When hand basting your quilt, use a spool holder to allow the basting thread to feed freely. You can pull off all the thread you need for one line of basting. Without knotting the thread, begin basting in the middle of the quilt. Pull up the first stitch so about half the thread is on each side of the stitch. When you finish basting in one direction, tie a knot in the thread. Re-thread the needle with the long thread tail to baste in the other direction.