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Thread: Grandma's Quilting Frame or Older

  1. #1
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    Grandma's Quilting Frame or Older

    Hi All,
    This is my first post and hopefully there are some folks out there who are familiar with antiques and what I am about to share. I inherited my Grandmother's (maybe Great-Grandmother) quilting frame. I have tried twice to figure out how it goes together and today I spent some more time on it and I believe I finally have a rough idea. I will try to attach some photos.
    I suppose it was used for quilting bees or whatever at one time. It stands 96 3/4" Long X 34" Wide X
    31 1/2" High. It looks like there should be four gears, but there only two and only two pawls that would lock the gears in place and those are located at opposite ends from each other. There are also only 2 pencil-shaped pegs (about 5" long) that are inserted into holes to lock the long spindles in place so the quilt doesn't turn while the ladies are working on it. The legs are mortised into the top frame and secured with wood dowels. The only metal on this are the 2 screws securing the pawls.
    The kicker is that there appears to be two extra sets of legs and I have no idea where they go. Do they belong to the main frame somewhere? They can't stand alone because there's nothing to support them, but they have holes to place the pencil-shaped pegs. These are 35 1/2" Long X 3" Wide X 32" High. The legs are also mortised.
    I apologize for the length of this post, but I wanted give describe it as thoroughly as possible. Any information is greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    now THAT is super cool!!! I know NOTHING about them, but I will be following this to learn more as the experts chime in.

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    Thanks, Steve. I just hope there are some experts.

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    Super Member needles3thread's Avatar
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    I have some old quilt frames with the cog wheels. It looks very much like the one you picture. There is only one set of legs on the ends. All three layers of quilt (top, bat and lining) are basted together and attached to the cloth along each pole then rolled up so most of it is on one pole. My mother used old ladies cloth belts to keep the sides taunt for hand quilting. I think the extra sets of legs must be in case they needed them for another set of poles. Sometimes there were holes drilled at intervals around the ends of the poles that fit into holes in the leg sets to prevent the poles from turning. The quilting frame takes quite a bit of room in the living space until the quilt is
    finished. Hope this description helps a little.

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    Needles3 is correct. Perhaps the extra legs and short poles are for a baby quilt or something smaller than the large one.

  6. #6
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Usually, both “gears” are on the same side pole, and the other side pole has holes drilled through it to pin it. The “gears” give minute adjustments on one side to get the tension just right. I've not ever seen one with a "gear" on one end of each pole.

    The other set of legs probably goes to another frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThayerRags View Post
    Usually, both “gears” are on the same side pole, and the other side pole has holes drilled through it to pin it. The “gears” give minute adjustments on one side to get the tension just right. I've not ever seen one with a "gear" on one end of each pole.

    The other set of legs probably goes to another frame.

    CD in Oklahoma
    I agree, but that's how the pawls are located and I don't see screw holes in the end pieces where other pawls should have been.
    By the way, y'all are giving great input. I'm still a little confused about the extra legs. They do not have any poles.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Very cool! I think that's the first antique one I've seen. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Looks like it would be fun to build one.
    Welcome aboard!
    Now we just have to get you interested in machines old enough to match it....
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  9. #9
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    is is possible that the extra leg sits in the middle to mitigate the droop from the weight of the material?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    is is possible that the extra leg sits in the middle to mitigate the droop from the weight of the material?
    I thought about that too, but again, what keeps them from falling over? Besides if the tension is taut enough from rolling it up, there shouldn't be a sag, should there? Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. #11
    Junior Member lmc8's Avatar
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    I had the same thought as SteveH, only I was thinking perhaps the extra set of legs as pictured are maybe upside down and the weight of the rolled up quilt sandwich is what supports them from not falling down.

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    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Yes indeed that is so cool. All wood and handmade, wonderful. Can you give us an approximate age?
    Sweet Caroline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Yes indeed that is so cool. All wood and handmade, wonderful. Can you give us an approximate age?
    I honestly have no idea. My mom & dad seperated and dad moved to where his parents lived. Then he passed away and as we were going through the house, preparing for public sale, I found it in the attic. Since my wife quilts every once in a while, she thought she would like to keep it, but it's too big for our current house since we down-sized. Who knows? It may have been my Great-Grandmother's. I'm no expert at aging these things. Rough guess . . . early 20th century, maybe very late 19th century.

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    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    It looks like an old Hinterberg design. They are still in business, so I would try them first.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madamekelly View Post
    It looks like an old Hinterberg design. They are still in business, so I would try them first.

    Good idea....also maybe a quilt museum would have some info.....oh if only that frame could talk...what tales it would tell.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    Good idea....also maybe a quilt museum would have some info.....oh if only that frame could talk...what tales it would tell.......
    Yeah, I wish it could talk too. I checked the Hinterberg site and I couldn't find anything close to it. Their's are more comtemporary.

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    My grandmother had a frame very similar - she was born about 1888, married about 1908...my grandfather could easily have made them but I have no idea. I have one aunt still alive - she may know.

    Also, my grandmother's could be pulled up to the ceiling using simple eye bolts and ropes so it wasn't in the way. Quite innovative I think :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by flybreit View Post
    My grandmother had a frame very similar - she was born about 1888, married about 1908...my grandfather could easily have made them but I have no idea. I have one aunt still alive - she may know.

    Also, my grandmother's could be pulled up to the ceiling using simple eye bolts and ropes so it wasn't in the way. Quite innovative I think :-)
    When we lived in the larger house with a huge craft room for my wife, we saw the idea of a pully system from the ceiling and thought about doing that, but then we downsized and moved to a much smaller rancher and her craftroom is nothing more than a 12 X12 spare bedroom.

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    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    I remember, way back when I was just a kid, my great grandmother had quilt frames supspended from the ceiling. The frames were made out of just plain old lumber (2 X stock). When the quilters wanted to quilt, the frames would be lowered to the right height for quilting. I don't remember too much about the construction, or how the quilt was fixed in the frame, or anything. I just know it was really strange to see one of those frames hanging from the ceiling!

    Jeanette

  20. #20
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    Have you looked through the photo album? There might be a picture or two with the quilting frame in it.
    Fur is flying
    and so are
    little bits of fabric and thread!

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