I bought a basting gun at Joanns and it broke quickly. My DH bought me one like dept stores use for pricing garments from uline.com and it uses the same tags as the other guns (also more expensive but built much better). I also bought the grate. I like to use the grate but it would be better to have more than one (more like 3 or 4) because you have to keep moving either the quilt or grate and if you are in a confined space, it gets kind of crazy! I was able to tack my quilt and stabilize it before quilting. The tacks didn't get in the way. I used sharp snips to clip them.