Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Quilt Frame

Reposted with updated photos.
I have read so many blogs by quilters who are still crawling on the floor to layer and baste or pin their quilts. It is time to rise up off the floor and get yourself a quilt frame! I watched Footloose the other night Whether you find one at an estate sale or go to the lumber yard and buy boards to make one, a serious quilter needs a quilt frame.
 I have 2 quilting frames, this one was my Gramma's, the boards are 3/4 inch x 4 inches wide and are 86 and 101 inches long. It will frame up to a full size quilt. It has holes drilled every 4 inches, pieced strips of denim are nailed to each board for pinning the backing. The holes are for dropping large nails through to square the frame. Then she used C clamps to keep it tight.  Gramma used the frame to hand quilt. She would sit on one side and quilt as far as she could reach then remove pins and 2 nails and roll the quilt onto the board and then drop the nails through the holes again  and clamp with C clamps to keep the frame in place and the quilt taught on the frame. She had short stanchions with holes for the corner nails so the quilt was at a comfortable height for quilting.
The other quilt frame that I have belonged to the Grandmother of one of my dearest friends and if she ever starts quilting I will return it to her. It is made of 1 inch x 2 inch boards that are 96 inches and 120 inches long.

I set it on my dining chairs, a good height for pinning, its a little higher than kitchen counter tops. I put the nails in the holes then measure across and lengthwise at the corners and diagonally to be sure it is square.

Then I pin or staple the backing to the frame. Stapling is quicker to put on the frame but pinning in much quicker to take off and there is no scarring the fabric with pins.
Lay the batting on and smooth it out.

Lay quilt top on and smooth it out

I pin with straight pins if I plan to machine quilt it. I baste if I am going to hand quilt with my lap frame.

Buy boards that are knot free you don't want it oozing sap on your quilt And  don't let the guy at the lumber yard sell you warped or crooked boards that contractors have rejected. Straight boards are a must. Clamp or tape the boards together in pairs so you are drilling holes through both boards. Measure and mark every 4 inches. Then take your hubby's cordless drill and drill holes big enough to accommodate the 4 great big nails you bought with the boards.  Mine are mismatched 3 1/2 and 4 inch nails. If you are a pinner sew long strips of denim and fold in half then tack or staple to boards. If you prefer to staple quilts to the frame skip that step. Use a light weight staple gun  with 1/4 inch staples  you want them to come out easily. I tilt the staple gun slightly so the staple does not go in all the way and leaves a space to pry it out with a flat edge screw driver.

Save your knees! Save your back! Get a quilt frame! Sweet talk your hubby into one for Valentines Day or get him a cordless drill.

 Happy Quilting,


Linda at Roscoe's Ma said...

Thank you, Ann!

Lesley said...

Love your quilt, love your frame, love your pictures of everything from start to finish. Will look forward to seeing ithe quilt finished . Thanks for sharing!

Pattilou said...

This post brought back many memories of quilting on a frame. The first I did was before our first son was born and I borrowed frames and set it up in my living room. (Wish I still had that quilt) Another time, I borrowed frames and was going to quilt a quilt for my in-laws for their 50th. It was my first year of teaching and that quilt was in our living room for 3 months. I finally had to call in some help so that we could get it out of the living room for Christmas!

Love that quilt you are working on.

canuckquilter said...

You're absolutely right! I made myself one last winter and wonder why it rook me so long.

Rose said...

I have actually thought about doing this...my mom always quilted by hand and used frames like this. She had it hung from the ceiling in her bedroom on strips of fabric, and when not quilting, she just rolled it up.

I used to use my floor quilting frame, but have not place to leave it set up now. I have been trying to decide if it is worth putting it together every time I want to pin baste a quilt.

Wish we were where we could visit and I could talk to you about another issue with it. It is like the lining rolls faster than the top...don't know how to resolve that issue.

Melva Baledge said...

These are like the frames my Grandmother and mother used except they would thumbtack the lining to boards. I have the frames now, though I've never used them. I also have an unfinished double wedding ring quilt that my mother was working on when she died. She was making it for my youngest son and he wants me to finish it for his youngest daughter. I've looked at it several times, but when I open the box it smells of Zest soap and Oil of Olay. but I will get it finished.