Stabilizing the quilt: This is pretty straightforward for most quilts.
If you are using a domestic or George-type machine, you will want to pin or baste the top, batting and backing together. A longarmer can do this for you quickly and at a very reasonable price.
Like many longarmers, I float the quilt top, which means I attach the backing only to the machine, layer on the batting and top and baste those edges as I go. It’s fast, and I save time pinning, which is my least favorite part of quilting.
The only time I have had a problem doing it this way is with large medallion quilts. You know, the kind where the borders get increasingly smaller as you approach the center. I have sometimes ended up with pleats on the backing of larger quilts.
To avoid this, I take a tip from quilter extraordinaire Sharon Schamber and baste a stitch line across the width of the quilt each time I advance it, before that section is quilted. Works like a charm every time, no matter how densely I quilt the sections–no pleats!
How do you load your quilts?