Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Closer look at my quilting frame

Someone emailed and asked for a closer look at my quilting frame set up. Here is a photo I took of it. See, nothing fancy. Just plain and simple... I describe it as a saw horse design because that is what the two end pieces remind me of.I don't think he has a lot invested in it... under $100 easily and it would be easy to make for anyone who has a handy husband. My dad used pine b/c it is soft and you want that for tacking the ends to the poles. And this time he made me two sets of poles. One for bed size quilts that I think he said are 90" and another set that are for lap or crib size quilts that measure 60" which are stored in the garage right now.

It isn't hard to put together. We spread everything out on my floor in the den and mom and dad use to use a bed in the basement to put the quilt on the polls. Just remember to roll one side over and the other side over so the quilter doesn't have to have their arm over a hump as they hand quilt. ;)

This is the second frame my daddy has made. The first frame like this before I was born some 30+ years ago for my mother and she used it for years and years. When she died in 1999 there had been the same quilt in the frame for almost 10 years!!! YES 10 years!!! See when she stopped smoking, she also stopped quilting. B/C every time she sat down to quilt she craved a cigarette! Plus the fact that the quilt in the frame was only a pretty bed sheet with a quilt looking design on it - I guess it wasn't really worth it to finish up... no big loss right?

Well, it sat there in the laundry room of the basement for several years after she died... with all sorts of stuff piled up on top of it... takin up the room... and it never dawned on me that I would want it until last summer when Daddy and Clara were planning a trip down to TX... and asked if there was anything I wanted... and I spoke up about momma's quilt frame. Only I spoke up too late! They had cleared it out and given it away... quilt and all. (again, no big loss as far as the quilt goes..) but I wanted that frame. Oh well, it was my fault for not asking for it years earlier.

So I was surprised when Daddy brought it on his recent trip here earlier this month!!! I quickly moved around some things in the den so it would have a home behind the sofa. I had to piece together a backing for my Round Robin Texas Treasures while the day we put it in the frame as I wasn't prepared! Lucky for me I had enough scraps to use!

It's ok that I don't have the exact frame Momma used...I have the next best thing - one just like it! However I only wish Momma had kept a journal of her quilt making and often wonder how many quilts she made over the years?!?! She could have taken a Polaroid of each of them and filled a album easily! She gave every one she ever quilted away except for the 3 Grandmother Fan Quilts for my brothers and I. These were the first 3 momma ever made from start to finish all by herself. Barry's corners were black, Brian's were brown and mine were that fabulous 70's gold! :P
Sadly, that very first one she made for my oldest brother Barry, he doesn't have. His EXwife still to this day has it and she has been married 3 more times since Barry and it is on her bed! I have no clue as to the story there... perhaps Barry never asked for it, I don't know... I was just a junior in High School when they divorced... but I saw it on her bed the last time I was visiting my nephew at her newest husband's home just a few years ago.

Currently there are three quilts quilted by my mother still at my parent's home. One is a apple green and red Christmas quilt that my Momma Newt hand pieced and mom quilted... and b/c of it's bold fabrics, my grandmother refused it back b/c she was sick of looking at it! LOL
In November when we were at Dad's last, I noticed Clara had it spread out over the back of the sofa in the den and using it as part of the Christmas decorations. :) It made me feel good to see it out and being used again!
Another quilt is of a cross stitch pattern. Oh how I remember daddy and I having a time separating all of that floss for her!!! Looking back, I am not sure how much I helped, but at the time I sure thought I was..... I don't think Daddy particularly liked the quilt or the colors, but he claimed it b/c he knew how much work went into it and didn't want her to give it away!
and the third quilt still at my parents that my mother hand quilted is A Trip Around the World that my Momma Newt hand pieced for my father as a Birthday gift to him... so naturally he still has it... but I so hope that one day it gets to come home with me! As it is my most favorite of all quilts Momma Newt ever made. I don't know why it is, but it is. I was about 10-11 when it was made and I remember visiting her and her showing me how many "trips" she had made around the world as she made progress... then I clearly remember the quilt being at our home while in my mother's frame and she stitched 1/4" around each and every block. The backing is all white and is sooo beautiful!!!!

Sorry, no photo of that one. Maybe this summer when I am home I will remember to get it out and take a picture of it.....and maybe, just maybe Daddy will say I can take it home! :P

But, about my quilt frame.....The only thing I would change and may have him work on the next time he visits if it is in the next couple months... is SAND the wood on the bottom of the saw horses! It is rough and I can't imagine how bad it would be for one of the twins to craw up on it and get stuck! Perhaps if I can find a hand stapler I can add some batting and scrap fabric to cover?
Well.....hey, lookie here... with all the kids asleep, I actually got to write a long post and share lots of photos! yeahhh!!! ;c) See... I told you I was gonna try and be a better poster. :)
Love from Texas!!! ~Bonnie


  1. I really like your frame. I have one but I just do not like the way the quilt is turned on the rods. yours seems much simpler. I would like to know how far apart are the slots that the rods rest in? I also find it so very hard to get the quilt top,middle and back on the first rod to start rolling. Do you have a trick that you use to keep it all straight?

  2. Hi Bonnie,
    I loved reading about your frame and your family's treasured quilts! Happy quilting!

  3. alaska family - I replied to your email but I will also post here in case anyone else is wondering too... ;)

    Daddy and I began rolling one poll at the same time and keeping the same tension and rolled close to the middle then did the same for the other side. Then we picked it up and carried it over…. We looked like to EMT’s carrying a stretcher ;) LOL. It took us a few adjustments of rolling out and back in with one of the polls to get it to sit right in the frame but wasn’t any problem.

    On this frame, the slots that the polls go in measure 23.5” between each other…he said he just guessed at it.. not knowing how big I wanted it. The saw horse is exactly 32 from the outside end to the other outside end. I hope this helps you!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!!
    Love form Texas!! ~bonnie

  4. I have added your blog to my favorites now that I understand this is an active blog. Seem to remember that you were moving to a different location and hadn't checked for a while. Glad that I did - the eye candy was nice and the frame is marvelous.
    Thanx from SE Texas

  5. I'm glad the kiddos slept and you had time to write it all! I loved reading about the quilts and am so happy your dad made you a frame. I hope you're keeping a journal of all your quilting activities! I should do better and say I will but I don't.

  6. Hello! I am getting ready to start hand quilting a full size quilt that I cross stitched.I made my quilting frames and took me a while to do it. I wish I had seen your quilting frame before I started because I cut and tried to put together wooden saw horses... then realized I had folding ones in the storage shed! They are metal but that is what I used. They may be a little too high to sit comfortably at while quilting though. I will try it. I have 2 carpenter sons so maybe they can put the saw horses together that I started so the wood wont go o waste. I am sure they can use them. Bothe of them have built their own houses and the 3rd son is now working on remodeling an old house. I will revisit your website again. Patty M.


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