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Quilting Frames

Old 01-23-2007, 12:45 AM
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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
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:58 AM
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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
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:55 AM
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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 .
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:09 PM
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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.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:00 AM
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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. :-)
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:51 PM
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Could you give me the make of your frame? It sounds like one that I would love to have.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:22 AM
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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.
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:41 AM
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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.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:22 AM
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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.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:11 AM
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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
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