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Thread: Hand quilting without a frame

  1. #1
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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.

  11. #11
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Julie, sit back and relax, you'll do just fine! I'm working on the last edge of a queen size and it really works better without the frame. Easier to manuver, you'll be fine!

    Hugs,
    Sharon

  12. #12
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    Hi Julie,
    I have done some handquilting but have never used a frame. My thought is maybe if there are beads in the way of the frame maybe you could use another soft fabric or batting between the frame and the beads to get it to sit better in the frame and not slip. Hope it works out for you whatever you decide to do. Remember to post pictures when finished because i love pictures!!

  13. #13

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    Julie,
    I attended a workshop taught by Suzanne Marshall. She does all of her quilting without a hoop. It really works! Her secret seems to be that she bastes, bastes, and bastes some more. Look for her books. She's amazing.
    Joyce

  14. #14
    Super Member KarenBarnes's Avatar
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    I have handquilted quite a bit without a hoop or frame. I rely on the plastic basting pins that you use with a basting gun. Worth the money and much easier to use than safety pins! Follow the directions on use though, it works much easier!

  15. #15
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have put my hoop over pins a lot of times with no problems. If you don't put it too tight, maybe it will be okay.

  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I'm hoping Julie is finished with this quilt. Her question is two years old! :lol:

  17. #17
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have a little book I bought years ago that has the best info for quilting without a frame. The name of the book is Hand Quilt Without a Frame. by Barbara Shafield & Bev Vickery. :D

    You may be able to find it at Ebay but if you do run across it buy it. It has the stunning Spinning Star pattern in it.

  18. #18
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I hand quilt without a hoop-never used one. I pin baste ( a lot) and place my ironing board in front of me to support the weight of the quilt while I'm working on it. Good luck.

  19. #19
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I always hand quilt. I never use a frame of any kind - I do pin baste it and work from the middle out - never have had a problem with wrinkling or anything - Just make sure I move the pins as I go and make the fabric on the top and backing flat as I go.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    There was an interesting thread on this topic awhile back that you may want to search out. I was not very good at quilting without a hoop. I could get my top stitches to look good, but the back stitches were always crooked. A couple of posters in the other thread mentioned that stabilizing an edge makes it a lot easier to get even stitches. I think one method was to lay the quilt on a dining table and weight it down with books -- just so there is a little bit of tension on the portion of the quilt sandwich you are working on. I think someone else pinned an edge to a frame.

  21. #21
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
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    I decided to hand quilt my first quilt (which is not finished yet) I am an avid cross stitcher, and have never used a hoop for that and found it too difficult/ackward incorporating a hoop or frame to quilt. I gave up early on and find I am more comfortable with it in my lap and I am quite happy with the way its turning out so far.

    Thanks so much everyone for encouraging me to continue ( I was hesitant not using a hoop) but I am glad I don't need to worry now!

  22. #22
    Senior Member nellebelles's Avatar
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    As long as you baste it well, it will work out great. And, with winter approaching, holding that quilt on your lap while you quilt, is quite cozy! I like to save my hand quilting jobs for cooler weather. :)

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