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Thread: I should have asked before I made the ceiling quilt frame

  1. #1
    Garylester's Avatar
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    I'm lucky to have a nice unfinished basement. Always thought a big frame would be nice. So I put together a ceiling quilt frame. It works great. The problem is I'm extremely left hand dominant. I can quilt top to bottom, left to right, top left to bottom right. The other ways not so good.
    Will this severely limit what I can do, or can I work around it? Are most of you big frame quilters ambidextrous? Should I just go back to my lap frame exclusively?

  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    So there's no way that you can move to the back of the frame and quilt from there? Maybe if you made the frame narrower, you could get to the back. You'd be giving up frame space, but if it's hard to quilt in some directions it may be worth it to avoid the hassle. Or maybe move the frame forward into the room?

  3. #3
    Garylester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    So there's no way that you can move to the back of the frame and quilt from there? Maybe if you made the frame narrower, you could get to the back. You'd be giving up frame space, but if it's hard to quilt in some directions it may be worth it to avoid the hassle. Or maybe move the frame forward into the room?
    Thank you. I can get on all sides of the frame. I'm doing "X"s on a simple 9 patch now. I can do top left to bottom right. Bottom left to top right is difficult. When I go to the other side it's the same way. I would still have to go from b-l to t-r. Maybe I'll just have to work on learn to do the other directions. I think quilting on this "old fashioned" type frame is kind of fun.

  4. #4
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garylester
    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    So there's no way that you can move to the back of the frame and quilt from there? Maybe if you made the frame narrower, you could get to the back. You'd be giving up frame space, but if it's hard to quilt in some directions it may be worth it to avoid the hassle. Or maybe move the frame forward into the room?
    Thank you. I can get on all sides of the frame. I'm doing "X"s on a simple 9 patch now. I can do top left to bottom right. Bottom left to top right is difficult. When I go to the other side it's the same way. I would still have to go from b-l to t-r. Maybe I'll just have to work on learn to do the other directions. I think quilting on this "old fashioned" type frame is kind of fun.
    Oh, I see. You'd have to move to the side, but it's probably too wide to reach the middle patches. Looks like a new learning opportunity :-)

  5. #5
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Never thought about this issue, but it's unlikely I'll ever do much hand quilting. I'm hand piecing right now and I definitely prefer to sew right to left. Not even sure if I could do left to right.

    Best of luck learning both ways!

  6. #6
    Super Member luv-e's Avatar
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    I'm a South Paw too totally understand where you are coming from.....
    Would love to see a picture of your setup?????

  7. #7
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    I just took a hand quilting class today and was shown how to quilt towards you, maybe that would work? There is a youtube video of the "Thimblelady" that shows this, we used her open cone thimble as well. sorry don't know the link.

    ps I am a lefty too and had no problems with over extending my wrists, it was my shoulders I hunched up trying to hard

  8. #8
    Garylester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv-e
    I'm a South Paw too totally understand where you are coming from.....
    Would love to see a picture of your setup?????
    Thanks for the comment. I'm not picture posting ready yet. I put 4 eye hooks in the floor joyces (ceiling of the basement), tied clothesline to each one, ran it down to the 1"x4"s that would be on each side of the quilt, and back up and over to a cleat to tie off. I can then adjust them at whatever height I want. I used carpet tacks to put batting and ticking around the 1"x 4"s to which I pin the quilt. Then C-clamp these to the side boards after I've wrapped and stretched the quilt. It just hangs there at whatever height I want. Not as good as a picture, but not quite a 1000 words.

  9. #9
    Garylester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflies5518
    I just took a hand quilting class today and was shown how to quilt towards you, maybe that would work? There is a youtube video of the "Thimblelady" that shows this, we used her open cone thimble as well. sorry don't know the link.

    ps I am a lefty too and had no problems with over extending my wrists, it was my shoulders I hunched up trying to hard
    I saw your post a few minutes ago. The only quilting course I have taken was one on handing quilting a couple of years ago. It didn't quite take with me. But recently I've decided to give it another try. Hand quilting is very relaxing, even if I'm not very good. Good luck to you with it.

  10. #10
    Super Member luv-e's Avatar
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    Thanks Gary! Again, I wish you luck on the lefty sewing...
    I think that would be the best way to hand quilt. Give me a chair with wheels and look out!!!!! lol lol lol Making it more narrow sounds good.....

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I quilt on a flat type frame. I try never to quilt away from my self, but at an angle (top right to bottom left and top left to bottom right) isn't a problem as long as I am going toward myself. What I don't like is curves where you have to quilt away from yourself part of the time.

  12. #12
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    Don't you roll the end you have already quilted (quilt across the quilt as far as you can comfortably reach, then roll the quilted portion up and continue quilting). Our guild used to handquilt on a large frame, we worked from the edges to the center, rolling as above when we couldn't comfortably reach to quilt.

  13. #13
    Garylester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMY in QCA-IL
    Don't you roll the end you have already quilted (quilt across the quilt as far as you can comfortably reach, then roll the quilted portion up and continue quilting). Our guild used to handquilt on a large frame, we worked from the edges to the center, rolling as above when we couldn't comfortably reach to quilt.
    Thanks. Yes. I do that. The real problem I have is quilting away from me going from bottom left to top right. But I'm going to try working on top right down to bottom left, as I can go straight down and down from top left to bottom right fairly well. The comments have given me encouragement to work at being able to use this frame set up. As I said, I think it's fun to quilt this ol timey way.

  14. #14
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    My DM quilts this way! She's only 69 but when she decided to start quilting (about 25 yrs ago)her Dad made it for her. She asked for one like her DM"s. She loves it. I like to use hoops 'cause I want to take it with me.:) I hope you like it as much as my DM!

  15. #15
    Super Member sak658's Avatar
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    I use to have a frame up like that...Still have the hooks in the ceiling. LOL I loved it..Got big computer desk, cutting board, treadle machine and cabinets built in, so lost the frame, no longer could get around it..

  16. #16
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    I got ambidextrous by practicing on a simple quilt. I learned to quilt with the thimble on my thumb from watching old friend Hugh do it. He had to order thimbles special cause his fingers were so big. What's hard becomes easy when you practice. Congrats on having space to put up a frame, haven't done it for years.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I have a floor frame. When I first got it I realized that it had the same limitations that you just discovered - there are certain directions that are impossible to quilt

    What I did is I taught myself to quilt with my thumb. I had to practice a bit, but now that I have the knack my stitches look good coming and going.

    I got the idea from a quilting program that used to air on PBS - Hawaiian Quilting. I use a tailors thimble for my thumb, and a Roxanne thimble on my middle finger. The best directions that I've found on how to do it are in "That Perfect Stitch" by Diedre McElroy.

    I believe Alex Anderson once demonstrated quilting away from your body by putting her quilting thimble on her thumb. Mine doesn't fit, but the tailor's thimble has worked better for me - with my thumb tip exposed I can grab the needle better.

    I hope this helps you enjoy quilting on your "ceiling" frame.

    Janet

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