Old Time Quilting - Frames

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Flojo Posted: Fri, Nov 4 2011 9:42 AM
"koda wrote re: Old time Quilting - Batting - on Thursday, 3 November 2011, 11:27 AM

I inherted my great grandmother's wooden quilting frame.  She was born in the early 1800's, none of my mother's side of the family exept me did any sewing.  My hubby and I don't know how to put it together and we are not even sure that we have all of the pieces.  Since we don't own another frame it would be a treat to put it together and maybe even use it.  The wood that it is made of it as hard as nails!  If anyone has any info on this, it would be great if they could share it! "

koda's  comment on my blog about Old time Quilting - Batting sparked another blog about memories and pratical use of her great grandmother's wooden quilting frame.  How my family put together and used those 4 simple pieces of board with holes drilled in them to produce the quilts we slept under.  It's called                     "Old time Quilting - Frames"
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Janet replied on Fri, Nov 4 2011 10:29 AM

I have never seen old frames with holes in the boards, but many were just 4 1" x 2"  long "sticks"  held together by clamps and placed on uprights similar to saw horses.   the quilt is either pinned into the boards with thumb tacks or pinned to a strip of material attached to the board.   It sounds like you would need to use the 2nd option as your sticks are likely maple or something even harder.  

My husband made my frame a few years ago and stapled  a folded strip of fabric to the boards.  

Make sure the frame is square before you attach the quilt.    The backing fabric is pinned to the fabric strip and the batting laid out on top with the top layer following to be pinned as well.   The quilt is then quilted from the outside and the top sticks are rolled under as the quilting progresses.    This type of frame requires a large room for a queen or king size quilt , the frame and chairs.    

If  you need to store the quilt before it is finished it can be rolled from both sides and then rolled out at a later date to be completed. 

If you can locate a quilting group, such as a church group that sells, raffles or  quilts for profit, they probably use a similar frame and would be glad to help you.  



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Carol replied on Fri, Nov 4 2011 8:06 PM

The holes in the boards are for the "holders", which are much like ice picks (if you're old enough to know what those are!)  My  DH made a set like this for basting - it's quicker to adjust the boards, as you  roll up quicker when you're basting.  The holes match up and the "holders" stick through both to hold them until you're ready to roll again.  It's fine for basting, but I like better adjustment when I'm actually quilting, so use other frames for that.  "Way back when, they told me they used that kind, and set them on backs of wooden chairs to use, then roped up to the ceiling to get them out of the way when not quilting.  I actualy learned on that kind of frames, at the Grange Hall.

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Ann W. replied on Sat, Nov 5 2011 2:30 AM

My first large quilt frame was a homemade one. It was made out of 2x2's and saw horse's . I had my husband drill 4 holes in both ends of the 2x2's so I could put long bolts through them to hold the quilt tight. I hand quilted over 25 quilts on them until we had to move to a smaller place due to my health.

Now when I do hand quilting it is in a hoop or I do it without a hoop.

Ann W. in Indiana

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Flojo replied on Mon, Nov 7 2011 8:29 AM

I posted my blog and thread about old time quilting - frames Friday morning and left to visit my daughter for the weekend. I was delighted to read all your responses this morning. As Mama Irene (paternal grandmother) always said, “There is more than one way to skin a cat!” and apparently our predecessors in quilting found a lot of them. Thanks to you ,JL-3, I now know why there were ‘C’ clamps with my Mother’s quilting frame. She used them to hold the quilt snug when the holes didn’t!


I hope you are following this thread, these ladies know a lot!

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