The irregular shape required piecing the batting for extra width. To do this, I rotary cut the edges of the batting to make sure they are even. Then I butt the edges, being careful not to overlap and cause a lump. I use a long, wide zigzag stitch on the machine, catching the edge of each batting piece as I go. Next I place cardboard cutting boards on the floor to protect the hardwood and tape the backing to the cardboard. On top of this is placed the batting, and then the well pressed top goes over all. It's a hands-and-knees operation, and not one I enjoy much. This is the first piece I've basted since the loss of Tilly in June, and I sorely missed his help today...Tilly loved basting quilts.
I'm never quite sure how many pins are enough, and probably have a tendency to add more than are strictly required. However, it seems that a well-basted top is much easier to handle on the machine than a loosely basted one.
I begin the quilting by stitching with the foot on. Once the seams are secured, I remove the pins and begin the free-motion fun. This will be quilted in a combination of invisible and cotton threads, both matching and contrasting. It seems rather silly to match the threads when none of the fabrics match.