Oh thank goodness we're at the part where we get to play with the fabric. I'm going to show you how I baste my shapes for the Sprocket quilt.
To baste the diamonds I start with paper clips on two sides (these really make EPP so much easier, thanks for the hot tip about paper clips, Jessica!). I thread a needle, without knotting the thread. I take a backstitch through both layers of fabric at the point, leaving a long tail. I don't pierce the paper.
I turn the diamond and fold down the next side. The seam allowance should "flag" out to the side. On the way to the next point I take a little running stitch into the seam allowance, to make sure the thread behaves and to keep the shape taut. Another backstitch at the point, again, through both layers of fabric but not the paper. Turn and repeat around the diamond. I make sure the thread is snug as I go.
When I get back to the starting point I take a final backstitch and leave a tail of thread. Again, I don't tie a knot. The paper template stays inside the shape until it's been joined to other pieces on each side.Then I'll remove the paper and reuse it.
If you prefer to stab through the paper (just a preference thing) you only need a few stitches. Don't overdo it.
To baste the hexagons, I use paper clips on all sides, then take just a few stitches per side. I do stitch through the paper with these, because they are so big. I knot my thread tails together at the end too. These giant hexagons go quick.
Basting a little bit here and there adds up! Pretty soon you'll have enough to make a Sprocket. The list of all the Sprocket quilt along posts is here.