Wall Quilt Basting Tutorial

Wall quilt basting is much easier on the back and knees!!

Here’s a quick tutorial on this method.  I prefer wall quilt basting because I don’t have to bend down or kneel on the floor.  And, I’ve had much better success–few or no wrinkles!

Not a Spray Baster?

If you prefer to pin baste your quilts, here’s a tutorial on how to do it on any wall–No design wall needed!

Preparing the Batting

Before I baste the quilt, I throw the batting in a medium heat dryer for a few minutes (5 minutes or so) to ‘relax’  it and get any wrinkles or creases out.

Many of us have odd sized pieces of batting left over. I always save them!

I use fusible basting tape to make a batting piece large enough for my quilt.  I’ve used this tape to fuse batting pieces for very large quilts without a problem.  The tape is very thin and does not show when the quilt is quilted or washed in my experience.


2 pieces of batting that I will join with fusible tape.
I place the 2 pieces together. I try to close any gaps but I don’t overlap them.
quilt basting
I iron very lightly using the tip of my iron along the batting tape. I only fuse the batting on one side. This is the 1 inch wide tape.  It also comes in wider versions as well as in black.

[divider]Quilt Basting Sprays and Alternatives

I use 505™ Basting Spray.

[divider] Other quilters have reported good results with alternatives such as home made recipes using Elmers Glue or Spray Starch.  If you search for “quilt basting alternatives” or “quilt basting recipes”, you will find several resources.   I do plan to try one of these in 2018.

[divider]Ready for Quilt Basting on the Wall

PROTECT OTHER AREAS:  Remember that basting spray is glue and small droplets might spread through the air around your room.  If the quilt is very large, I use blue masking tape to tape pieces of newspaper on other parts of the wall to protect it from overspray.  I also cover my sewing machine or any other items that are near the spray area.

I turn on the ceiling fan and open the windows for ventilation. If you are sensitive, you might want to wear a mask.  I would keep pets and children out of the room.

First, I iron the backing and top very thoroughly! Any wrinkles or puckers will cause you problems.  I use steam only at this stage because I have found that using Best Press™ or Flatter™ might interfere with the adhesive quality of the basting spray.

I put the backing on the design wall using straight pins to keep it very taut.  (If the backing is very large,  I would put some newspaper on the wall and floor to catch the overspray.)

quilt basting
Backing pinned on the design wall. Right side of fabric is facing the wall.
I pin every 12 inches or so using straight pins. I start at the top, and then pin one side. I then go to the lower right corner, to stretch it taught and pin there. I then fill in pins on the remaining sides, always checking that any wrinkling is dealt with by more pins. CAUTION:  if your backing is pieced and is warped somehow, take it down and make sure seams are sewn straight and true.

Next, I spray the backing with 505 –I hold the can about 12 inches away and spread the spray evenly.  Then  I layer the batting on top, smoothing it with my hands.  No pinning needed because the spray should be holding it completely flat. If there are wrinkles in the batting, I gently pull and smooth them out as I spray.  If the quilt is very large, I usually put a couple of pins in the top and side just to hold it in place.  I then lift an area, spray and smooth it in place, and repeat gong section by section.  I remove the pins as I go.

wall quilt basting
Batting smoothed on to the backing and now I will spray it!

Next spray the batting and place the quilt top on it.  Using the same method described–smoothing and spraying section by section.

Quilt top on batting ready for smoothing in place.

As a final step, when I remove it from the wall, I carefully check the backing and top to make sure there are no wrinkles or pleats.  If there are any wrinkles, I gently peel back from the nearest corner and give it a slight spray and smooth it back in place.

I usually iron the quilt sandwich with a DRY iron before I start quilting.  This does seem to help the 505™ basting spray hold in place even better.  While quilting, I always double check each area as I go, especially to make sure that the backing is still flat.

7 thoughts on “Wall Quilt Basting Tutorial”

  1. Thanks, Carole!
    I have not tried spray basting yet. I hate wrinkles but also hate the idea of messy overspray. So far, I have had pretty good luck pin basting on our pool table. I will also check out the linkbtobpinning on the wall though!

    1. I understand your comments. I manage the overspray by being very careful around the edges. You might also check into the alternative sprays–I plan to do that in the next few weeks, especially for quilts that I will wash before giving away.

      Unlike you, I never acquired good pin pasting skills–I always had puckers in the batting. And, now, I have a tiny bit of arthritis in my thumbs and pin basting won’t be possible for me anymore.

      Thanks for your comment!

    2. Having your backing and quilt top well ironed and then I think the key is to press both sides of the sandwich after spray basting. This eliminates all those annoying rumples well. I like this technique a lot especially, for wall hanging/crib size tops.

  2. Thanks for this tutorial, Carole! I never thought of using the wall instead of the floor. I can no longer get down on the floor, and my table isn’t wide enough, so this will be a great solution.

    1. I bought 2 ft x 4 ft foamcore panels at Home Depot. They came 4 to a package. I nailed them to the wall. In the past, I’ve used 4 ft x 8ft insulation panels (the ones that are soft so you can put pins into them). these also came from Home Depot.

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