Sunday, May 15, 2011

How a Little Old Lady....

...sandwiches and pin bastes a quilt without needing to make an appointment with her orthopedic doctor.

I lay blocks out on the floor but anything beyond this isn't happening!  My knees just won't allow it.  So...  I use my dining room table, my cardboard cutting board, and some binder clips!

You know the type cutting board...  this is my second one.  The first cutting board fell apart after 25 years of regular use!  

Once you have the backing spread out on the cutting board, you will need some binder clips.... use 6-8 binder clips to attach the backing to the cutting board.

I don't worry about scratching the table surface because there is always fabric between the bottom of the binder clip and the table.

Next, the batting goes on.  With the backing clipped down, it won't slide around and you'll be able to spread out the batting and smooth it easily.

I use additional binder clips to hold the batting and backing to the cutting board.  The quilt top is next...

It's very nice to have the backing and batting secured as you line up the quilt top and spread it on top.

Once you have the quilt top placed, reach under the top and remove the binder clips.   Smooth, smooth, smooth the quilt top and replace binder clips to hold your quilt sandwich together.

If you discover a wrinkle...'s easy to remove the binder clip to smooth out the wrinkle...

...and then replace the binder clip!

After you've smoothed the layers to your satisfaction, it's time to pin!

Once you've pinned everything you can on top of the cutting board, unclip the quilt sandwich and slide it to one side...

...smooth, clip, smooth, clip... then pin, pin, pin!  

Repeat with the other side of the quilt sandwich and you're done!

I sit while pinning and my back as well as my knees thank me!


  1. what great instructions & a fantastic way to sandwich your quilt. i'll have to remember that as i have arthritis in my hip.

  2. What a great idea,I'm not thinking of myself as an old lady but my knees don't like it eather.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Much micer to sit in a chair to baste and crawl around on the floor! I love that quilt by the way!

  4. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  5. Thats a great idea, my knees are thanking you already! I just need to keep my quilts table size or get a bigger table!

  6. Great idea! I have one of those cardboard things, I never know what to do with it. I'm keeping this in my idea box :)

  7. Great Post! Great idea! I've been trying to figure out a way to go from floor basting to the table basting successfully. The last floor basting about did my back in ... You should submit this as a tutorial for STASH MANICURE! I'm serious! Madame Samm is looking for folks with tutorials to share. This information would save the backs of many of us 'seasoned' ladies.

  8. thanks so much for the tutorial. I have one of those cardboard things my husband gave me as a gift. I had it by the front door ready to load up, take back and trade for fabric when I saw your tute. I won't be taking it back now. Now to put binder clips on my list!

  9. this was from Brenda--Alan is my husband's google account--sorry!

  10. Thanks for this tutorial! I'll never pin another quilt on the floor again.

  11. I've always put the quilt together on my kitchen table (hate the floor) never thought to use the clips and board. Thanks for the tip.

  12. Oh my. I have a completed queen size quilt top that has been languishing for months because I couldn't think of how to baste it. I was delighted to come across these directions. I already have the cutting board so I don't even have to go buy it. Thanks.

  13. Brilliant! Never heard of the cardboard cutting board but what a great idea. Any suggestions where I could get one (or make one)?? Such clear instructions - you make it sound so easy - but a wrinkle free quilt is fantastic and without all that crawling around and pinning my knees or kneeling on pins! Thank you.

  14. My friends told me to use Masking tape on the dining room table, which is big enough for most quilts, but not KS.
    I like the clips better. And right now I only have a small table, so I am making a full length skirt for an adult
    granddaughter and using my large cardboard grid which is on a stack of books on a chair to accommodate the fullness.