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How to Baste a Quilt on Your Ironing Board

basting new quilter tutorial

Please note:  this post contains affiliate links which means that I may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase items from these links.  I only recommend products I trust and use myself.


Hello, fellow quilters!

I shared this hack on how to baste a quilt on an ironing board and several of you messaged me to let me know you wanted a full tutorial on how I did this.

Traditionally, I have pin basted quilts on my floor.  This meant clearing a space, cleaning it thoroughly, and then crawling all over the floor pinning the quilt.

This was problematic for a few different reasons. 

First, the only place I had room to do this was in the highest traffic area of our house.  Secondly, I had pets, so I always had to do a marathon session of basting the whole quilt while they were shut away.  

But the biggest reason I hated basting on the floor is because my knees and back would always be in pain.  

I have also tried basting on my dining room table, but I didn't have clamps and often the layers would shift as I leaned over to try to reach the center.  Plus, I had to move all the chairs out of the way and our table would be out of commission until I was finished.

So when I heard about basting on an ironing board, it seemed like an ideal solution!  My ironing board is out 95% of the time anyway.  My cat can't jump on it and it would save me from crawling around or leaning forward to reach the middle of the quilt.

After having tried it, this is the method that was the most economical and made use of things I already had.  Plus, no more back and knee pain!

The Supplies:

You can click this link to find the products below.

1.  Basting spray. I like Odif 505.  It is tacky enough to stick, but forgiving enough that you can lift and smooth an area if you get puckers.

2.  Safety pins.  I like the curved, size no. 2 safety pins.  This is optional, but I prefer the combo of basting spray and pins to secure the layers.

3.  An ironing board with a fabric cover.  The fabric helps keep the layers from slipping off or shifting.

4.  An iron for helping the basting spray adhere better.

5.  A hard surface to place between the board and the quilt sandwich so you can insert the pins without catching the board cover. I used my 6"x24" Omnigrid ruler.

If you don't have a ruler that size, you can use a small cutting mat or even a piece of cardboard.  Use whatever you have on hand!

The Prep Work

1.  Have your backing pieced and ironed and ready to go!

2.  Make sure your batting is as wrinkle free as possible.  If you have pre-packaged batting that is really creased, throw it in the dryer on a low/medium setting with a damp washcloth for 10-15 minutes.  Repeat until the batting is smooth.  

3.  Your pieced top.  The largest size I have basted this was was a 60"x72" quilt size.  It's even easier with a smaller project!

The Steps

1.  Place your backing, right side down so that the top and bottom are hanging down equally on each side.

2.  Place your batting down, also centered, over the backing as shown above.

3.  Lay your top over the batting.  Take your time to double check that all the pieces are centered and even.

4.  Starting on either the left or the right, gently fold back your batting and top layers to expose the backing.  Spray with a light coat of basting spray and fold the batting back over.  

5.  Next, spray the batting with another light coat of basting spray and fold the top back over it.  Smooth it and go over it with a warm iron to help the adhesive do its work. 

6.  Repeat on the opposite side.  When you are happy with the smoothness, put a few safety pins in to keep the layers together. Slide a ruler between the quilt sandwich and your board so you don’t accidentally pin through your ironing board cover.


7.  You can now reposition your quilt and continue this process until the whole quilt is basted.  Work in sections, moving outward from the center where you began.

Easy peasy!  

I hope you find this method helpful!  A lot of my readers have also used folding tables and clamps to baste on the table.  This would be a great option if you have folding tables.

But I found the ironing board to be a great solution without needing to make another purchase.  It just means needing to work in smaller sections.

Let me know if this works for you!  You can send me an email at hello@midlifequilter.shop or message me on Instagram @midlife_quilter 

As always, happy quilting! 


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