This information was shared by Stephanie Sinden as part of the Lightbulb Night program in October 2018.
If you Google “pool noodle quilt sandwich” you will find many links.
Melanie Ham uses 1”x 2” boards from the lumber yard. I have a set of those in my garage that I use for wider quilts. You can use masking tape to attach the fabric to the wood or just start off carefully. Melanie demos her technique with safety pins in this YouTube video.
There is a video on Kenneth Hamburg’s YouTube channel, though the woman on the video is not Kenneth, we can’t find her name. Since she is from the UK, she uses the terms wadding for the batting and topper for the top. The video demo of pool noodle basting is nice and short.
Sharon of Serendipity in Quilting & Other Things has a photo tutorial that explains the rolling a little better on her blog.
This is my technique:
With your backing wrong side up on your flat surface, you will roll your backing onto the noodle, pinning with small-headed pins, so that the right side of the fabric is on the outside. It doesn’t matter how you roll the batting. Roll the top so that the wrong side is on the outside. Start pinning in the centre and then smooth it out so it is taut and even as you go outwards. You should only need to pin the fabric to the noodle once at the very beginning. Be sure to roll the fabric onto the roll perfectly straight. If it angles, it can cause problems.
Place your backing on your table so that the fabric rolls smoothly off of the noodle. You want the backing to be flat on the table. You don’t want a “waterfall” like you use for toilet paper.
Unroll about a foot, smooth it out and spray lightly with your basting spray. I use 505 Spray and it is widely available. Now place the batting noodle at the top of the backing. Centre it and roll it out, smoothing out any wrinkles. Basting spray is repositionable so you can lift it up and try again, even several times. you can even reroll it back onto the noodle. Some quilters like to use a quilting ruler to smooth things out. I mostly just use my hands.
At this point, you might want to unroll a few feet of both without spraying just to see that you have rolled everything straightly. And you can decide whether to baste the whole length of the batting onto the backing or start the top now. There are advantages to both.
If you complete the batting first, you could then roll both layers onto the noodle and repeat the step above, or you can leave your two layers flat on your table, hanging over the side.
If you are trying to match up a seam line on the backing with seams on the top, then work with all three layers at a time. Unroll the bottom one about a foot, spray and roll the batting out over that area, spray it and then roll down the top. You can mark the top of the batting if you need exact matching.
You can’t see where the spray is but if you try to roll the noodle back up, it will stick where the spray is.
If you can’t find pool noodles in the winter, you can also look for foam pipe insulation at the building stores. If you can only find one or two, you can still make it work. It really is pretty easy. Try it using a crib quilt; the first few times, I had to rewatch the video, but now I can do without looking!