I'm sharing some info on my quilt frame today. This is a long post. Here you can see that I loaded my huge Easy Street quilt on it. This will be the biggest size I ever quilt on the frame. It is about 96 x 96.
The frame I have is by Handi Quilter, it came with the poles, tracks, sidebars and some other goodies. I know it is hard to believe that I have had this for.....gulp.....a couple years. I was looking for a new sewing machine that had some nice applique stitches and I saw a domestic machine setup with a quilting frame. I tried it out and it did a great job FMQ. It wasn't long before I realized I didn't care for the free motion quilting on the machine. My quilt room wasn't big enough for the frame, we were going to add on a room...but that didn't happen. Then I decided to do most of my applique free motion so the frame stayed packed away and the sewing machine was just used to join batting.
Last week I was doing some spring cleaning and I kept thinking about setting up that quilt frame and trying to use the machine again. Builder Bob has always been telling me to set it up in the living room but I really didn't want it out there. When my dad had heart surgery this winter we set up a treadmill in the living room and since he wasn't using it anymore.....I decided to move it and set up the quilt frame.
Builder Bob had a heavy, sturdy table in his shop that he wasn't using so.....I hauled it upstairs. It is only 5 foot long, I thought he had another one maybe in his work trailer so I proceeded to set things up. I had sets of 4 foot tracks and also 12 foot tracks. I tried the 4 foot but couldn't clamp them on the 5 foot table so I put on the 12 foot ones which hung all over the place just so I could see how it would work. This was last Saturday and when Builder Bob came home......he has been working on his fishing boat for the last 3 weeks......he was all excited and started figuring out how to extend the table. It turned out he didn't have another of the heavy duty tables.
Sunday after we had our Mother's Day lunch we hit Menards and bought two 24 inch wide shelves that were 6 foot long. Then we bought 4 staircase spindles which only cost $3.97 each. Bob had to trim them down a little and also cut holes in the bottom of the white shelving. He screwed down the two shelves to the heavy duty table top and then we lifted the ends carefully and inserted the spindle legs into the holes he had made. Less that $60 and I had a large table!
Oh! I almost forgot.....remember I said the tracks were 12 foot long......well Builder Bob built the table for 12 foot and when we got it all setup and went to put the metal poles in......we found out they were only 10 foot 6 inches. I guess I should have read a little more carefully. Fortunately Builder Bob has lots of patience......especially with me and took the table apart and cut off one side of the shelving.....what a guy!
The next day I loaded my first quilt on the frame.
I spent about 2 hours with the "other" sewing machine and couldn't FMQ more than 2 inches before I had problems. So I decided to pull the machine off and set it up on my kitchen table to figure out what the problem had to be. Then..........I thought hmmmmm.....my old 15-91 Singer.....could I use it?? YES!
Take a close look at the base of the sewing machine. The 15-91 Singer which is gear driven needs to be in a cabinet or a case in order to use it. There is a part on the bottom that will hit otherwise. I found this out when I took it into my quilt store to find out why it was locked up.....
Anyway I have been using 3 pieces of ¼ inch plywood while I wait for Builder Bob to make a case for it.......no hurry.
I can use the handles to move with but use the foot pedal on the floor for my speed. This handle is setup specifically for the "other" machine. Then I asked for a way to use bigger spools of thread......Builder Bob came up with a "temporary" way of attaching my thread holder to the back of one of the plywood pieces.
My 15-91 Singer has a harp size of 7 inches but with the pole holding the finished quilt I ended up with about 5 inches of quilting space. I just did a medium size stipple quilting and I could do one and a half rows with one bobbin of thread. I was using So Fine from Superior Thread. It was so much fun to see the back as I quilted.
Here I am getting close to the end, you can see the border and the area I can quilt is now only 4 inches. Notice the different backing.......I had to piece it with 2 different fabrics. I don't think I will be doing any feathers or fancy quilting on the frame with the small amount of space but I think I could do a pantograph.
Last row!! I was so tickled to get this far! You can see all the pins I used to pin the quilt top to the leader.
I couldn't wait to take Easy Street off of the frame! I have it trimmed but haven't put the binding on yet. This post is plenty long so I'll save that for a "Easy Street" post.
Best part......the view I have while I quilt! Funny thing......my quilting room is feeling very confining....and small! I am going to have fun sharing what I make with this and if you have any questions....ask away. I'm not sure how well I like quilting from the back of the machine, I think it would be a lot easier to see better if I was working from the front side. I am going to have fun experimenting!
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