Mark the center of the backing on the wrong side at the top, bottom, and side edges. On a smooth, flat surface a little larger than the quilt, place backing right side down. Smooth any wrinkles until the backing is flat; use masking tape to hold it taut and in place. You may also use T-pins to tack backing to floor.
Unfold batting and lay over backing. Smooth wrinkles, keeping the backing wrinkle free.
Position quilt top on backing and batting, keeping all layers wrinkle free. Match centers of quilt top with backing. Use straight pins to keep layers from shifting while basting.
Basting holds the three layers together to prevent shifting while quilting.
For hand quilting, baste using a long needle threaded with as long a length of sewing thread as can be used without tangling. Insert needle through all layers in center of quilt and baste layers together with a long running stitch. For the first line of basting, stitch up and down the vertical center of the quilt. Next, baste across the horizontal center of the quilt. Working toward the edges and creating a grid, continue basting to completely stabilize the layers.
For machine quilting, pin-baste using nickel-plated safety pins, instead of needle and thread. Begin in the center of the quilt and work outward to the edges, placing safety pins approximately every 4″.