MicroStitch Basting Gun for Quilts – Review & Tutorial

Does anyone else really procrastinate when it comes to basting quilts? I get over the pain of basting my quilts by trying out lots of different techniques. 

I’m always on the hunt for new methods. The MicroStitch basting gun is the latest basting technique I’ve tried.  

microstitch basting gun – included in kit

I recently bought my MicroStitch gun kit. I’ve been using it to baste my last few quilts with good success. 

Like most things, It still has pros and cons which I’ll go through below. 

Note: I bought my kit with my own money so these are my own unbiased opinions!

microstitch quilt basting gun review

What is a MicroStitch basting gun?

The hype is that the MicroStitch tagging gun or basting gun will let you say goodbye to safety pins, glue, metal staples, and large tacks. 

A basting gun is a hand-held tool that can be used in place of pins, basting spray, or other basting methods. This MicroStitch tool holds the layers of your quilt together as you get it ready to quilt. 

You are basically holding the 3 layers of your quilt sandwich together with tiny plastic tags that are inserted using the tagging gun.

You may also recognize this as a tagging gun you’d see in a retail store, or rather if you have worked in a retail store. They are used to place price tags on clothing and other items. 

It’s also the ultimate quick-fix tool for fallen hems and to repair clothing (for those who don’t sew obviously…it’s not a permanent solution!). If you need the convenience of a handheld sewing machine without the complexity, a tag gun is amongst the top picks for non-sewing crafters.

Additionally, it’s a great asset for home decorating and craft projects. However, I’ve only heard that from others – I use it to baste my quilts….nothing else!

Alternative Quilt Basting Methods

  • Safety pins (Regular or Curved Safety Pins
  • Dilluted Glue (not tried this one myself!)
  • Basting spray (store bought or homemade)
  • Metal staples
  • Large tacks
  • Water spray followed by hot iron
  • Pool Noodle Technique (this is another one I haven’t tried yet!)
  • Basting on a long arm quilting machine

I made a video version of my review and tutorial which you can watch below or read on for the written version!

MicroStitch Basting Gun Review & Tutorial Video

9 Quilt Backing Ideas – From Super Simple to Super Scrappy!

Main Features of MicroStitch Basting Gun

While every kit might not necessarily be the same, my MicroStitch tagging gun kit came with: 

  • MicroStitch tool with needle
  • 500+ 4.4mm size black fasteners
  • 500+ 4.4mm size white fasteners 

Pros of the MicroStitch Basting Gun

  • You can sew over the tags without breaking a needle
  • The tags are easy to put in
  • Much less expensive than store bought spray basting 
  • Tags leave much smaller holes in your fabric
  • Handy for quick repairs

Cons of the MicroStitch Basting Gun 

  • Costs more than safety pins
  • Tags are, unfortunately, made of plastic, so not really eco-friendly
  • Can be a bit fiddly to remove them
  • You have to buy new tags to keep using the tool when the first batch is used up (the tags aren’t reusable)

How to Use the MicroStitch Basting Gun

This review tutorial shows you how to use the Microstich Gun to baste a full quilt, and how to remove the tags as you quilt.

This is a great method for people with arthritis or anyone who has trouble dealing with safety pins. 

When opening and using your gun, be careful of the needle. There’s a small cap that comes with it. Make it a good practice to always replace it when you’re done.

Step 1: Insert the tags

Looking at the gun from the top, you’ll see a sort of T-shaped slot. This is where you’ll place the plastic tacks.

Line up your strip of tacks with the slot.

Slide the strip down until you meet resistance. Don’t force it.

Step 2: Close-up view  

Before showing you how I used the tagging gun to baste a quilt, I’ll first show you a close-up view of how the gun works. 

Put the gun in slightly sideways so you can feel that you’ve gone through all the way. 

Step 3: Lay out your three layers 

Just like you normally would, lay out your three layers on a flat surface. Make sure to get your layers as smooth as you can. 

Step 4: Start basting your quilt

I start in the middle of the quilt and go from the middle to each side. Place each tag about a hand width apart. See my video above if you want to this process in action. 

Step 5: Remove tags

With just a quick pull using tweezers and then a snip with your thread snippers, you can snip off the tacks with no problem. I do this as I am quilting. So I remove them as I come close to them in a similar way as you might do with safety pins.

Where to Buy MicroStitch Basting Gun Starter Kit

Microstich is the most popular brand and I’ve seen it sold in quilt shops as well as on Amazon. You can see it on Amazon here.  This is the brand I’ve tried

Avery Dennison

This is another brand of essentially the same thing. The Avery Dennison kit comes with the smallest tacks on the market and the smallest needle available (according to them of course!). The small extra fine needle is gentle on fabric and the tiny micro fasteners can be sewn over and easily removed. I found a link for this one on Amazon here.

Is this my preferred Basting Method?

Honestly? I hate basting no matter what method I use. I find this easier than safety pins and less messy and less expensive than basting spray but I wouldn’t say that I love this method so much I’ll never try another.

Do you have any fab quilt basting methods I should try next? I’d love to hear about them – leave me your suggestions in the comments!

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