There are a multitude of designs for quilting frames and most any one will work. Frames come with 3 components.

  • 4 - boards to create a frame and thumb tacks to attach the quilt. 
  • 4 - Clamps to hold the corners together.
  • 4 - Stands set at the corners to hold the frame at a comfortable height.

The photo at the right and the one above show quilts that have been mounted on the frames. You can see the C-clamps holding the corners together and the stands that we use.

There are photo details for our stands on the left. This is cheap, easy and can literally be built from scrap. It is advisable to sand or use a 1/8'' round-over router bit on the edges of the plywood/OSB to avoid slivers while handling. You can download plans for these stand by clicking here.

The frame boards should straight and from a soft wood so the tacks go in and out easily. Fir or pine with minimal knots, works well. The wood around knots is always considerably harder than the field, so the smaller the knots and the fewer you have, the easier it will be to tack your quilt.

Always choose boards that are already straight. If they are beginning to twist or bow, they will continue to warp as they age. How the board is cut from the log also determines how much it will twist and bow. We won't discuss why this happens, just know that the closer the end grain on the board looks like the quarter sawn or rift sawn boards in the photo to the left, the straighter it will be and longer it will remain that way. 

It is also a good practice to lay your frames flat when not in use. This will also prolong their life.

Clamps should be 4'' to 6'' C-clamps. Larger clamps are harder to handle and smaller clamps may not fit as you roll the frames to reach the middle of the quilt.

Humanitarian Projects

While others talk; we find it, make it, and deliver it. 

This illustration shows the different types of wood grain. The closer the ends of your pieces look to the quarter sawn and rift sawn, the less likely they are to warp and twist.

​To Quick Turn the quilt, you do it opposite of traditional quilting.

  1. Lay the quilt backing on the table, finished side up.
  2. Lay the quilt top on top of the backing, finished side down, even up and pin together. 
  3. Lay both of these pieces on top of the batting. 
  4. Pin all 3 layers together around the edge to hold them together.
  5. Trim all three layers so they are the same size.
  6. Sew a simple straight stitch around the quilt, leaving a 12'' gap along one side.
  7. Remove the pins.
  8. Turn the quilt layers inside out (so it is now right side out) by pulling the corners opposite the gap through the gap in the side.
  9. Pull and work the pieces so the batting is laying flat and the quilt is ready to be tied.
  10. Add pins on 12"- 18'' centers throughout the field to keep the batting from shifting.
  11. Machine sew up the gap. This makes it more durable than a blind hand stitch.
  12. Sew simple straight stitch around the quilt 5/8'' in from the edge.
  13. Tack the quilt to a frame, tie the field on 4" centers, and remove the pins.

Advantages to sandwich quilting:

  1. Several quilts can be laid out on a large table at the same time and mass produced.
  2. Sewing on the binding can take several hours to do my hand while a simple straight stitch can be done with a sewing machine in 3-5 minutes.
  3. If solid prints or panels are used for the top, the time to assemble a quilt for tying can be diminished from many hours the traditional way to less than an hour using the Quick Turn method.

The table above shows the common mattress sizes and the corresponding quilt sizes. Your frame should be a minimum of 18" longer than the side. So for a full-size quilt, your frames sides should be a minimum of 8 1/2 feet on the short side and 9 feet on the long side. Queen size quilts work best with 10' foot legs. 

If you are doing bed quilts and have the room, it works well to have 9 foot and 10 foot frame legs, as they will fit most quilts.

Your room should be large enough to have the frame set up with room to sit and walk around.


Here is a close-up of the quilt top and backing, face to face, on top of the batting. you can also see the pins around the edge.

We place four 8 foot banquet tables in a big square to create a large work area. We also purchase large rolls of batting. Here you can see the quilt top lying upside down on top of the batting.

A detailed photo of our stands. These were built over 20 years ago and are still going strong. They were designed to be light-weight, sturdy, and stackable to save space in storage.

Table is courtesy of:

Here is the quilt, right side out, on the frame being tied.

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              Making Quilts

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Quilting Frame Stands

This section contains information on how to best set up your organization to make quilts. There are many different ideas and styles, as well as closely guarded trade secrets, to make a quilt. Here, we want to share with you how we have discovered over the past 25 years to make quilts quickly and effectively. 

Quick Turning or Envelope Quilting

Typical example of a quilt mounted on the frames, with clamps and stands.