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Thread: Hand quilting without a frame

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    O.K., here's the story. I am making a quilt for my son's girlfriend for Christmas. I added buttons and beads to the top for some embellishment. When I went to my favorite quilt shop for advice, the owner said the buttons and beads would have to be removed for machine quilting, but not with hand quilting. Since I am planning to hand quilt, that's not a problem. But, I am concerned that I won't be able to use a frame or hoop to hold the quilt while quilting. I think the buttons and beads may be in places where the hoop or clamp (I use a pvc plastic floor frame) will need to be. Will it quilt o.k. if I just hold the quilt on my lap and work without a frame or hoop? Or even if I rest it on a table and quilt? Thanks in advance for your help.
    Julie

  2. #2
    Super Member nanabirdmo's Avatar
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    sounds like a neat quilt. i'll bet they love it.
    well i am not the most expert hand quilter but when i made my grandbaby a quilt, it was one of my first quilts just 3 yrs ago, i held it on my lap and quilted it without a frame or hoop and it turned out fine. don't know if it was beginners luck, but it worked. i have since seen an episode on simply quilts about this subject and the quiltmaker did a great job.
    hey, there are no quilt police here. if it works do it. when you start you'll know right away if you like the way it looks.
    i say go for it.

  3. #3
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    A lot of quilters just pile it on their lap and quilt. I do a lot of mine this way. I have a small frame but still do the lap most of the time. Its nice and cosy on those cold winter days :D

  4. #4
    lin
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    I'm working on one right now that has a lot of buttons, and so far it hasn't been a problem. I've been able to work my hoop around the buttons. I may not be that lucky throughout the whole quilt, but if I do run into a problem, I may just choose to do that section without the hoop. Where I can use the hoop, however, I will. It's the most comfortable way for me to hand quilt.

    Is your quilt covered evenly with buttons and beads or are there some empty spaces that might lend themselves to a hoop if you're careful with the placement? In the lap works too! It's just not the way I learned, so I try to use a hoop whenever I can. Hopefully you'll find what works for you. :)

  5. #5
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I quilted a full size quilt in my lap, well I started in a frame but decided it may be easier to handle in my lao and it was. Since i had used plenty of basting spray it was no problem not having pin or thread basting, there were just a few spots that got a little baggy but it looks great.

  6. #6
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    Because of the placement of the buttons and beads, I don't think I'll be able to use a hoop except along the border. I used the basting spray, and because I'm a worry wart, I also thread basted it. Talk about overkill. :? So, I guess I'm just going to have to get to it, keeping in mind all your advice and good wishes. Thank you all so much.
    Julie

  7. #7

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    Dear Julie

    I started out quilting on a small portable frame but have been using a small table for the past several years and it works just fine for me; the rocking motion is the same, but instead of hitting you finger when you move the needle, you hit the table top. Good luck with this

  8. #8
    lin
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    Good luck Julie. I'm sure it's going to be fine no matter how you go about it. :)

    I have a friend and one sister who refuse to use a hoop or frame. They are both more comfortable with it in their laps. I say whatever works is the right thing to do! :)

  9. #9
    Nina's Avatar
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    I find it easier to not use a frame. Just whatever makes you comfortable.

  10. #10
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have it stabilized enough that there should be no problems. Let us know how it goes.

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