally there is a quilt on it. I will be glad to have the sewing room set back up and the frame back in place. Now that I am machine quilting some of my quilts I have been basting some on the floor again as I used to do when I would have a quilt in the hoop and on the frame. I think the blocks finished at about 11.5 – I’m not a perfect piecer so they are never a good 12 1/2 it seems. The little square are 2 inches – 1.5 finished. I do not know right now what use the quilt will have – I never make with an intention in mind – I have had one reader express interest in buying it but I told her to hold off until we knew how it would turn out – I am a novice at machine quilting and wouldn’t want to promise something that didn’t turn out and she didn’t know if she could afford it – I would have to figure out a price.

  • Rebecca Grace Feb 23, 2017

    Oh, how do I hate basting? Let me count the ways… I’ve done it on a hardwood floor with the backing taped down at the edges, and that was BRUTAL on my knees. Have never tried pinning it to the carpeting. I just always seem to get one layer pulled too tight no matter how I do it! So I take it you’re planning to machine quilt this one? I’m curious — how do you decide which quilts get hand quilting and which ones get the machine?
    Rebecca Grace recently posted…Five More 4″ Sawtooth Star Blocks Finished, Four More to GoMy Profile

    • Karen Feb 23, 2017

      That is hard to say how I choose. Right now given that the arthritis in my hands has gotten worse I am trying to be more picky about what gets hand quilted. I love to hand quilt though and need one on the frame at all times LOL. I do not have many quilts stacked up waiting to be quilted though – right now the only one waiting in line is Williamsburg Beauty which has applique in it. Anything with applique will probably be hand quilted as my machine quilting is straight or wavy lines preferably started on one side and do a long continuous line so I do not have to be knotting off and tucking in threads. Anything with applique I would not want to do put a line through the applique so hand quilting would be the choice. Hopefully I will have some tops waiting in line to be quilted when Williamsburg Beauty comes off the frame later in the year and I will have decided which one would be next. It will just come down to picking and choosing if there is no applique quilt in line. I do not want a stack of quilt tops piling up waiting to be quilted.

  • Thimbleanna Feb 27, 2017

    Ahhh, the dreaded pin-basting — that’s a backbreaking job on the floor! I can’t imagine how you do it on carpet — that’s amazing. I do it on a tile floor and my knees always hurt by the time I’m done LOL.
    Thimbleanna recently posted…Goldilocks and the Three BearsMy Profile

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