Instead of pin basting, I would encourage you to try spray basting. It is much, much faster. For a large quilt like this, I would place a few pins around the edges after spray basting. Aside from speeding up the layering process, spray basting also speeds up the quilting process because you don't have to remove pins as you go. I have disliked pins ever since one that I didn't see ruined my new $80 Bernina walking foot years ago.Originally Posted by Metanoia
I am not a big fan of stitch-in-the-ditch, perhaps because I am too much of a perfectionist. For me to find SID pleasing, the stitching has to be exactly where it is supposed to be. I find that very nerve-wracking to do, especially with a large quilt. Mine always seems to want to wander an eighth of an inch on either side of the line.
IMO, the easiest and most pleasing way to machine quilt is curving, wavy lines using a walking foot and the feed dogs up. The machine controls the stitch length this way (make it slightly longer than you would normally use for stitching) and you don't have to keep your eye on the "ditch" and make sure you're not running a little too much to one side or the other. The walking foot allows you to make loose, easy curves as you go. I would probably do cross-hatching with curving lines going both top/bottom and left/right. (It would be even more interesting doing the curving lines from corner to corner; however, for this it would be a very good idea to starch your top and backing heavily before layering. Starch would prevent distortion from stitching on the bias.)
Whatever machine quilting method you decide to use, you want to start in the middle of an edge and go from one side of the quilt to the other. This means you need to fit half the quilt under the arm of your machine. I have tried many methods and for me the easiest is to loosely accordion pleat the quilt as it goes under the arm.
Love your blocks!