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Thread: How do you attache quilt to old fashioned quilting frames?

  1. #1
    Senior Member hpylady's Avatar
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    I have a set of old quilting frames that was just given to me by my Aunt's friend. When he purchased his house many years ago (he is fixing to turn 90) the frames were left in the top of the barn. I am working on a quilt ( sailboat block pattern) for my grandson. I would like to handquilt this quilt when I finish on these quilting frames. I just need to know how to attache the quilt to the frames the proper way. Can anyone help me and pictures would really be nice. :?:

  2. #2
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I know how my MIL used to put hers on a frame....she tacked (small nails)one end of the quilt to the rail. She used to quilt for a West Virginia company.......can't remember thename right off. That is the way she did it, and turned the rail as she went along to advance the quilt.

    There's probably a better way to do it.

  3. #3
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    My mother always used thumb tacks. I've done this too and you need to be sure you don't tear the fabric. I think I should have used more and not tried to pull it so tight.

  4. #4
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
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    I have a new hand quilting frame that was made by the Amish. Tack some muslin on the rails and sides with carpenters staples. Then pin the quilt to the muslin. That was how I was told to do it by the lady who sold it to me. Works for me.

    Kyia

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I had an antique I used for years. I used a heavy twill tape, basted by machine onto top and bottom of quilt backing, allowing plenty of extra room. The tape was tacked onto the frame. As I set the batting and the top, I would hand baste and roll. It takes time, but any handwork will anyway.
    The second pole would be the receiving end - as you completed a section, it would be rolled down to reveal a new unquilted section.

    Mine had poles with 8 sides, a beautifil huge cherrywood beast. I would need my ex to help when it was time to roll out a new section. The poles were covered in holes from years of quilts tacked on. I hope someone is still using it.

  6. #6
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    It may be helpful to see what your frame is like.

    Mine, I have muslin nailed on the two sides that roll. I have the center point of each rail marked with permanent marker so I can center my quilt into the frame. When I use the frame, I add approximately a yard to the backing, so I have enough. Then, I roll the whole thing on one side, and roll it to the other side as I advance. I don't think it's a good idea to use staples or nails on your backing fabric. Better on fabric that will stay on your frame.


  7. #7
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I will be hand quilting on a board frame tomorrow and will take some pictures of the quilt we just put in. We use thumbtacks, lots of them.
    First we size the quilt by tacking the top on the four boards. We use "horses" to hold the boards, but many used chairs for the four corners. We have 4 c-clamps to hold the boards stable. The side boards go under and the near and far boards go on top so you can roll as you go.
    After the quilt is sized, take it off the boards. Remember which way it was laying as some quilts are not square and will not go in if they are turned or rotated.
    Attach your backing with the good side down, away from the batting. Use plenty of tacks to get the backing taut so there will be no wrinkles when you quilt.
    Lay your batting on top of the backing, smoothe it out to get rid of any bumps and tack it. You don't have to use as many tacks here, unless it feels like it wants to shift.
    Then place your top back on and tack securely. You can use some of the under tacks here, take them out and repin them on the top layer. :lol:

  8. #8
    Senior Member hpylady's Avatar
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    :) Thank you, I would love to see your quilt on your frames. You explained it very well.

  9. #9
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Spent several hours yesterday trying to attach a picture and was unsuccessful! Will give it a go again later today! So frustrating when the computer will not do as ORDERED! :(

  10. #10
    Senior Member hpylady's Avatar
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    :) Thank you for trying and good luck with attaching the picture. I know how frustrating it is to get the computer to do what you want it to do. It has a mind of its own. Anxious to see the picture.

  11. #11
    Sara Street's Avatar
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    I'm anxious to see the picture, too! I "inherited" antique quilt frames from my son-in-law's grandmother, and we weren't sure how to put it together!

    Thanks for asking the question and for all the answers!

    Sara Street

  12. #12
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Here we go again. Gonna try to attach a picture of a quilt in an old fashioned board frame!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Okay, so one picture posted. Gonna try another one. :?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Well, two out of three isn't too bad! Hope this helps you to see what the quilt looks like in the frame. The second picture is after some hand quilting was done and it was "turned" for the first time. It always seems that getting to that first turn takes the longest time! After that, the turns come more quickly, maybe it is because we are quilting in front of the board, and not on the board! Whatever, it is therapeutic! :lol:
    Remember to have the horses under your side poles when you take the clamps off to make your turns, the quilt will fall if you do it wrong! :?

  15. #15
    Sara Street's Avatar
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    Your frames look just like the ones that I inherited!!! The pictures are VERY helpful, but I have a question:

    As you roll up the sections that are finished quilting, do you "pull" the frame in each time or leave it out full size? Does that make sense?

    Again, thank you so much for sharing these pictures! Can't wait to try again!

    Sara

  16. #16
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Each time we roll or turn the quilt, it gets shorter, front to back, but stays the same width. When we get close to finished, since we quilt from both the front and the back, we can touch knees! Does that make sense? :?
    Does that answer your question?

  17. #17
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    It is also important to make sure your frame is squared before putting the quilt on. You can do this by putting a square at the corner before clamping the 2 pieces together. Also you can move the stands in as you roll the quilt.

  18. #18
    Sara Street's Avatar
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    This all is coming together in my head! You obviously have to "untack" the edges as you go, so it will roll, right? I think I can make mine work now! Can't wait to try!!!

    Thanks
    Sara

  19. #19
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Bingo. The tacks on the sides have to be removed so you can roll the quilt. Try to keep the tension even as you roll. If it is too tight, it is difficult to get a good stitch. If it is too loose, you might get wrinkles underneath on the backing. If it is just right, you can zip along and get really nice even stitches on top and underneath! Use the quilters' knot and bury your knots so you don't have any ugly surprises when you take the quilt out of the frame, just like any other frame! :lol:

  20. #20
    Sara Street's Avatar
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    Hapylady - sorry to have hijacked your thread! But I am so thrilled that you asked the question and I got the answers that I needed. My things are all packed down in storage while we are building, so I hadn't even thought to ask this forum!

    Thanks to Jannie and Shemjo for sharing! This forum is great!

    Sara :D

  21. #21
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    My mom made one similar to that using 4 1"x2" boards and c clamps she props hers on chairs. Looks easier than the big frame I have that takes up half the basement. No wonder she gave me the frame!

  22. #22
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Shorter boards are great for baby quilts or lap quilts! :lol:
    They do take up a lot of room. The ladies tell me that these kinds of frames were often hoisted to the ceiling when not being used! :lol:

  23. #23
    Senior Member hpylady's Avatar
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    :) Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and all of the aggravation of trying to get the pictures up. That helps alot. I see the thumb tacks. My frame's look almost like tobacco sticks, only a little larger and they have holes all across on all 4 frames. The elederly man that gave them to me, just today told me how his mom used to do it too. He said she took a needle with tobacco twine, sewed through the (he kept saying lining) and pulled through the holes in the frame which pulled the materal tight. I like your way, it looks much easier, only I don't know if I can use thumb tacks with all of those holes in the frames. I saw both of your pictures and the quilting is already beautiful. I see you have your quilt sandwich all together, right just like I would do if I was to lay the sandwich on the floor and baste around and across then quilt. He said his mother put the lining (which he refers to the backing) on first, and pulled tight, then the batting and quilt top last. I was thinking you would go ahead and sandwich and put the whole quilt on and pull tight which looks like what you did. I am gonna try. I have to finish my quilt first, I am making (2) matching twin sizes. Thanks again!

  24. #24
    Senior Member hpylady's Avatar
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    Thanks Jannie, That's a good idea, to square it off before you begin. I would not even thought about that. Thank You! :)

  25. #25
    Senior Member hpylady's Avatar
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    :) You are cetainly welcome, Sara, highjack my thread anytime, I like that term, it's cute. That's how we learn is to ask, especially when I am new at quilting and I don't have a soul who can help or show me. In NC, not that many women quilt anymore. I have learned alot from this quilting board. :D

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