Basting a quilt on a small table

September 18, 2010 § 9 Comments

I learned a cool way of basting a quilt from Sharon Schamber’s hand basting video some years ago. However whenever I have used it I found problems because the quilts I was basting were larger than the fabric she uses in the video and also because I only have a small table. You can see Sharon’s video here and below is my adaptation of it.

Basting a quilt on a small table – free tutorial

The first step is to mark the centre of the table with some masking tape, then line up the centre of the pressed backing fabric with this line both at the front and back of the table.

Then flatten out the backing and put a board across it to weigh it down. Lay the batting on top of the backing and smooth it down. Then lay your top on top of the batting making sure you line up the centre of the top with the centre of the back and the masking tape mark on the table.

Take the second board and place it close to the front of the table on top of the quilt top. Gently smoothing as you go, slide it until it meets the board that is anchoring the backing. Then baste from the board towards you starting in the centre and moving out towards the edges. Once you have several vertical lines of pins you can fill in the large areas between the lines.

When you have pinned the portion of the quilt in front of you pull the whole sandwich towards you until all the pinned section is hanging off the front of the table and the boards are close to you. Fold the quilt top forwards over the top board.

Then do the same with the batting. Slide the bottom board back towards the back edge of the table, smoothing the backing as you go. Remember to check the centre is still aligned correctly.

Smooth the batting back over the backing then smooth the top over the batting.

Then slide the top board back over the quilt top towards the back of the table until it reaches the other board. Smooth the quilt top as you go. Then you can pin the rest of the quilt. If you haven’t completed the quilt by this stage just repeat the last step until the whole quilt has been pinned.


As you can see I used my make-shift version of the Pinmoors product. I have actually ordered some of the real thing which I am looking forward to getting. Catherine from Catherine’s Place is running a co-op on them. The price is Aus$19.25 for  a pack of 50 and Aus$36.50 for a pack of 100 INCLUDING POSTAGE! That’s a really good price, in fact its the best I’ve found and believe me I’ve been looking. If you’d like to join the co-op just sign up a the Yahoo group here or visit Catherine’s Blog Big Blue Shed for more details. I have no affiliation with either Pinmoors or Catherine’s Place I’m just sharing useful info.


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§ 9 Responses to Basting a quilt on a small table

  • Linda says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have Spinal Stenosis, which causes chronic pain and extreme stiffness, so I am unable to get down on the floor to pin my quilt sandwich, so have been unable to quilt any. I knew there must be a way to do it on a table, but just didn’t know how. You are a life(or quilt)saver!


  • I like that you talk about my invention. Pinmoors. I hope when you try to use other things you get the real thing and order my Pinmoors. I put years into getting just the right material to do the job!
    Thank You,
    Happy Quilting to all

  • Thank you so very much. It really means so much to me that wonderful people like you help to get the word out. Pinmoors really do as I claim. It will make the basting so much easier and faster. I also find I do not need to baste as close as I did with safety pins.
    Happy Quilting,

  • Sandi says:

    Thanks, I haven’t tried Sharon’s method yet because I haven’t made anything that didn’t fit on my table but I had wondered just how the seams etc. threw it off. I will bookmark your info as well as I am sure I will use it one day.
    And thank you for your generosity in sharing the information.

  • Ros says:

    Thanks for this, I have crawled all over the floor and now am not really up to that now. With your version I may be tempted to do something a bit bigger than a table runner on my own :-).

  • Dona Coffey says:

    I love your idea for basting on a small table. Dh cut two boards for me and your tutorial worked great. I still have to do the sides but the main part of the quilt was basted in less than 2 hours.


  • Dona Coffey says:

    BY the way it was a large twin size quilt and I didn’t have to get on the floor. With a bad knee this was a life saver.

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