I love piecing, hate basting and I know I am not alone. I live in a small house, there is not sufficient floor space for a quilt beyond single size and I struggle even at that. My arms and hands can't cope with all the safety pins- strain and RSI and although spray basting with 505 is good for small quilts it is not manageable for bigger quilts. I had been tempted by a Kwik Klip but I still find fastening the pins a strain and it was going to cost a lot to buy a Klip tool and pin grips to save my fingers. I read Blair Stocker's table basting method and thought I would give it a try. The photos are all taken using Instagram as it was a dark weekend!
My table is 32" x 45" so pretty small. The quilt top is 72" square. I had no clamps and I will buy some for next time- I used weights at the edges to hold the quilt backing whilst I added batting and the top. I used 120 long (54mm) straight flower top pins (Milwards) (I needed more like 180-200) and a few safety pins for the edge. The 6mm craft foam was from ebay, cost around £3 and it makes sufficient covers for more pins than I had. I pressed and lightly starched my quilt back and top with Earth Friendly starch. The quilt design was chalked on with a Chakoner- a handy Japanese fabric marker which makes a sharp line and comes off easily, I found mine on Etsy.
The backing material did slip and slide, clamps would've helped and I need to find some. Key to getting the layers to line up is to mark the centre of the table and all three layers- backing/batting/quilt top. I taped a small button to the centre of the table and it was very helpful as a reference point.
I cut the foam into ⅝" wide strips and cut them to almost 1" long pieces- any shorter and the pin ends risk coming through. I bent the pins slightly and they were easy to push throughout the layers. I basted around 4" apart and they did hold the layers securely. Some ends do come off as the quilt is moved around so you have to watch out for sharp points and stray pins. Hand strain is a lot less with straight pins and if you need to move them around they are quick and easy to move. It's not perfect and a bigger table would help but it worked well. Has anyone used the same or a similar method?