Table is courtesy of: http://www.quiltmaker.com/quilt-measurements-common-and-standard-bed-sizes
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. This usually requires a room at least 4 feet longer and 4 feet wider than the quilt frame.
There are a multitude of designs for quilting frames and stands and most any one will work. Frames come with 3 components.
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.
Typical example of a quilt mounted on the frames, with clamps and stands.
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.
Here is the quilt, right side out, on the frame being tied.
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.
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