Baste the Layers
Properly assembling a quilt's layers ensures a smooth, wrinkle-free surface for quilting. Cut or piece the backing fabric so it is at least 3" larger on all sides than the quilt top. Fluff precut batting in a clothes dryer for a few minutes on an air-dry setting to remove wrinkles. Trim the batting so it is 3" larger all around than the quilt top.
Tape the backing to a smooth work surface, wrong side up. Center the batting atop the backing, smoothing it flat; tape or pin them together at the edges. Center the quilt top on the batting.
Baste the three layers together by stitching a horizontal and vertical line through the center to form quadrants on the quilt top. The basting stitches should be about 2" long and 4" apart (Step 3). If you will be lap-quilting, make the basting stitches closer together since the quilt will be handled more. If you will be machine-quilting, you may substitute No. 1 safety pins for basting, pinning through all layers in the same pattern.