I've had the Quiltak Basting Tool for a while however I haven't finished a quilt top to try it out. I decided that Flowers for Alison would be perfect for test it out.... I like to live on the edge.
As I have said before I like to use voile on the back of my quilts it makes them lighter and the backs have a soft silky feel. I am also using Quilters Dream Cotton Batting which is very thin and light.
There was a bit of talk on Facebook on one of the list I am on that said they thought that this Basting tool would be no good for a large quilt but I beg to differ. I think the problem probably is that people are afraid to put too many taks in the quilt. When I pin a quilt I use a lot of pins which means the quilt is really heaving and I have all sorts of problem with my back and neck when I quilt. I have spray basted quilts for a while now but the spray baste just doesn't like the voile and I have had a few quilt back look less than perfect. In fact North and South was half finished and I unpicked the quilting and then pinned the quilt to get the finish perfect so that I could send it to the magazine.
I used the same notion with the Quiltak. As you can see above just in this picture you can see 3 taks. I used all the taks that I got with the gun on this one quilt, I think over pinning is better than underpinning and dealing with a tuck in the quilt back.
The great thing about the taks is that you don't have to remove them like you do with safety pins as you stitch, they just seem to manoeuvre out of the way. I'm going to invest in the special scissors to cut the tags out when I finished.
So how did I go about basting the quilt. I have a nice fold out table that is perfect for basting a quilt I prepared the three layers by centring and stretching the backing and securing to the table with large bulldog clips, then layered the batting and finally the quilt job. Smoothing each layer and securing with the bulldog clips as I would have done if I was pin basting. I did toy with the idea of pinning first, but then I decided I might be able to get my hand under to use the basting gun if I removed one or two bulldog clips at a time and kept the fabric taught with my hand under the quilt.
Now the needle is quite sharp but I only managed to spike my self a couple of times. The strip of taks feed in the top. You push the needle through all three layers and press the trigger then pull the needle out. Its kinda fun to do actually like that feeling you get when you pop bubble wrap. Its not as quick as spray basting but quick than pin basting and less hard on your hands.
The extra weight of the taks is negligible and the taks don't get all caught up together like safety pins do. I've stitched around the appliqué of 3 blocks already with no hiccup or puckers. So I give the Quiltak 5 stars for a job well done.