The whole idea is to see how different the quilts look depending on how each of us has interpreted the top and designed and executed the quilting.
I'll walk you through my process, starting with getting it ready for quilting....
My backing should be at least 2" bigger all the way around than the top, so if the top is approximately 36" square, my backing should be about 40"x40". I use 2" binder clips (you can get these at Staples or any office supply store) to clamp down two sides of the quilt and, since it is too small to clamp all the way around, I use 2" painters tape to "stick down" the other two sides.
I've found that painters tape doesn't fray the fabric edges as much as masking tape does.
Leaving the binder clips and tape underneath, I lay the batting on top and smooth it out. I also want the batting to be 2" bigger all the way around than the quilt top. When I'm figuring out how much backing fabric and batting I need, it's easiest to just add 4" each to the width and length....
....then all I need to do is center the quilt top. Allowing that extra width and length for the backing and the batting makes it easy, eliminating the exacting placement that would be necessary if everything were the same size.
Marking in air-soluble marker makes a nice purple line that goes away by itself without washing. The good news is it goes away by itself, but that is also the bad news -- once you mark it, you have to be prepared to sew it right away!
These are my current favorite pins -- they're called Basting Brights and you get blue, purple, red and green in the same package. They're colorful and easy to see; small enough to not leave holes in the quilt fabric, but large enough to manipulate easily.
This is the thread I have decided to use for the star quilting -- it's a Sulky rayon, color #1185, Golden Yellow. Now that I have the center marked, I'm ready to take it to the machine. I'll do the feather quilting in the star first, using my free motion foot, then put my walking foot on to do the straight stitching in the ditch to outline the star.
Haven't decided yet, but then maybe there should be some straight stitching in the blue and more feathers in the border. I'll keep you posted!