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Thread: question for hand quilters who use a large floor frame

  1. #1
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    I am considering buying a used floor frame, out of state so I can't try it first, my concerns are: I can't quilt away from me, How hard is it to learn? What kind of thimble do you use on your thumb, in order to do that? What are the reasons you like your floor frame over a hoop? I have a standing hoop and a lap hoop. I like both of them but with a large quilt, I am thinking that it would be nice to have all that material off of my lap, especially in the summer. I also love the idea of not having to baste a quilt. Do you set your frame up in your livingroom or in a sewing room? Any and all responses would be so appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    My mom gave me one the only place big enough was in the basement. I had a hard time getting the quilt on even and then couldn't figure out how to even begin quilting so took it off and did it on my lap hoop. Maybe someone who uses one can tell you more. I just found it way to big for my small house.

  3. #3
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I am quilting my first quilt on one now after using a floor stand hoop. I tied the first one in it. I really like it. It is hard, for me anyway, to get the top and backing in perfectly straight and it takes me a long time doing it alone.

    After that, it's a breeze. I especially like being able to do a large section without having to reposition the quilt in a hoop frame. I am comfortable quilting in about any direction so I can't help you there. I use my thumbnail quilting towards me.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I have an Hinterberg and I have quilted in it for 10 years now. I can put a quilt in in about 20 min and turn it my my self. I do not sew away from me. I exactly more of an angle. But most of the time you are quilting right to left and towards you. I use a desk chair with arms and wheels and I love it. II do some lap quilting also, but no frame. I quilt in large sections and then sew them together. But my first love is my large floor frame. It will quilt from a baby to a king. If you are buying a used one I would want to make sure that all the instructions are with it. I set mine up in the den so I can be there with DH at night. I don't use a thumb thimble, but do use a needle puller.


    Ninnie

  5. #5
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Ooops, you said quilting AWAY from you and I meant that I use my thumbnail to quilt away from me, not towards me. I prefer towards or away, side to side going away from me is the hardest so I scoot my chair along so that I'm actually quilting towards me (if you see what I mean).

    I also use a swivel office arm chair on wheels. Being able to adjust the height in a second is nice too. If my back aches from too long in one position I can change it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roselady
    I am considering buying a used floor frame, out of state so I can't try it first, my concerns are: I can't quilt away from me, How hard is it to learn? What kind of thimble do you use on your thumb, in order to do that? What are the reasons you like your floor frame over a hoop? I have a standing hoop and a lap hoop. I like both of them but with a large quilt, I am thinking that it would be nice to have all that material off of my lap, especially in the summer. I also love the idea of not having to baste a quilt. Do you set your frame up in your livingroom or in a sewing room? Any and all responses would be so appreciated. Thanks.
    I use a large floor frame to quilt large quilts. it holds it off my lap, a larger area is ready for me to quilt, and the thimble I use is a Clover leather Thimble. Clover leather Thimble is made of a soft leather that has a dimpled disc inserted at the fingertip for protection. I set it up in the living room since it is the only one big enough for it.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    redrummy, that is the same thimble that I use and I love it. I found a place on line that I can get 3 for about the same price that I was paying for one in a quilt shop!

  8. #8
    Junior Member okie3's Avatar
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    Having learned to quilt on a floor frame I have no problem with it. You just roll it as you finish the section you are on so that you are not quilting all that far away from you. I've got quilting hoops too. I usually quilt small quilts in them. I set up my floor frame in my den right now cause thats where I have the most room and I'm about the only one that uses it anyway. If you have a sewing room large enough to set it up in thats what I'd do. I'd put mine in my sewing room but it doubles as a guest room, so not to good an idea for me at this time.
    Connie

  9. #9
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    redrummy, that is the same thimble that I use and I love it. I found a place on line that I can get 3 for about the same price that I was paying for one in a quilt shop!
    where is that? I would love to get more.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    you will have to go to links and resources and go back a few pages, I think I posted it Thimbles for everyone! I need to go find it also, since I didn't save it on my computer! I posted it on April 10th. that might help.



    Ninnie

  11. #11
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
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    I use a floor frame to quilt. It takes up a lot of room. I did not have any trouble putting the quilt in the frame. The frame was made by an Amish family who has a quilt store in the area where I work. The frame was only $120.00 which I think is pretty cheap. It can fit a King size quilt and I will attach pictures. This is my very first quilt that I have been hand quilting for over a year. Do not mind the mess. We are eventually moving my sewing area up into one of the spare bedrooms which will be much smaller. I use a leather thimble for everything. I switch it from my middle finger to my thumb when I have to go away from me. I don't have a problem with it, I think you will get used to it.

    Kyia

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  12. #12
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Years ago I had two large floor frames. I now use two different standing hoops. When I was using the floor frames I also used a rolling office chair. The thing I learned about quilting on those frames was how to use both hands. I am right handed but I can quilt with either hand whichever is the most comfortable. I wear a long leather thimble on my right middle finger and a short leather thimbe on my left thumb. I quilt at our local Senior center once a week for a couple of hours and we are using a floor hoop there. It took a little getting used to but now I have no problem using both hands.
    Having learned to play the piano and touch type may have helped me use both hands with ease better than someone who does neither.

    I no longer have space for the floor frames. Sold them years ago.

  13. #13
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    An older lady in our quilt guild uses a carpenter square to get the pieces of wood square. If the backing is squared up and the batting put on, it is relatively easy to pin the top on square. We quilt at the local fair in September and that's where I saw her "put the quilt in".

  14. #14
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    you will have to go to links and resources and go back a few pages, I think I posted it Thimbles for everyone! I need to go find it also, since I didn't save it on my computer! I posted it on April 10th. that might help.



    Ninnie
    since I don't know how to make a link, I'll just type info for the thimble:
    http://www.unitednotions.com/notions2005_302-308.pdf

    doing an experiment, let's see if it works. :D

    well, just call me a hot buttered biscuit...YUMMY!!
    I copied and pasted addy, then highlighted and hit the URL box (clicked), and now I know how to make a link!!! I am so easily amused :D

  15. #15
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    thanks quiltncrazy!once again you come through for me. What would I do without you? I'm glad you are here to keep me straight. I need to order some thimbles myself. I love the leather one with the metal in the top.and the prices are great also. You're my Hero. :oops: :oops: You are a hot butter biscuit!

    Ninnie

  16. #16
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I quilt in a large floor frame at church, with the long boards and horses, not high tech! But I have gotten the ladies used to using rolling adjustable office chairs so it is easier to move around and adjust ones's body to quilt in one direction! I quilt toward my body and left to right, and right to left easily. When I have to quilt away from my body, I have a push thimble that looks like a flat knife with dimples. Then there are small metal things that you attach to any finger or thumb to use however you want. The one to use on top is dimpled, the one for the under is plain. Hope this helps. :lol:

  17. #17
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    thanks quiltncrazy!once again you come through for me. What would I do without you? I'm glad you are here to keep me straight. I need to order some thimbles myself. I love the leather one with the metal in the top.and the prices are great also. You're my Hero. :oops: :oops: You are a hot butter biscuit!

    Ninnie
    well, Ninnie, you must be the jam that goes with, bc you are so sweet!

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the info on the thimbles, do they sell to the public or just wholesale? When I was looking for United Notions the only site that came up was a wholesale site. I'm wondering if they have other low cost notions besides thimbles. Thanks

  19. #19
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    Roselady: Do you have enough floor space for a large size quilt on frames? My current house simply doesn't have that kind of room. I have a grace frame that I am totally happy with because with the three rollers, I can use a small area, but still hand quilt big 'ens. I'd honestly re-think this purchase, considering the cost of shipping, etc. If you do much quilting, or plan to, I'd sure suggest a grace frame, or equalivent.

  20. #20
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    The floor frame I am interested in is a 3 roller type, my concerns are whether or not I will be able to quilt in all directions, since I am used to being able to turn my hoop to quilt in the most comfortable direction. Also since most of us don't have huge homes, and may not be able to put the quilt frame in a living area (to be able to quilt with the company of our family), if your frame is in your sewing room, do you mind having to be away from your family in order to quilt. I assume that you must occasionally use your thumb to quilt away from yourself, so do you use a thimble on it, if so what kind? Thanks, I hope this made more sence.

  21. #21
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    ahh, now I understand. I put my quilt frame in the living room! I know it looks weird, but that way I can be with my husband, can watch TV with him, etc., close to the kitchen, etc. There is enough room to walk around mine. And most friends who stop by love seeing my latest project. I use it for a few weeks, then put it in the garage for a few months.

    As for quilting in strange directions, I just manage. Or start a new thread if it's a longer stretch that you have to go, so it's coming towards you. I don't do those beautiful fancy stitches, leaves, swirls, etc. that some of you ladies do, but my simple outline stitches work out fine.

  22. #22
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    I use thimbles, yes. I don't have a leather one, but that's on my list. Right now I'm using a metal one that fits me perfectly. I also use a little rubber gripper to grab the needle sometimes.

    HINT: a piece of tourniquet from a hospital, etc. cut into a 1X1" piece is perfect for gripping. Most nurses would have one to give you.

  23. #23
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    When I hand quilt, I use my Grace EZ3 floor frame. If you are doing a full size to queen size quilt, it is going to take up some major space. I have an unusually large bedroom, so I set it up in there. Great thing about the Grace frame, it folds down so it can be leaned against the wall when not in use. You don't even have to take your quilt off it to fold it up to get it out of the way. It is AWESOME to not have to baste the quilt sandwich. A floor frame gives you smooth, wrinkle free backs.

    As far as the stitching- I am probably going to be looked down on how I stitch in a floor frame. I use stab-stitch quilting needles, such as these:

    http://www.hancockfabrics.com/Twin-P...VVviewprod.htm

    If you use them correctly, according to directions, you can quilt in ANY direction, and very quickly with super small stitches. No hand fatigue, no thimble. The key is following the directions, otherwise your quilt back will be a mess of crooked stitches. I like them. They make for fast hand quilting.If you can't master quilting in other directions in any other way, try them. If you hate them, then you are out just a few dollars. Just my 2 cents. I worked as a pet groomer for years, and have ruined my hand/wrist joints (along with shoulders, hips, and knees.)

  24. #24
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    I have never heard of stab stitch needles! One more toy to try. Any pointers to give us?

  25. #25
    camillacamilla's Avatar
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    Well, the flaw in them is the weak spot in them- where the eye of the needle is- the middle. So when you use them, you don't put pressure on the middle, but it tells you that on the package. The trick to them is making sure they enter the fabric at exactly a 90 degree angle. If they go in crooked, your back stitches will look bad. Again, it tells you that on the package. I can't imagine they can be used for anything but a hoop or frame. It is less hand and wrist strain and your thread really doesn't tangle. It is just straight down in and straight back up. One hand under the quilt, one hand of top of it. You get a rhythm going and it just flies by. Once you get used to handling the needle and learn how to make sure the needle goes in straight, you will be the master of the tiniest quilting stitches. :D Direction doesn't matter with these- you can move however you need to. I have used quite a few types of needles, but for a floor frame, I prefer these. Super, super easy.

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