When I layer my quilt for hand or machine quilting it is loose and I quilt in puckers. What can I do to keep the back smooth?

Place your backing wrong side up on our carpet or work surface. Keeping the fabric grain straight, smooth and stretch the backing taut and pin or tape down. Layer the batting on top of the backing. Smooth the quilt top, right side up, onto the batting. Pin or hand baste the three layers together spacing every four to six inches. Hopefully that should do the trick. There are more helpful tips and illustrations in Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson which can be purchased from her website.