A mini iron set up beside the sewing machine saves a lot of getting up and down to the ironing board. Plus I find the iron to bulky to use with the small pieces.
I have covered a tv tray with Heat resistant padding with a canvas on top. I stapled the fabrics on the underside using a staple gun.
Clothes pins work well to help hold the row of paper piecing together as I baste.
Lots of basting involed, blocks together then rows together. Things shift as you sew on the machine that's why basting is important. I also keep an awl when sewing things together by machine. I don't pin.