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Different types of quilt frames....what do you use?

Different types of quilt frames....what do you use?

Old 11-24-2008, 12:52 PM
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This thread is for the hand quilter's out there. Different regions of our great country (and countries around the world) use different quilting techniques. Some hand quilt, others machine quilt. Some use regular machines, other's use long arms or big professional machines. I've come across hand quilting here in the north, but it is mostly done with hoops. I've never tried this technique as I had no interest in hand quilting at the time.

I lived in the south for almost 3 years and LEARNED how to hand quilt on a huge frame that would take up most of a room. I know the ifs, ands, and abouts when it comes to quilting bees and how fun they are. All the handquilting I've ever done has been on a proper wooden frame. My house is small, and will not accomodate a frame bigger than my living room. I have a wide frame, that isn't very deep that could fit on one wall, but it cuts off the whole room. I'm not sure if I'll be able to put it up here at the house or not. So....I saw someone working on an embroidery hoop once doing hand quilting. How does all this stuff work??

I am aware of different types of frames. What type of frame do you like for your personal use....for hand quilting I mean. Not was you do at your group, but at home.

I've seen large wooden ones that can suspend from the ceiling or come up from feet on the floor. They can be rolled to get to the center of the quilt, but mostly they take up the whole room.

I have a wooden one too, it's only 14-16 inches deep, but it's over 100" long and needs a whole wall in the living room.

I've seen the wooden hoops that look like embroidery hoops. Wouldn't you have to baste the daylights out of a quilt so it wouldn't shift using a hoop? Wouldn't the hoop create natural folds in the fabric from being pressed inside the hoop? Do those folds go away? Wouldn't a hoop break if the fabric it was holding were too thick? I suppose you'd have to get a specific "quilting" hoop in a bigger size than an "embroidery" hoop.

I've heard of a small quilt frame made of PVC pipe, but I've never seen one. Does anyone know how they work? How much do they cost, etc?
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:56 PM
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I use a 10" embroidery hoop for my detail hand sewing. I'd like a lap hoop, but that's a someday thing and I don't really hand quilt often enough to warrant it. My hoops (I have two) are plastic. I've been told tightening any hoop to tight can cause problems with the batting but I've never had that trouble.

Hmm what else? Oh if I was doing a whole quilt I'd spring for something bigger but my hands wouldn't like me much. I always use Warm and White if I'm going to hand quilt it, it just seems like a higher quality batting. I don't have any trouble getting the needle through.

I spray baste all my quilts and I've never had trouble with it shifting. :)
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:40 PM
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My mother did a lot of hand quilting with a hoop.She had her knee fused and could not use a frame. She would baste the three layers together about a foot apart and start hand quilting in the middle. That way any wrinkles could be worked out as you go. The hoop was wooden and about 18 inches across. She also had an oval one. The hoop does not create marks that last in your work. She did dozens of them without any problems. I think plces like JoAnn Fabric, Michaels, etc would have the hoops. they are not very expensive.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:54 PM
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Hi there,

Im not too far from you, in Kansas.

I thread baste my quilt and then I quilt hoopless..

I just hold the quilt in my lap without a hoop and quilt.

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Old 11-24-2008, 02:14 PM
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I googled pvc pipe frames, and came up with this one from this board. My husband made me one much like this, but I couldn't reach all the way across, so he cut it down to I would say 18 inches or so across. Of course, the quilt has to be basted, ( I pin baste) To quilt, I start in the middle, then move the quilt aroud as I finish each section. I have done queen size quilts on it and no problem with the backing bunching or puckering. I have the same problem you do, to little space for a full size frame, although I do have one that my grandfather made for my grandmother probably 85 or so years ago. I would love to be able to use it. There was also a post on this board about a fan type frame that looked to be very handy. I would think you would be able to roll the quilt and take it down for storage. Maybe the person who has it will post again. Or you could google "fan quilt frame" Good luck.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:24 AM
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Thanks everybody. I'm gonna go check out the link!
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:40 AM
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I use PVC. This is an article I posted on my website before I started redo-ing that and made the article impossible to find. :roll: Everything needed to be updated, including this poorly written article, and I am not done yet.

The Ups and Downs of Quilting


A very important factor in the quality of a finished quilt is the basting that was done after piecing and before quilting. It’s a temporary thing, but if your basting is inadequate, your quilt may have bubbles, bumps, and creases!

The way that your “quilt sandwich” is set into the hoop or frame will have an impact on the finished quilt, also. You want to get the quilt quite taut, without pulling the layers in different directions and always checking for pleats in the backing. There are several different frames on the market.

The PVC frames, although more expensive, are gentler on the fabric and are easier to use. I own a 14” square and an 11” square – so I end up with two 11” x 14” rectangles, a great size for me.

Inexpensive wood hoops are perfectly adequate, but they do break and sometimes splinter. If you like a wood frame, buy one of the better-quality ones. Remember that the quilting frames are “deeper” than embroidery frames, which are not strong enough to hold the layers of fabric and batting.

Many quilters prefer an oval or rectangular hoop. Your hoop should not be too big for you to reach across comfortably, but you don’t want to be stopping to move the hoop too frequently, either. A 14” round hoop is a good size for beginners.

Floor frames are nice if you do all your quilting in one place (in front of the TV?) and have a good chair and the room to leave it set up. You will need one if you are doing a group project, for several quilters at one time. The PVC models, especially if you have the extension kit, are the easiest to use – and by far the easiest to store between uses! There are floor stand wooden hoops, also, but they can only be used by one person.

There are half hoops, which have one straight edge, for quilting the outer edges of your quilt – really a challenge with round hoops!

Some people actually quilt beautifully without a hoop. Don’t ask me how they do it… It doesn’t work for me.

Whatever kind of hoop you have, you first position the basted quilt on top of the bottom section. Always start in the middle of the quilt and work out toward the edges, to push out bubbles of excess fabric. If you have a wooden hoop, loosen the nut and slip the top part of the hoop over the quilt and bottom. Tighten the nut most of the way. Turn over the hoop to look at the back. Make sure the backing is smooth and there are not pleats. Grasp all layers of the quilt and pull it snug in the hoop. It should be taut, like a drum. Tighten the nut all the way. You may need to re-tighten the quilt as you work.

If you have a PVC hoop, after positioning the fabric over the bottom part, snap on the top parts: first two opposite sides, twisting them outward just a bit, and then the other two opposite sides. If the quilt loosens, just twist the tops out, away from the center, and the quilt becomes taut again easily.

© Catherine Timmons 2001
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:50 AM
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You can get an oval hoop frame on a stand for lap quilting - I have the one my grandmother used. It has a cost of about $50 or less.

I'm looking for a link...
scroll down to the F.A. Edwards Hoop with frame for $42.85.

This tilts just fine, is stable, and sits on the floor.

I hand quilt without a frame and do just fine. I use this one less and less...

I also have the Grace EZ3 but haven't even put a quilt on it. I just like to quilt in my lap...

I use quilt basting spray and don't have a problem with the quilt coming apart, sometimes I take more than a year to quilt it all.

I haven't had any problems with wrinklies or quilting creases.
(this response is copied from my PVC frame comment with some additions)

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Old 11-25-2008, 10:55 AM
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Looked at the JoAnn's link. That looks really neat. I'm going to call JoAnn's and talk to a person about it before I order one. Sure looks cool.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:21 PM
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I have an 11" PVC frame & an 18" round plastic frame. Both work fine. You do need to hand, spray, or pin baste. I have had no problems with creases not coming out or fabric shifting with any of these basting ways. Just get a cozy chair & start quilting.
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