Quilting has been a storytelling mechanism, a history keeper, and a functional household item through the ages. The earliest known quilt was a garment that adorned an ivory figure of an Egyptian Pharaoh that was traced to 3,400 B.C. One of the earliest surviving bed quilts found in Sicily was created sometime during the 14th century. Quilts remain a multifaceted artform that transcend their medium of fabric and stitching. As you begin or evolve your quilting journey, it can be helpful to understand the history and functions of some of the quilting frame options.
Hand Quilt Frames
Pioneer women are credited as the creators of hand quilt frames. The full-sized, three roller frame, and Q-snap floor frame are the three types of hand quilt frames most commonly used today. The frames of pioneer times were often stretched across the backs of chairs when in use. Other methods of use involved hanging the frame from the rafters of a home using ropes and pulleys. In each instance, when the day's work was completed, the quilt and frame were rolled or hoisted and removed from the living area. Each completed quilt could be utilized in a myriad of ways; some of which included quilts acting as warm bedding in harsh weather, padding for valuables during a move, blocking drafts from windows, and creating room divisions in single room cabins.
Grace Hoop 2 DM
The Grace Hoop 2 DM is the modern and sleek sister to its predecessors. The minimalist hoop is 12” wide, 14” on the diagonal, and 4-5.5” (adjustable) in height. The lightweight hoop assembly process takes roughly three and a half minutes to complete. The optional floor stand offers the most ergonomic hand quilting experience to date. The stand allows the hoop to float in your lap while securing your project for perfect quilting tension and personal comfort. The knob that attaches the stand to the hoop controls the rotation and angle of your quilt to position it in any way that suits your body best. Bonus feature: there is a tool caddy on the stand! This quilting hoop also allows you to quilt standing or sitting. This is perfect for quilters with tight shoulders, necks, or backs from other hand quilting mechanisms. If you’re interested in an efficient, versatile, and user-friendly quilting experience, Click HERE.
This style of frame is the easiest to assemble at home. It is typically constructed of wood held together at the corners using C-clamps with four legs to support the frame and the quilt. Also known as a stretcher frame, this device holds a stretched quilt horizontally to create a table-like structure. The convenience of this type of frame involves the ability to hold the three layers of the quilt (backing fabric, batting, and quilt top) tautly without the need for basting. One of the disadvantages to this type of frame is that it requires a larger area which can mean having to disassemble the frame regularly during your project in a smaller living or working space.
This type of frame is used for both hand and machine quilting. The quilt backing fabric and batting are held in place by rolling the fabric onto two roller boards. Meanwhile, the top of the quilt is rolled on a third board. All of the fabric layers are tightly maintained as the user rolls the quilt to the desired work section. Depending on the materials used in construction, the rollers may be extended or retracted to accommodate the length or width of the quilt. This option affords you considerably more room in your quilting area than a full-sized frame.
Q-Snap Floor Frame
This option seems like the Legos of quilt frames as it is typically constructed using PVC pipe and is highly customizable. Similar to an embroidery hoop, the quilter lays the basted layers over the bottom frame and clamps the fabric using a top frame. Though having to baste a quilt prior to use, the lighter weight and smaller size of the overall frame makes the device easier to move from one location to another. Kits are also available that allow the user to tilt the frame to the angle of choice. Although this lightweight option allows for easy assembly and storage, picking the Q-snap floor frame will depend on your preference on basting your project before you load it to the frame.
Learn more about the great benefits of Grace quilting frames HERE