Monday, October 20, 2008

My New Quilt Frame

For those of you who asked about my quilt frame, this post is for you:)

I've wanted a long arm quilt machine, but the cost is a little prohibitive, for Todd and I, at this point in time.

I found this website on the web, and was intrigued. According to it I could use my machine like a long arm machine, but also, the frame is lightweight, stores easily, and I could do hand quilting on it too. I really need to learn how to hand quilt (and I have a hoop stand frame and a Q snap frame). There is a link on the home page that you can watch the same DVD they send with the frame to set it up.

After checking on ebay, I found 1 for $69.99 plus s/h (which I think was around $15). I could have brought just the hardware for $49 (and brought my own rails) but to begin with, I wanted the whole set up.

It goes together ok - it took me about an hour watching the DVD and following along step by step. And that was putting it all together and loading the quilt onto it as well.

Quilting was a breeze. Once I figured out just where to put the PVC pipes that support the quilt frame on either side of my machine, and the easiest way to hold the frame - the quilting flew by.

Advancing the quilt to quilt new parts is not bad - a little tricky the first couple times but then it was fine. This frame it is easiest if you quilt from left to right and go all the way across the quilt. Then at the end you cut your threads and start at the left all over again. It mentioned (I think) in the DVD that you can stop with your needle down and advance the quilt on the frame, but I'm not co-ordinated enough to do that. And I could just see trying to explain to Todd that he needs to fix my machine again cause I bent something doing that!

I think it may waste a little more backing fabric (and I am one that likes to slide by with as little waste as possible) but I'm not sure. I did load 2 more tops onto it yesterday when I was done with this one (2 table toppers that are each about 18" square) - I loaded them side by side, the idea beingI can quilt across the first one and keep going right across the second one. We'll see how that works. The plus side is what waste you have is at least 44" wide (or however wide your backing is) and 6-8" long - so it's a good size piece of fabric.

I do not like how the machine is positioned only for 1 fact - it is extremely hard to thread the machine (and maybe that is just me). Or I just cannot thread my machine if I am not facing it head on. It does take up a lot of space to quilt (you need about 4' on each side of your machine clear) but I just set it up on my kitchen table. I have plans of putting a 6 or 8 foot folding table in my sewing room and using that.

But, I'm happy I brought it and Todd is already planning on going to the hardware store and getting me rails to do bigger quilts on it. Since most of my quilts tend to be twin or double sized quilts....


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