I like Tim's use of dissolving thread to stabilize. I have a small table topper I'm going to try to get quilted this week-end while I'm at our "tree-house in the pines" at Lake Tahoe. On a small item such as this, the dissolving thread, used with a light spray of adhesive, could almost take the place of basting / pinning the 3 layers together. Right?
On the other hand, when I've hand basted the three layers together, I've discovered that if I use a curved upholsterer's needle (can find them fairly easily in the sewing notions section), the basing goes much faster and is much easier. It looks the same as it does with a straight needle, but it seems, for me anyway, that it minimizes the necessity of "lifting up" the 3 layers that occurs when using a straight needle. Once you get accustomed to using the curved needle, you may find it puts less of a strain on your hand and wrist. You can hold the curved needle in a more "neutral" position. I think it goes faster, too.
As you may discern, basting "ain't my most funnest thing to do". :lol:
Anyway, if I get this little beauty done (all hand-pieced by the way...but probably machine quilted), I'll post a pix along with one I made for myself last Christmas that is a Christmas motif. As my colleague's young daughter said when she saw the current project, "Oh, it looks just like summer!" If I make one for spring and autumn / winter, I can change them with the seasons! That last thought was the light bulb going on. :roll:
It's almost Friday!!