If, like me, you dont like basting on the floor (my knees wont let me...and I've received several questioning emails on this topic, so I know I'm not alone...), here is how I baste at table level.
This is a technique I've seen on YouTube.
I believe in sharing quilting knowledge, so here goes!
At my local hardware store, I
purchased a 'door frame' which is two straight pieces of wood, and that was the closest
thing I could get - it was long enough and had a smooth polished surface (V. important!). It doesnt warp or distort with age.
My two pieces are 2.10m approx.
I have a high table, its a collapsible trestle table from Officeworks. And I added plumbing tubes to the legs to give it more height.
I iron my quilt top and backing. Then I wind up on each board length one front and one back so they are both wound up. The right side of the fabric is facing inside when wound. I help myself with a bit of masking tape so that it winds perfectly straight. I wind up the whole quilt top. Same with the back. Then I place the back board first on the table. I unwind from the board about half a metre. I then position the batting on top of it. Of top of this, I unwind about half a metre of the quilt top. Now I have a 3 layer sandwhich.
I secure the edge firmly with clips. I smooth out the three layers, pinning as I go, and unwinding a little more each time. The batting is loose between the two boards so I keep this in check as I unwind the boards, constantly smoothing the layers out to ensure they are mathcing. The boards are heavy enough not to more. Then I hand baste the large areas- especially on straight seams, pin some others until the whole quilt is basted, this usally takes about a day for a 80 inch quilt. I know I'm slow, bit I like to baste more than is necessary.
I continue unrolling the quilt and I can do it sitting down because everything is secure on the table.
Today while I was basting away, my dear friend Grace rang me and naturally I was complaining about pricking my fingers with the needles...and she gave me a great tip....use an old toothbrush (pluck the bristles out) sand it into a smooth surface and VOILA this tool is ideal for hand basting! THANK YOU GRACE! This is a valuable tool for me now.....everytime you dig the needle through 3 layers and come up again, you can save your finger tips and pull up the needle easily with a rocking motion.