I have finished the Mini Quilt and in doing so have also prepared a simple tutorial to show you how I go about aligning a pieced quilt back with the quilt top.
This image shows where the backing, batting and quilt top
were marked for both the top and LHS and RHS.
The next step is to place the batting on top of the backing ensuring it is centered. To take out the guess work out of placement be sure to mark the batting the same as for the backing and match the chalk marks.
Each edge of the quilt top was then also marked with its center point using a pin. The pin and the chalk marks were matched at each side to ensure that the quilt and the horizontal line of the backing were aligned.
Guide lines for quilting
The plan for quilting the Mini Quilt was always going to be a squared off spiral, starting in the center of the quilt and spiraling out to the edges of the quilt. To assist in when to turn/pivot the quilt, and rather than marking the quilt top with chalk which will disappear as the quilt is maneuvered, I used cotton thread and hand stitched diagonal lines using a measuring tape or ruler as a guide (much like an "X" from corner to corner)
I then pin basted the quilt and commenced quilting using a walking foot. The quilt was turned (with needle down) whenever the quilting line intersected with the quilting guidelines.
I really love the squared-off spiral quilting, it is easy and visually very effective on solid fabric. However, it does involve turning the quilt often and therefore becomes cumbersome quickly with larger quilts.
The binding fabric is Amy Butler Lotus - Polka Dot in Red.
I hope this answers the often asked question as to how to align the quilt sandwich. This really doesn't take all that long to do and with practice will quickly become routine.