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Thread: Hand Quilting Frames - Information Needed

  1. #1
    Junior Member vanessa's Avatar
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    I need help on a decision and I know my quilting friends will be able to help me.

    My mother is wanting to buy me a hand quilting frame for my graduation from college in May. She wants me to have a nice one that will hold different size quilts, one that I will be able to roll as I need to, and I want one that I can fold up and store when not using it.

    Mom says she can only afford to spend $200 and the ones I have found are around $250 to $300. Can any of you help me with your experiences and suggestions?

    I found a Grace EZ3-FF for $199.00 before tax and shipping. But just am not sure what to do.

    Thank you!
    Vanessa

  2. #2
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    I have the Grace Z23 and find it works quite well. I have used it several times mostly for baby quilts since I have yet to hand quilt anything larger. The first few quilts I loaded directly onto the frame and had to take them off to do the quilting around the edges, but that was not a big problem for crib size quilts. I have now made a set of fabric leaders to use with full size quilts. The frame is well made and fairly simple to work with, but it does take up a fair amount of space. I know many people use smaller frames that do not require so much floor space, but then you have to keep moving your quilt in the frame. Hope this info helps

  3. #3
    Senior Member SuzyM's Avatar
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    It may not be exactly what you were looking for but I am probably going to buy this frame. I have bought the "roll" ones and they take up so much room even when they are folded down. You don't have to baste with this quilting frame.

    http://www.ulmerquilter.com/

  4. #4
    Cathie_R's Avatar
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    I use a round lap hoop that I bought at Joann's for under $20.00. I find it works as well as a large floor frame and more comfortable for me and my back. I just start in the center and work outward a block at a time. I even do large bed size quilts on it. My husband made me a small floor size frame out of the white plastic plumbers pipe and I bought the plastic clamps to go with it from an Amish store. I really like it but by back hurts after sitting at it for any length of time. I have seen these sold at Joann's for around $100. You just throw the quilt over the top of the frame and use the clamps to secure it. I think they work fine.

  5. #5
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    I have the Grace EZ3 frame. My dh gave it to me for Mother's Day 2 years ago. I have yet to complete a quilt on it.

    Here is why:
    This frame, when set up to hold a queen size quilt, is 100 inches wide by approx 40 inches deep. That is the entire length of my sewing room and half the width. You can fold this frame and "store" the quilt on it, I don't find that to be practical as I don't have vaulted ceilings and would have to lean it at a slant.
    I also find the loading process confusing. What I thought would be very simple is quite complex and time consuming.

    I use an oval frame on a stand that can be purchased for $50. The stand tilts. It takes up little room. The quilt has to rest on the floor, and the quilt has to be basted. Even though it is more work (to baste), I like this method best.

    I will not sell my Grace frame as it was a gift from my dh. I will not use it though, because of the above reasons.

  6. #6
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Louise C posted photo's of her fan type frame. Just type "fan type frame" in the search above. It looks interesting, and I believe she said she got it on e-bay. Not sure of the cost.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I have a large hand quilting frame that I never use. I prefer to hand quilt with this lap hoop:
    http://www.keepsakequilting.com/prod...APTOP-HOOP.htm

    It sits in my lap, so both hands are free to quilt. It is totally adjustable, so I can easily change the tilt and angle to make my hand quilting easy. That is impossible to do on a large quilting frame.

  8. #8
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I have the Ulmer but think I would prefer a large hoop on a stand.

  9. #9
    Gal
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    Super Member Gal's Avatar
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    I am a beginner at quilting and have just completed my first quilt, Queen Size with a lap hoop ($20.oo) the width of my finger tip to elbow size. I had to baste my quilt first and did feel a little awkward hand quilting to begin with but after the first couple of evenings I was away! I think you will iether like it or hate it! I love it and even though I have a machine which can do quilting I just love to hand quilt and look forward to the evenings when I can sit down and relax, put my feet up and start quilting! I am sorry I cannot help with anything other than the hoop as I have no other experience, but I can truely say it is easy and enjoyable! Do give it a try even if you have to borrow one to have a go with!

    Gal

  10. #10
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    I have an oval shaped lap hoop that I use. I tried the circle one but prefer the oval shaped.

  11. #11
    Super Member redkimba's Avatar
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    Have you tried looking across Craig's list or freecycle?

  12. #12
    Super Member tkhooper's Avatar
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    I have the floor model pvc pipe quilt. It comes apart and is light weight. with a 50% off coupon at JoAnn's I got it for less than 60 bucks. The clips make moving the quilt on it very simple. And it has the ability to be put at an angle if you want to. I prefer it flat myself. Anyway lightweight, sturdy, doesn't take up a huge amount of room and with the money you save your mom just think of what else she can get you lol.

  13. #13
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    Hi Vanessa,

    I have found that a few times a year, Hancock will put their Grace frames on sale, for somewhere around 175.00. I have a set, a friend was moving, didn't want to take them, so she gave them to me. I love them. They do a variety of sizes of quilts, and I can fold them down, and roll on my own. I say, if you find a good deal on these, they are worth it.

  14. #14
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzyM
    It may not be exactly what you were looking for but I am probably going to buy this frame. I have bought the "roll" ones and they take up so much room even when they are folded down. You don't have to baste with this quilting frame.

    http://www.ulmerquilter.com/
    This looks like a nice one, I have a big one, and sometimes wish it were smaller.

  15. #15
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I use a round lap hoop also. I've done numerous bed size quilts with that. I prefer because I can take it with me down to the living room to watch TV with my husband or with me to the cottage on the weekend.

  16. #16
    Junior Member mtnmama's Avatar
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    I like the round lap hoop. I can turn it and the quilt any direction I need to quilt in. I sit and watch TV with my husband with my quilt in my lap. I can also take it with me, I've taken small pieces to work and quilted on my lunch break. I also have two sizes, a smaller one for small pieces and borders. I've thought about getting a frame but was concerned about all the space it would take up.

  17. #17

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    I've used an oval floor hoop and liked it, however I never found a good way to quilt the edges. I started exploring other frames and liked the looks of a Q-Snap but not the price because I know how inexpensive plastic pipe actually is. I found directions online to make my own from 3 10' lenghts of plastic pipe I bought at the lumber yard plus connectors and 24 plastic pipe clamps I purchased at a greenhouse supply store. I didn't glue it together so I can take it apart should I want to store it. The quilt still needs to be basted, but I don't mind doing that. I've quilted 1 1/2 twin-sized quilts and a throw on it so far and I couldn't be happier.

  18. #18
    Senior Member adyldrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzyM
    It may not be exactly what you were looking for but I am probably going to buy this frame. I have bought the "roll" ones and they take up so much room even when they are folded down. You don't have to baste with this quilting frame.

    http://www.ulmerquilter.com/
    oh my word I WANT THIS!!!! I snapped my hoop last night! my current project is my biggest yet...still a lap quilt but never tried hand quilting a lapper before. Thanks for the link!!!! Birthday, Christmas and anniversary are the end of the year.....nuts!!!!

  19. #19
    Member the red wyoming rose's Avatar
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    Vanessa I have quilted for 30 yrs.by hand. Useing a frame takes alot of practice. I do prefer them to hoops. I have 2 very expensive frames. In looking at your site and the advice of other quilter in answer to your questions I have come up with an opinion. Frames take up alot of room. I am impressed with the look of the ulmer frame it works similarrly to a hoop but has the mechanics of a frame. I think I would put my money there. What a cool gift and a cool mom. rosefrench

  20. #20
    Member the red wyoming rose's Avatar
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    Vanessa I have quilted for 30 yrs.by hand. Useing a frame takes alot of practice. I do prefer them to hoops. I have 2 very expensive frames. In looking at your site and the advice of other quilter in answer to your questions I have come up with an opinion. Frames take up alot of room. I am impressed with the look of the ulmer frame it works similarrly to a hoop but has the mechanics of a frame. I think I would put my money there. What a cool gift and a cool mom. rosefrench

  21. #21
    Member rkymtnquilter's Avatar
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    Are you looking for a permanent standing one or portable? I like hand quilting while I'm watching TV or traveling, etc. I bought some PVC pipe with the corner pieces and then have the clip on pieces that go with it....you can make it as big or small as you want. That would cost you probably about $20. I got mine at either Home Depot or Lowes. They often sell them at quilt shops or quilting shows....but you'll pay more from them. I'd be interested in what you decide.

  22. #22
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    I know this is not a purchased quilt frame, but a gal in our guild brought in one that her husband made her out of sturdy plywood and 2x2 lumber. I comes apart completely and stores so flat that she can store it behind her door. The size is adjusted very easily to the size of the quilt and you can even take the quilt off the legs and roll it up around the 2x2's to move it or store it if you are not going to work on it for a while...it's amazing and costs next to nothing. I don't hand quilt, but that's what I'd use if I did, then spend the rest of the money on fabric....

  23. #23
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I have two floor hoops. One is a "Hintenberg" and is a belive 36 inches round on a pedestal type base. It pivits and tilts . My only problem with it is I tend to over reach when using it. I sit in a wing chair and can move it toward me until the area I am working on is over my lap. The second is a Grace hoop also on a three legged pedestal. It has an arm that swings up and down and also extends over my lap. When I purchased it I got the two wooden pieces that you can pin the outside of your quilt to that have canvas to pin the quilt edge to. I rarely use them. I usually take the quilt out of the frame and lay it on my ping pong or other table to finish the last borders. I have done up to king size on either of the hoops. I keep one up stairs and one down. Years ago I had a long floor frame it was not an expensive one but it sure took up a lot of space. I pin baste my quilts using those curved safety pins.

  24. #24
    Senior Member schwanton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanessa
    I need help on a decision and I know my quilting friends will be able to help me.

    My mother is wanting to buy me a hand quilting frame for my graduation from college in May. She wants me to have a nice one that will hold different size quilts, one that I will be able to roll as I need to, and I want one that I can fold up and store when not using it.

    Mom says she can only afford to spend $200 and the ones I have found are around $250 to $300. Can any of you help me with your experiences and suggestions?


    Thank you!
    Vanessa

    I found a Grace EZ3-FF for $199.00 before tax and shipping. But just am not sure what to do.

    I also hand quilt. My first quilt frame is the Edmunds maple quilting frame. You must attach fabric to the bars so you will be able to quilt to the ends. I use this on our closed in porch because there is more room there and good light during the day.
    http://www.honeyforkfabrics.com/cgi-...ctid=fae5560d&
    tracking5=froogle
    I also have a floor frame with hoop from Joann's which works well in my bedroom with an Ott lite.
    http://www.joann.com/joann/search/se...questid=157215
    and a small table top quilt frame (hoop that you slip your hands under and can quilt 14" circle at a time).
    If I had the extra money, I would go for the Grace Z44 Professional frame. Good luck

  25. #25
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    The first time I tried to hand quilt was on a frame that my Mother had. It's 4 boards with edging on them that are held together by c-clamps and balanced on chairs. The idea of a large frame is always something that I thought that I wanted. From practical experience a hoop or q-snap frames work out better. They will go where you go. A large frame means you have to stay where it is. I have quilted all size quilts on these two. Any thing from baby size up to a king size. It's no problem to do large quilts. I pin baste and start in the middle and then work my way around the center. A floor frame would be nice but I like the ability to be portable. Have you concidered finding room for it to be up most of the time until you are finished quilting? Remember it can take a long time to finish a large quilt.

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