So I forgot to take a picture of the quilt getting sandwiched, but at least I can tell you what I used. See that spray can below? Good stuff. I'll lay out my top piece on a large flat area and then carefully put my batting on top of it. I'll peel back sections and spray this stuff before meshing back together. Repeat for your backing layer.
I don't like pinning. I think it tends to pull fabric around, and well...I'm just uncoordinated with the stupid little things. Plus it's much faster to spray than to try to put five hundred safety pins and all those holes in your fabric. Other nice thing about this stuff is that it lasts a while. I've had this can for years and years and it's not spraying a clumpy mess - still that nice clean (well not really, but you get what I'm trying to say) sticky mist.
So, the other thing that I do vastly different from the normal quilters, is that instead of starting in the middle of your quilt and working outward, I like to start at a corner. The reason for this is that I've found it much more efficient to quilt a little, readjust your fabric so that there are no creases in the sandwich, and quilt a little more, rinse, repeat. Every time I started in the middle, I got a crease in either the top fabric or the backing fabric, no matter how many times I tried to adjust. When you quilt, even in free motion where your machine's feeddogs are down, you're still pulling some of those layers more than others. There is ultimately going to be adjusting...or creases which look awful unless you have a long arm machine or know a secret I don't (which is very possible).
Here's a picture of the machine during free-motion quilting. You can't see them as they're under the quilt sandwich, but the feeddogs are lowered so there is nothing directing the fabric but my hands. I wanted a fun tighter pattern to kind of punch down the neutral fabrics so that the blue bows stood out just a bit more. So I'm doing an echo shell pattern on everything except the blue fabric and borders.
The top has a really pretty variegated thread in brown tones, though I'm keeping things neutral on the back. You can see the quilting pattern more clearly in the photo of the back below.
*Lots* more quilting left to go!