If you’re a serious crafter looking to speed up your next quilting project or just love hand quilting, then getting a quilting frame could be an excellent decision. A quilting frame acts as an extra pair of hands by holding all the parts of the quilt. This helps your task by keeping the fabric tight.
When you try quilting with just your hands, it can become frustrating very fast. The best hand quilting frame helps you in this regard by holding the three layers taut as you work. It also prevents any type of bunching, allowing you to work like a professional.
This article will tell you all that you need to know in order to buy your own quilting frame. So, read on!
Our 6 Best Hand Quilting Frame Reviews
If you’re looking for a hand quilting frame but at a loss on which one to pick out of dozens of types, this is the right place to start. Have a look at our top picks and decide which one works for you best.
1. Flynn Multi-Frame Quilting System
A nationally known quilter, John Flynn designed a quilting frame that is both very light and easy to use. The frame is designed for both hand and machine quilting. Those who like machine quilting will also find this model excellent.
This Flynn Multi-Frame system helps you to work on more than 38” width quilts. Featuring long arm quilting with a quilting hoop, this model also comes with impressive adjustability.
You can secure the work area at a tension that works for you at the same time storing the rest of the quilt conveniently. Besides, the adjusting method is also quite simple, and you can easily do it by accommodating stitch or batting.
As for the rail scrolls, there are three of them. Each of these rail scrolls holds different parts of the quilt tautly. These rails help you wind the layers both before and after quilting.
The first rail stores the work that has been quilted. Besides, it keeps the completed task small enough to fit through openings in the sewing machine. This feature is actually great as not all quilt frames offer this option to store.
That leaves two more rails that hold the top and backing fabric. The batting is rolled and stored between the backing rails and the top. This rolling method ensures you a more durable fabric.
Eliminating any tedious batting, the three-rail system keeps all the layers at the right tension. These layers do not pucker either.
With a nice design, this Flynn quilting frame keeps your work off the floor or out of the way. Besides, if you are interested in machine quilting, this sturdy frame can also be used there.
- Lightweight and comfortable to use
- Boasts a versatile three-rail design
- There is no puckering while quilting
- Works in almost all sewing machines
- Can be stored easily and doesn’t take up much room
Pros – Easy Modification
Cons – Frame is sometimes too awkward to handle.
2. Frank A. Edmunds American Legacy Quilt Frame
As one of the most popular quilting brands in the world, the Frank A. Edmunds models are stout as well as heavily durable. Made with high-quality material, this full-size quilt frame speaks of strength by its looks.
Inspired by colonial quilting design, this frame has a vintage appearance. But it also incorporates features that are fairly modern as well. So, this quilting frame could be your ideal companion.
At a weight of 25 pounds, the frame is a heavyweight on our list. Although quite heavy, you can still move it with considerable ease.
This American Legacy quilting frame has a huge working surface. It can be set up from 24 x 45-inch to whooping 24 x 90-inch! This gives you enough space to work with at least two other persons.
The wooden frame of Frank A. Edmunds makes its quilt very durable and firm. Besides, with such stability, you can quilt from any angle you like.
Edmonds frames are made from the USA with solid and sturdy hardwood. Compared to its size, the frame is actually surprisingly light. Moreover, you can set up the frame to accommodate multiple quilters.
The American Legacy is an excellent choice and is preferred by many quilters. It works wonders in terms of holding the fabric tightly. If you want to keep your hands by getting in the most comfortable position, then Frank A. Edmund’s American Legacy is the best option to take.
- Boasts a nice and adjustable tension
- Base can be adjusted to specific needs
- The setup process is quite easy
- Solid hardwood construction makes it very strong
3. Dritz 3129 Quilter’s Frame
There are still some quilters who love quilting in the old fashioned way. That’s where the Dritz Quilter’s Floor Frame comes in. This exceptionally lightweight frame is the easiest to assemble and use. It also does a great job of holding the fabrics in place while quilting.
The best aspect of this quilting frame is how surprisingly lightweight the item is. At only 9 pounds, you can move and shift it from place to place like nothing. Besides, it also has a perfectly proportionate structure that any professional quilter will like.
With an adjustable height between 29” and 35” and a frame measuring 28” x 39”, the Dritz quilting frame is one of the most favorite products for hand quilters. The adjustable height helps you sit comfortably with any chair, and the frame size gives you enough space for large quilts.
Dritz’s quilting frame comes disassembled, and assembling it is very straightforward and doesn’t take more than a few minutes. You don’t even need any tools for it, and after work, you can take apart its parts just as easily.
The frame becomes quite small when disassembled and easy to store away in your closet. You can also squeeze it in any tight spot if you want to.
Another fantastic feature of this frame is its large working space. It means you don’t need to constantly adjust the hoop anymore. With this frame, you can complete your work faster with fewer mistakes.
Made of sturdy and durable PVC plastic, this Quilter’s Frame is smoother than its wooden counterparts. Because of its smooth surface, you don’t have to worry about the fabric catching on the surface either.
This frame includes four clamps that adjust the tension to your own likings. These clamps are very easy to remove also.
Expert or not, this best quilting frame is recommended for all quilters for the simplicity of design, ease of use, and high durability.
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Easy to assemble and take apart
- Made of highly durable PVC plastic
- The height is adjustable with tilt for added comfort
4. Q-Snap Floor Frame
Here, we have the original Q-Snap quilt frame. It is famous for having plenty of features with the most minimalist design you can imagine. Apart from having a large working surface, it also keeps the weight very low.
Simple to use, this basic product offers you an impressive 1,092 square inches of quilting surface. This is actually pretty great for a home quilting frame, to be honest. It gives you plenty of space that you can share with another person without cramping your style.
Despite this large surface, the Q-snap frame weighs just 10.5 pounds. Made of a durable polystyrene frame, the item is expected to last for a very long time. It has also got ribbed inner surface clamps which hold your quilt tautly while you stitch.
Made in the USA with the best material, the Q-Snap Floor Frame offers many innovative features. With a very affordable price, this frame also comes with a carrying case.
This makes it very easy to transport the item after disassembling. Assembling the frame also doesn’t require any tools, and the work is very straightforward also.
You can attach the quilt by using clips with the frame. Because the quilt will be tightly held, you can carry the whole thing anywhere you want.
Overall, the Q-snap is a great product. It is also easy to use and carry because of the lightweight and simple structure. Besides, its high-quality construction also makes it a top recommended product on our list.
- Simple and easy to use design
- Very lightweight and compact
- Can be used by two people
- Durable construction
- Quick and easy assembly without tools
5. Amish Oak Wood Swivel Quilting Hoop
If you are an avid quilter, then this Swivel Quilting Hoop would be a wonderful tool for you. Designed in a way to save your back from straining, it gives you a comfortable working position to create your own masterpiece.
However, this quilting hoop is a wonderful work of art itself. Made from superior quality wood, the item is made by America’s very own Amish craftspeople!
This beautifully crafted oval hoop with stand is perfect for many types of hand quilting projects. Developed with sturdiness and durability in mind, this quilting frame is an all-rounder for any home quilter for sure.
Amish Swivel Quilting Hoop made out of Oak Wood provides the sturdiest support from top to bottom during your whole quilting sessions. Most importantly, its X-shaped base holds the entire frame perfectly stable.
The oval-shaped hoop also holds the fabric in place tightly, making it easy to finish your section. It can also be swiveled all around, and to any angle you desire. The easy release knob lets you swivel and position the hoop according to your liking.
A wide round frame of 22” wide diameter gives you a large enough working area making your work more enjoyable.
All in all, this Amish made Swivel Quilting Hoop is not only a thing of beauty but also an item of great versatility.
- Made from sturdy oak wood
- X-shaped base gives enough stability
- Large oval-shaped working area
- Frame can be swiveled easily
6. Frank A. Edmunds Sticher’s Wonder Adjustable Craft Stand
This unique quilter frame is also a great cross stitch lap stand. It is due to the special structure it has that provides many functionalities. You can bend and turn its working surface anywhere you like too.
This frame has been termed as the Sticher’s Wonder for a reason. For one, you can access it by tilting up or down and even rotate it. No other items mentioned in our article can say the same. You can easily rotate it 360 degrees, which means no more getting up and sitting on the other side of the frame.
The 360 degrees rotation also makes your work faster and more efficient. You can work from all sides at the same time with this feature.
This is a great hands-free cross stitch stand too. You can turn its knobs and adjust the stand to locate the most preferred working position. If you are a cross stitch lover, this is like a dream come true.
Although it looks simple at first glance, this quilter’s frame is quite the opposite. The frame provides you a seamless experience that suits different levels of creation. Besides, with adjustable size and tension on the fabric, it also suits all types of cross stitching as well.
The item is made from organic wood that has been finely polished. Its smooth texture is also entirely free of any splinters. This helps out a lot in the overall experience of hand quilting.
- Surface area can be rotated 360 degrees
- Can be tilted up and down, forward and back
- Boasts a very smooth texture without splinters
- Easy adjustments with knobs from 16″ to 37.5″
What to Look for While Buying a Hand Quilting Frame?
The factors you should consider to have the best result with a quilting frame can be the following:
There are several types of quilting frames based on their usage with hand or machine. Hand quilting frames are mainly of two kinds:
- Floor Frames
These quilts are quite big in size and are excellent for multiple people to use simultaneously. As you can tell, this one takes up quite a bit of space in the house. Some quilters with bigger space in their home have these floor frames so that several others can work on them at the same time. This speeds up the process a lot.
A nice feature of this quilt is that it has a rolling mechanism. This helps to keep the quilt moving ensuring the layers are held together.
- Lap Frames
Since the former type is too big in size, and it is kept on the floor, thus it’s named Floor Frame. As for the Lap Quilt Frame, as you can already guess, it is far smaller in size. These frames are generally square in size and have fewer features than the bigger quilt frames.
When you’d rather work alone than the quilt frame you should buy is this one. Usually, lap quilt frames are made of a wooden hoop that is held tout when the quilter is stitching the layers together.
The material is also another important consideration since high-quality material would mean your frame will last longer than others. Because of the sturdy nature of the material, it will have a positive effect on the durability of the product.
Also, the best quilt frames are usually made from wood or metal, while PVC or light plastic made quilt frames tend to warp or crack when exposed to rough use.
Of course, good material will make the frame a bit more expensive. But when you think of using it for many years to come, the cost will seem worth it.
This consideration is important if you’re moving from one place to another. Smaller frames are easily portable but can’t handle large projects. On the other hand, those with very large dimensions are not easy to move around.
So, think about where you’ll be quilting most of the time before making the purchase decision.
You might think we’ve already discussed sizes while talking about the frame types. But some lap frames are larger in size. Again some floor frames are quite smaller but still large enough to be used by at least two people.
Remember before buying that no only you’ll need to use the item but also store it when not working. Besides, when the frame is large, it becomes quite heavy too.
Durability and Usability
The durability of a product depends on its material, while usability depends on construction. Besides, the usability of the frame might be slightly different for different people due to the variations in their design.
So, check if the design and size of the item suit your style of quilting.
How To Use A Hand Quilting Frame?
There are a dozen types of quilting frames out there, and each has its own system of usage. However, none of their usages is hard at all. If you are new to quilting, don’t worry. No matter which type of frame you have, some simple tips are common to all to make the experience easy.
1. Position Yourself
It is one of the most fundamental of tasks before you start to quilt. Because quilting takes a considerable amount of your time, and this might strain your back. If you don’t choose a comfortable position to work for hours, you might end up with neck or back pain.
As for the chair you’re sitting on, pick an armless chair. But if the chair has arms, they should be parallel to the floor, not tilted.
2. Frame Angle and Position
Seasoned quilters have different angles they like to work on. But since you’re a novice, choose a frame angle that is 45-degrees or less with the floor surface. This gives you a better vision of the quilt.
3. Working Side
Another mistake many new quilters make is they start working from the center. However, ask any professional quilter, and they’ll tell you to always work from one side to another. It doesn’t matter which side it is, choose either left or right.
And while quilting, make sure to always stitch towards yourself. If you stitch away from yourself, you won’t be able to see the work clearly, and making straight lines in this way is tougher too.
4. Fabric Adjustment
Different quilt frames have different ways of adjusting the frame. If your quilt is large, it is always a good idea to take help from a friend in loading the frame. Because it can sometimes be frustrating trying to load and adjust large quilts on a frame all by yourself.
Hand quilting can be a rewarding task, and upon completion, the satisfaction knows no bounds. But without the best hand quilting frame at your disposal, you’ll quickly find yourself abandoning the project out of frustration.
So, pick the best option that suits you the most from our top picks, and have a fun quilting session!