Re: Essential Tools
- From: Debra <debnbilll@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 15:52:58 GMT
On Wed, 17 May 2006 14:49:11 -0400, "Boca Jan" <poo_de_doo at
I wondered how those basting guns worked. I have arthritis in my "young"
fingers and sometimes trying to use a safety pin is more then I can manage.
Is it easy to get the replacement pins?
The gun has something that looks like a nail on the business end of
it. You poke the "nail" through all three layers of the quilt then
pull the trigger firmly. The tack (shaped like a tiny I-beam) slides
through the "nail" leaving one end on the bottom and one end on top of
the quilt. (Clothing price tags are attached with larger, but
similar, plastic tacks.) Since you need the "nail" to go all the way
through the layers you need to have a way to suspend the quilt
sandwich. We use an old fashioned wooden quilt frame, but there are
other things you could use as well. I believe there is something
called egg crate that is sold for putting the quilt over when using
the basting gun. To remove the tacks you simply cut them off while
being very careful not to cut the quilt fabric. Tack refills are
available wherever the guns are sold. You will need a lot of tacks
for a bed quilt so buy at least two refills when you buy the basting
How's your trigger finger? Ha Ha! Seriously, the trigger on the
basting gun gets pulled by several fingers at the same time so you
shouldn't suffer too much trigger finger fatigue. The part that might
be a problem for you is clipping the small tacks off the quilt after
the quilting is done. That is a dexterity issue rather than a
strength issue and only you can decide about that.
To be honest I have used safety pins once and I won't ever use them
again. It was so frustrating: trying to get them in and keep the
quilt sandwich flat at the same time, sticking myself several times,
pins springing back open unexpectedly, closed pins hanging on
everything that comes near them, and oh the dents in my fingers after
pin basting. Using a basting gun is a lot easier.
Debra in VA
See my quilts at
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