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Thread: Quilting Frames

  1. #1
    quiltinlily's Avatar
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    I would like to know if anyone in the forum uses quilting frames at home. I bought one but have not set it up yet. I do not know if I even want to keep it. It seems like a lot of trouble. I do not know if I even have the room for it. It is a new Pfaff frame with all the bells and whistles. It really looks complicated to set up. Does anyone out there know anything about these things? Thanks, Lin

  2. #2
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    My son built me a frame, but I haven't used it, It takes up a lot of room. Mine is very simple but I got used to quilting with the whole thing on my lap,I've tried to use a small hoop but still like my way best. It keeps me warm on cold days and I can watch TV at the same time. Good Luck

  3. #3

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    I use a frame called a Q-Snap its made up of plastic pipe and it works very well for me .It does'nt take up a lot of room ,and I can take it to the cottage with me .I do a lot of hand quilting at the cottage .

  4. #4
    Member peachrose's Avatar
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    I bought this type of tube frame at Jo-ann Fabrics and when I am not using it -- I take it apart and stick it in the closet for the next time. Great for crib size quilts and small quilts. I really like it.

  5. #5
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    If you have a bells and whistles frame, you might not need to baste the layers together before you start to quilt. Check the instructions. (That alone would make almost any sacrifice worthwhile for me. LOL) The instructions should also give the dimensions of the fully assembled frame. Use a tape measure to see whether or not it will fit into your space.

    I went shopping online for the least expensive frame I could find that would allow me to load any size quilt and leave it all in place until done. I even figured out a way to avoid the dreaded basting of layers beforehand. The one I have was less than $100 - even with the extension poles. It's basically poles and adjustable legs. All wood. The upside is that I don't have to keep moving the quilt around in sections. The downside is that I surrender my living room while working on it. (I don't have a studio ... yet.) I just lay a sheet over the whole thing when I'm not working on it. (My cat thinks it's his special resting place.) If I need to get it out of the way, I just take the poles off the legs, role it up in a sheet, and stand it in a corner until it's time to get back to work.

    Every quilter has a preference. For me, the hassles of a full-sized frame (as opposed to hoops or sectional frames) mean I can keep my hands free while quilting, only have to load it onto the poles one time, and can walk away and/or store it easily between sessions.

    In your situation, I could never resist the temptation to put it together to find out whether or not it worked the way I needed it to. :-)

  6. #6
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    Could you give me the make of your frame? It sounds like one that I would love to have.

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Whew!!! I was getting worried for a minute. I had a hard time finding my frame online.

    The frame is made by F.A. Edmunds. It's their Maple Quilting Frame 25" x 87" #5560D. You can also buy extension poles.

    It took a while to find a source for this exact model. The place from which I bought mine doesn't seem to carry them anymore. The price has gone up, but it's still quite reasonable compared to the fancier frames made by Grace. $85 for the basic frame; $30 for the extension kit; plus shipping. (Those are well worth the price, I'm sure. Just out of my range.)

    http://www.embroideryetcetera.com/quilting-frames.htm

    I don't know if you can find it for less from another source. This was just the first one I found that sells the exact model I have.

    Do not confuse the "Maple Quilting Frame" (the one I have) with the Bedford model. You can adjust both the height and width of the frame I have in several combinations. It will adjust to much more than a 25" deep quilting surface if you're willing to sacrifice a bit in height. (I'm nearly 6' tall, so I have mine set higher than most women would likely find comfortable, and still not as high as it'll go. I'll bet male quilters on a budget would love this frame.) Also, the poles are held in place with an adjustable vice-type arrangement. My guess is that makes it less likely the poles will just pop out on their own while you're moving it. The reason I like that feature is that it means I'm not restricted to using only the poles that came with it, (which are square; about 1" x 1").

    I put the whole thing together myself. I don't remember how long it took. About a half an hour, I think. It was so easy, I think it took longer to lay out the parts and read the instructions than it did to actually put it together. No tools necessary; not even a screwdriver.

    The upside of the square poles is that they "lock" easily into place and the extensions are easy to add. The downside is that you can't make minute adjustments to the tension. Also, you need to install the additional bracing parts once you extend it, or the poles bend and sag. (The parts come with the extension kit, but I was way too lazy to spend 10 more minutes adding them. LOL)

    I popped across the street to the local lumber yard and bought a wood closet pole. They cut it in half for me. Voila!!! Just the right length for the quilt I was working on. Tension adjustable in teeny-tiny increments. Don't have to take the poles out when rolling up to the next section of quilting surface. Just loosen the big bolts, roll, tighten the bolts, keep quilting. :-)

    As you work, the tension gets loose, but with this frame, that's because the poles have turned a bit on their own - not because the fabrics are getting stretched out of shape.

    Sorry to have turned this into a book, but I figured I might as well share as much as I could about my experiences with it so you can make a more informed decision about whether or not it might work as well for you as it does for me. Nothing more annoying than the disappointment and hassle of having to send something back.

  8. #8
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    How is the quilt attached? This is a two pole not a three? This is similar to the one my son built from a pattern we bought. I have no used it yet.

  9. #9
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Users are supposed to attach canvas strips (or something similar) to the poles first. Staples or small nails - although wood glue might do the trick. The strips stay in place. Quilts are then either pinned or basted to the strips so you can roll it up from either direction. (I was too lazy to attach the strips first. I taped the fabric to the pole instead. It worked, but I'm sure when I attach the strips - which I will definitely do before I use it again - it will work much better.

    It's a 2-pole system. To avoid basting the layers together, I roled up just the backing, then layed the batting and quilt top over it. After using a running stitch to attach the batting and top to the backing at the end closest to me, I smoothed out the batting over the quilting surface, then rolled up the remainder using round quilters'/bycycle clips to hold it in place on the pole farthest from me. I simply drape the unquilted part of the top over the whole deal, smooting all three layers together as I go, pin basting whenever it seems necessary. and fold or pile it on the surface between sessions.

    I know this is not the proper way to do it but it worked well enough for me. I hate basting the layers together first. I make myself do it for machine quilting - unless I'm using a quilt-as-I-go method - but skip it when using the frame to hand quilt or tie.

  10. #10
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    Patrice,
    Thanks for all of your information. I know it took some time to write and it is most appreciated! Nothing like the voice of experience!
    Yvonne

  11. #11
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    I did a search on quilt frames and have been asking quilters which ones they have and how they like them.

    Now here is the catch. I do not intend to hand quilt. I have nerve damage in my fingers and cannot hold the needle. I want to be able to roll my quilts on a frame in order to get the layers together and smoothed out. Yes, I will probably have to baste them, then take them off the frame and do the quilting on my sewing machine.

    Does anyone have any comments about this idea for use of a quilt frame? Do you think it will work? If not, tell me why.

    The John Flynn frame really intrigues me. Does anyone have one of his frames?

    I can send a list of the frame I found on line if you would like to check them out before you purchase one. There is an Amish company that sells wooden frames. Gohn Bros. Mfg. Co. I found them listed on the internet as well.

    This is the best I have to offer for now. June

  12. #12

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    All I have for a quilt frame is 3- 1X2's I cut into. and they are about 3 feet long. they are the 2 I use for the side the 2 long one I attach my quilt to and quilt. when finish I take it apart and stand it in the corner of the extra room. And I clamp the boars together with c clamps.
    Juju :)

  13. #13
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I think using the frame to baste sounds a lot better than having to crawl around on the floor.

  14. #14
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    I think using the frame to baste sounds a lot better than having to crawl around on the floor.
    I never thought of that idea.
    Maybe will have to tell hubby I NEED one for Valentine's Day. :lol:
    I'm new here and still reading thru the posts. LOVE all the ideas you ladies have.

  15. #15
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    I'll bet male quilters on a budget would love this frame.
    Male quilters (at least this one) quilt with their bernina 830. I don't see that changing in the foreseable future (like the next 30 years). I don't see a quilting frame taking up room around here.

    *L*

    tim in san jose

  16. #16
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Alex Anderson hosted a male quilter in a few episodes. Can't remember his name. He quilts by hand using a frame. Does gorgeous work.

    He quilts for 8 hours at a time - just as he'd put in a full day at any other job.

    Talk about ability to stay focused! Even if my hands didn't get too tired to keep going that long, my attention span would never hold out. LOL

    He's my Hand-Quiltin'-Hero!

  17. #17
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    Alex Anderson hosted a male quilter in a few episodes. Can't remember his name. He quilts by hand using a frame. Does gorgeous work.

    He quilts for 8 hours at a time - just as he'd put in a full day at any other job.

    Talk about ability to stay focused! Even if my hands didn't get too tired to keep going that long, my attention span would never hold out. LOL

    He's my Hand-Quiltin'-Hero!
    Obviously a transferance of the primary creative role from actual movement (quilting on the machine) to the planning state. I don't have the patience to hand quilt anything. As a robotics software engineer, I am use to instant gratfication. It works, or it doesn't. I like to see the results as I am working.

    And yes, I understand everyone is different, we all get out of our efforts what we put in.

    tim in san jose

  18. #18
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    So ... it only takes a few minutes to design and program a robot? And every robot you design works the first time?

    See? You have more patience and tolerance of delayed gratification than you give yourself credit for having.
    :mrgreen:

  19. #19
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    So ... it only takes a few minutes to design and program a robot? And every robot you design works the first time?

    See? You have more patience and tolerance of delayed gratification than you give yourself credit for having.
    :mrgreen:
    Ah... the robots I work with are already designed. I make them work. I look at the big picture of what needs to be accomplished, I design a plan to make that happen, then I wirte the code ( I am a minimalist programmer) and test. It works, or it doesn't. Kind of like building a quilt top. I plan it out, decide on the materials, do the drudge work of washing and ironing, do the cutting and sewing, and then it's done. As I mentioned in another thread, I have 288 half square trianges in the process, so I can do repetive tasks, I just let my mind wander as that 50% of my concentration is sapped by the sewing process. But we are talking days here, not weeks or months.

    We all have to know ourselves and figure out what we get out of this advocation we indulge ourselves in. Now back to programming robots. It's what they pay me to do.

    tim in san jose

  20. #20
    Member desertdebbe's Avatar
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    I have a John Flynn frame which uses the metal conduit instead of the wood rods. It has 3 poles and I am very happy with it. I did have to buy a table for it and it sits in my livingroom. I got it as I really didn't want to spend upwards of $500. for one. I don't have to baste, which is great. One day I hope to get one with bells and whistles, lucky you.

  21. #21
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    PatriceJ wrote:
    Alex Anderson hosted a male quilter in a few episodes. Can't remember his name. He quilts by hand using a frame. Does gorgeous work.

    He quilts for 8 hours at a time - just as he'd put in a full day at any other job.

    Talk about ability to stay focused! Even if my hands didn't get too tired to keep going that long, my attention span would never hold out. LOL

    He's my Hand-Quiltin'-Hero!

    His name is Joe Cunningham. He was one of the guests on the first episode of "The Quilt Show" on www.thequiltshow.com. And you can watch that one for free there too.
    He uses a frame made with 1"X2"s & C-clamps, for hand quilting and also for basting with either thread or pins. Looked easy to make, and basting that way sounds much easier than on the floor or draped over a table!

    sue

  22. #22

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    Hello. Is the name of your frame the Next Generation? I was at Joanns the other day and that is exactly what I am looking for. The one there has a machine that comes with it too. It is a Mega quilter by Husqvarna. I am interested in buying one soon. Please let me know if you would like to re-sell yours. Thank you Lecia

  23. #23
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    I have a quilt frame and I use muslin to cover the poles so I can attach the quilting fabric. I take one piece of muslin and fold in half that is the width of the poles plus 3 to 4 inches, double that. Now put wrongs side together, seger the edge together, turn and sew a seam the width of the pole. This makes a casement to put the poles in. Then you pin the qulting fabric to the muslin and you are ready to go. I layer all my pieces and then roll.
    I pin baste from the center out both ways and it works great.
    Virginia

  24. #24
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    I wanted to see what this frame looks like, specifications, etc.

    Anyone else interested can see it here....try it at a dealer...


    http://www.pfaffusa.com/8573.html

    June in Cincinnati

  25. #25
    Senior Member scrappylouisa's Avatar
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    I was very fortunate to inherit my Grandmother's wooden quilting frame. She bought it either from a Sears or JC Penny catalog in the early 70's. She also bought the extentions for it to make queen and king size quilts. I've had it stored in my sister's attic until a few weeks ago. I plan on using it to tie out my Nine-Patch top. As soon as I get it all set up I will take a photo and upload.

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