Quilting as an art has been in existent for centuries. What is more intriguing is that, hand quilting has not seen much replacement except that hand quilting frames have been improved. I will share the best hand quilting frames in the market today and explain what a hand quilting frame is.
We shall also look at the best quilting frames that you can order from amazon and make your home hand-quilting easier and more satisfying. By the time you finish, you may even have a different opinion regarding a cheap quilting frame that you may have thought wasn’t up to the task.
What is a Quilting Frame?
Hand quilting requires a hand quilting frame, a needle, thimble, and thread. Therefore, our primary focus today will be the hand quilting frame.
A quilting frame acts as an extra set of hands when quilting. The frame holds the quilt at the top, the back, and by the batting. This way, the quilt remains tight and elevated, simplifying your work.
Traditionally, quilting frames were made of wood, but the modern types are made of plastics and other lightweight synthetic materials. The main advantage of the contemporary models is that they are light and can be disassembled for portability and easier storage.
The modern quilting frames are based on the traditional design, which was basically a large rectangular wooden frame supported with four legs. The result was a structure much like a big dining table.
Quilters, who were mostly women, would secure the quilt tightly over the top frame using nails and ropes to prevent the quilt from shifting position. These communal activities are what came to be known as quilting bees. Finally, women would gather around the quilting frame to work on a single quilt.
Quilting bees didn’t last very long as quilters started preferring to do the job alone. Although there are modern types that can accommodate a group of quilters, there are popular options for a single person. This brings us to the types of hand quilting frames.
Types of Hand Quilting Frames
There are two major types; floor quilt and lap quilt frames.
- Floor quilt frames
These are frames that can support a quilting bee. They are large and usually have a rolling mechanism for moving the quilt and bars to secure and elevate the quilt as you work on it.
There are smaller models available that can even be disassembled for storage. You can use them at any spot in your house.
2. Lap quilt frames.
As the name suggests, lap quilt frames are accommodated on the lap. Thus, they make the ideal option for people who prefer quilting alone.
A lap quilt usually takes the shape of a large wooden or plastic hoop. The quilt is clamped in between the hoop to keep it taut as you stitch the layers.
A lap frame can take a floor frames’ shape and design, only that it is small and light enough to be used on the lap.
The Best Hand Quilting Frames Review
After reviewing as many quilting frames as I could get my hands on, I compiled a review of the seven best quilting frames. These products include cheap quilting frames that you can acquire without breaking the bank.
1. Edmunds Handi-Clamp Complete Frame Set
Have you been frustrated by the tacks, gaps, and unevenness that sewing fabric causes? Your frustration can quickly go away with the Handi-Clamp frame set! This multi-size wooden quilting frame provides you everything you need to make crafting stress-free.
The entire wooden surface is well polished to ensure your quilt material does not get pinched and damaged. The wooden ball knobs are also exquisitely designed to match the hardwood texture while allowing you to scroll with ease.
The Edmunds Handi-Clamp Complete Frame Set will enable your next project to stand up straight and tall without any saggy sections due to how well it keeps fabrics in place for easy scrolling through these simple but effective scroll rods.
Some quilting frames will speed up your work but at a relatively high capital cost. On the contrary, the Edmunds Handi-Clamp Complete Frame Set is one of the cheaper options that really perform.
- Made of hardwood
- Lap quilting frame type
- 6″ and 8″ spreaders
- 8″, 14″ and 20″ scroll rods
- 8 ball knobs
- 6 Handi clamps
- It is ideal for larger projects
- The hardwood material ensures durability
- Pairs well with a universal craft stand
- PVC tubes are initially very tight, but they ease with time.
2. FA Edmunds Adjustable Hands-Free Stitch and Scroll Frame
Talking of cheap quilting frames, the FA Edmunds Adjustable Hands-Free Stitch and Scroll Frame will cost you under $40. Nevertheless, this is one of your best quilting frames for a reason.
The frame is adjustable and sits on your lap pretty nice, so you can enjoy stitching whenever quilting or embroidering. The removable sidebars allow the frame to be folded flat so you can continue with your project while seated at the car’s back seat. Also, whenever you want to take a break when traveling, the frame leaves plenty of room in your car or bag when folded, so you have space for other stuff.
The removable sidebars allow you to fold the edges of the frame inward, so it doubles as a lap stand with no legs needed.
- 1.35 lbs.
- Dimensions: 9″ x 18″ x 1″
- Lap frame design
- It’s fully adjustable
- It can be used in a car
- Not so easy to assemble
3. GRACE Start-Right Sewing Machine Hand Frame Precision Cloth Leader
This is another one of the cheap quilting frames requiring minimal space to work with. Now you can do things like hemming curtains with the Grace Sewing Machine Hand Frame Precision Cloth Leader from GRACE with more convenience and lower cost.
The three different-sized cloths are the perfect height for comfortable arm movements when precision is vital. In addition, the Leaders are flexible enough to work in tight spaces while staying firm enough not to lose their shape or fray at the fabric edges. Best of all, this item works seamlessly with either Momentum or Grace frames, so you do not have to buy another frame.
- 20″, 10″, and 4″ cloths
- Flexible leaders
- Hemmed with a serged edge
- Compatible with Momentum frame
- 3 different widths make it one of the best quilting frames.
- The flexible leaders are also durable
- Can utilize small spaces.
- Nothing yet!
4. Grace Start-Right EZ3
Although not one of the cheap options, the Grace Start-Right EZ3 No-Baste Hand Quilting Frame is one of a kind, donning a dedicated design from start to end. For example, the rails are made of aluminum that’s designed to specifically favor the quilting process.
If you have always hated the traditional idea of using tacks and tapes, here is the solution you’ve been looking for. The Grace Start-Right EZ3 No-Baste Hand Quilting Frame lets you install the fabric without that old crap. Instead, you only need to align the fabric and then push it in with the tubing. This convenience is facilitated by a 30-teeth system of ratchet wheels to ensure the fabric doesn’t slip.
Now that this is an entire floor quilting frame, don’t assume it’ll take up your precious space. On the contrary, whenever it’s time to roll up the frame, you’ll be amazed by how the EZ3 folds up and conveniently tucks under the bed or even against the wall!
For a full floor frame, you most likely think of the weight first. EZ3 is made of Baltic birch plywood to combine the benefits of sturdiness and lesser weight in a premium design. Undoubtedly, Grace Start-Right EZ3 fits among the best hand quilting frames.
- Full floor frame type
- Aluminum rails
- Folding design
- Made of Baltic birch plywood
- Tubing instead of tapes and tacks
- The use of tubing in place of tacks and tapes ensures the fabric is gripped uniformly.
- Tubing does not leave any gum on the fabric
- Baltic birch plywood is strong and durable
- The ratchet system ensures the fabric does not loosen at any one point.
- It can easily fold and be stored against the wall.
- Requires a fair amount of working space when spread out.
5. Edmunds HC-820 Handi Clamp Scroll Frame,
If you are looking for a cheap quilting frame but one with most of the incredible good qualities of the best quilting frames, here’s a good pick for you. The HC-820 Handi Clamp Scroll Frame borrows a few premium features and adds convenience.
On one side, this frame doesn’t need tacks, tapes, or even sewing and split dowels to hold the fabric. Instead, it employs a stretcher mechanism whereby you turn the knobs attached to the tubing to roll the fabric taut. In turn, the tubing uses a take-up mechanism to firmly hold on to the fabric. These knobs are also wooden, which makes scrolling as easy as turning a microwave oven dial.
Despite the functionality, the Edmunds HC-820 Handi Clamp Scroll Frame qualifies to be in the best hand quilting frames list for convenience reasons. First, it precisely fits on the lap. Second, atop of that are the highly polished wooden parts and two-layer clear finish on the knobs. The result is what you would expect from the best quilting frames.
This frame will cost you slightly over $30, which places it squarely as one of the cheap quilting frames that exceed their expectations.
- A lap frame design
- Wooden frame and ball knobs
- Take-up mechanism to hold the fabric
- Has a simplistic yet appealing design
- Hardwood materials are solid and durable
- No need for tacks and tapes to secure the fabric
- It’s among the cheap quilting frames
- The knobs may move when too much pressure is applied to the fabric.
6. Nurge Adjustable Embroidery Seat Frame Stand.
Sometimes a frame stand can appear amongst the best hand quilting frames, but for a reason. This Nudge frame stand has the looks, all thanks to the polished hard beech wood. The sides are also varnished to an appealing look that should definitely complement your best hand quilting frame.
Flexibility is another crucial consideration in design. Thus, the stand is primarily designed for a seat stand and doubles as a table-top stand. You don’t have to swap your best hand quilting frame for another to use the stand.
Design and creativity can combine pretty well in this design as you sit with the lower base of the stand between your legs. You might even make the quilts from a cheap quilting frame, better than you had thought possible.
The stand is designed to hold any hoop diameter up to 12 inches and thicknesses up to 16 mm for convenience. The knuckle joint at the top is also adjustable, so you can swivel the top to find and lock on your ideal working angle. So even if you do not have the best hand quilting frame, there is a chance you can produce magnificent work with this stand.
- Adjustable swivel joint
- Adjustable hoop height
- Made of hard beech wood material
- Hoop diameter: up to 12″
- Hoop thickness: up to 16 mm
- It can accommodate various sized hoops, as well as both premium and cheap quilting frames.
- The main beech wood material is durable and visually appealing.
- It can be used as a table-top stand, or a seat stand.
- Very comfortable to work with.
- The plastic height adjustment pole is prone to breaking.
7. Frank A. Edmunds Sticher’s Wonder
As the name says, this is a wonderful product whose design allows the user to do hands-free needlework. This is possible from a unique combination of a split rail scroll frame with the Universal Craft stand. The two components work together to create one of the best hand quilting frames in the market today.
A reasonable frame allows the user to work at any angle. This frame does precisely that, courtesy of universal swivel. The swivel allows you to swivel the frame through 360 degrees, as well as up and down. So whichever angle you prefer working at, Frank A. Edmunds Sticher’s Wonder has got your back.
The frame is also easy to store. It folds down to just 16 inches so you can store it in the tiniest spaces.
- 9″ by 24″ split rail scroll frame
- Adjusts from 16″ to 37.5″ (foldable design)
- Universal Craft stand
- Swiveling top frame
- Folds down to a small size for easy storage
- Combines a frame and a stand to make your quilting work easier
- The frame can be swiveled through 360 degrees to suit your ideal working angle
- Adjusting knobs are easy to operate
- Accommodates only up to 20-inch wide fabrics, unlike the indicated 24″.
Watch Video: How to use a Hand Quilting Frame?
In this video you will see how to properly use a quilting frame. Now enjoy the video.
How to Choose the Best Hand Quilting Frame: A Buying Guide
Before you can settle on a particular product, it’s always worth considering the critical aspects of that item. So if you want to land the best hand quilting frame for your specific needs, be sure to read through this guide.
Type of frame
We mentioned earlier that there are two types of frames designed for stitching by hand. As to which is the best hand quilting frame, the choice depends on whether you want to use it while standing (floor standing type) or on your lap (lap quilt frame) while seated.
You should consider how you intend to use the frame by defining the number of people who can work with the frame at a go. Also, if you will be handling different forms of quilting projects, the best hand quilting frame for you should be an adjustable one. The height should also be flexible to work with the frame while standing and even when seated.
Wood, metal, and plastic are the most common materials used to make quilting frames. The metal frames are the most durable, while the plastic counterparts are the lightest and the cheapest. Therefore, the best hand quilting frame should balance strength (for durability) and a low weight factor. Usually, this is a characteristic of premium hardwood frames.
Available size of the quilting area
Just like you wouldn’t buy a vehicle that’s too large for the roads, the best hand quilting frame is the one whose size adapts well to your quilting area. This will ensure you work with optimum efficacy and comfort.
Although this depends on individual preference if you intend to use the frame across different locations or at a go, the best hand quilting frame for you would be an easily portable one. Such a frame should also be light and easy to store.
Ease of use
Finally, the ideal hand quilting frame should be easy to work with. Do not go for a frame that looks fancy and promising without assessing how well it is adapted to work ergonomics.
How to Load a Hand Quilting Frame
Step-1 : The first thing you need to do is place the frame over the edge of an even surface. The surface should be something that can support the weight of the frame. In addition, you’ll want to make sure it is sturdy and stable because you will have a lot of fabric on top of it when you begin quilting.
Step-2 : The next step is to place your first layer of quilt batting over the edge. It doesn’t matter which side goes up, as long as it’s smooth and flat with no wrinkles or folds for everything else to lay smoothly too.
Step-3 : Next comes another even layer of quilt batting. This one should go under the edges where both ends meet at an angle (to stabilize it). Again, fold down any excess material so that there are not large bulges peeking out from underneath.
Step-4 : The final step (and your last chance to get it right!) is placing your backing fabric on top of everything else. Place this up against whichever side you want facing outwards first, then fold over one edge about three-quarters of an inch past where the corner meets so that when you take hold of both sides, they will meet at 90 degrees. Next, take each side and overlap them back towards themselves, leaving at least four inches free from any edges or corners before tucking under into place underneath all those folds and creases that make sewing easier later on.
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Tips and Tricks for Using a Hand Quilt Frame
You can make the best out of your hand quilting frame from a few tips and tricks that industry experts have discovered over time. These tips include:
1. How to tie a Quilt on a Frame
- Tips-1: Look over at the manufacturers’ guide to see the recommended stitch space.
- Tips-2: Measure halfway through the recommended stitch space.
- Tips-3:Tie the quilt by making a bite with the needle at the center to put a mark in the above step.
- Tips-4: Pull the needle out and redo it underneath where you made the initial bite. The needle will out underneath the top string.
- Tips-5: Pull out the needle and tie the knot, then cut the string.
2. Choosing the ideal frame size
- Tips-1: Unless you want to be handling one-size projects, an adjustable frame is the best option. Besides, a constant width frame may not accommodate widths that are an inch more.
Which side do you work from?
- Tips-2: You can work from either left or right, but remember to be consistent with it. You should also stitch towards yourself rather than away.
See Hand Quilting Techniques for Beginners in Video
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS):
1. What’s the best hand quilting frame for a beginner?
A beginner should start with a lap frame as these provide basic functionality and can be used for training.
2. Where can I buy hand quilting frames?
You can buy hand quilting frames from Amazon by clicking on the links under each product in this review.
3. How easy to use are quilting frames?
Quilting frames are easy to assemble, use and disassemble. Even the more oversized floor frames come with explicit instructions on how to assemble and use.
Choosing the best hand quilting frame can be a daunting affair for a beginner. However, thanks to this guide, it’s no longer a big task. The above seven products are what I have reviewed and found satisfactory. They are also cheap quilting frames, so you do not have to spend much on your first frame.
Order your first frame today and enjoy a new level of convenience !