Quilt Frames That Pay Big Dividends

Basting quilt frames that are designed for beginner quilting will alleviate a great deal of back pain when making a quilt.

This basting frame will rest on the back of four straight-back chairs and allow you to work at a height that gets you up off the floor.

It's easy to make, light weight and not hard to use. Disassembles quickly for easy storage!

quilt frame

A bit clumsy because of the length of the boards but if you have ever crawled around on the hard floor you will see quickly how comfortable this is going to be.

Be sure you have a place to store the ten foot boards as most ceilings are not that tall and will not allow for storing in a corner.

They do fit well along the baseboard of your sewing area which is where I store mine when not in use.

Materials Needed For The Basting Quilt Frame

  • Five 1 1/4 x 3/4 inch boards that are 10 feet long;
  • Note if the board measurements are not this size all other measurements will need to be adjusted;
  • Six - 2 inch by 3/16 inch bolt with washers and wing nuts;
  • A can of sand and seal (aerosol spray can) or you can use brush-on varnish or polyurethane;
  • Sanding block;
  • 30 to 40 Bull Dog clips or large binder-style clamps to fit over the edge of your boards;
  • These can be found at any Wal-Mart or office supply store;
  • I use 1 inch capacity clips as my board is 3/4 inch plus three layers of fabric.

I like visuals so I've included a picture for you to follow along with the written measurements and directions.

How to Measure/Mark Basting Quilt Frame

  • Mark two of the boards as follows(Refer to line A in chart):
  • Find and mark the center of each board;
  • From left of center place a mark at 32 inches, 39 inches, 44 inches and 53 inches;
  • Flip your tape and from right of center mark using the same measurements again;
  • Mark the last three boards as follows(Refer to line B in chart):
  • Find and mark the center of each board;
  • From left of center place a mark at 47 inches, 49 inches, and 53 inches;
  • Flip your tape and from right of center mark using the same measurements again.

Directions For Preparing Quilt Frame Labels

  • The first two boards are the width and will be marked as such;
  • The last three boards are the length (one being the center board) and will be marked as such;
  • Using clear or white address labels either type or hand print the word Width on four different labels to be applied to the first two boards on the ends;
  • Repeat this step and either type or hand print the word length on six different labels to be applied to the last three boards on the ends;
  • Next type or print the words Twin - Full - Queen - King on four labels. Create a total of four sets. These will be applied at the holes which will be drilled in the next step ;
  • You will need the word Full/Twin - Queen - King typed or hand printed on six different labels. You will need a total of six sets. These will be applied at the holes which will be drilled in the next step;
  • Once you have the labels prepared set aside.

 Applying Labels For A Basting Quilt Frame

  • Drill a 1/4 inch hole first on the two width boards at each mark(32,39,44, and 53); then on the three length boards at each mark (47,49 and 53);
  • With sanding block sand all flat surfaces and edges of boards;
  • spray with one coat of sand and seal(it dries fast) and sand again;
  • Cut apart and trim the labels and stick the label at the appropriate hole on the boards. Follow the chart above to make sure you align the right label with the right hole.
  •  Trim the labels small enough so that they will fit on the board just above the matching hole. In other words the word twin will be placed at the first hole just right of the center hole and just left of the center hole.
  • After applying all labels, spray again with second coat of sand and seal and let dry. This will seal the labels so they should not peel off with use;
  • Note: you do not need to mark the actual measurement on your boards, in fact doing so may be confusing later;
  • Using a sanding block, sand lightly for the second time;
  • Repeat the spray and sand process two more times for a good smooth finish.

Your Basting Quilt Frame is Done

You are now ready to baste your first quilt using a basting gun.

Review the steps on how to sandwich your quilt top, batting and backing together for Quilting a Quilt as you are ready to use your new frame to baste your first quilt.

When you use a basting gun it is so much easier and quicker than basting by hand.

Directions For Assembling Quilt Frame

sewing room furniture

By now all five of the boards should be sanded, sprayed labels applied and holes drilled.

Find the two width boards and place them on the back of four chairs as shown in this picture.

Take the three remaining boards which are the length boards and lay them on top of the width boards (one at each end and one in the center.)

Insert a bolt through matching holes based on the size of quilt you are making; be sure the words are matched (king to king if you are making a king size quilt; queen to queen if you are making a queen size; full to full/twin if you are making a full size quilt; or twin to full/twin if you are making a twin quilt).

Reach under the two boards to add the washer and wing nut; finger tighten for now.

Square up each corner with a carpenter's square or a 90-degree triangle ruler, if you have one.

Make sure that all four corners form a 90-degree angle. You may have to nudge the boards to get a true 90-degree angle; when ready tighten wing nuts as tight as possible and then secure one more time by adding a C Clamp at each corner where the two boards overlap each other.

Add the backing to the frame wrong side up and stretch tight. Secure with bull dog clips.

Next add batting gently stretch and secure with the same clips.

Finally, add the top, smooth out any wrinkles and bumps and secure it with the same clips.

The 1-inch capacity clips will be tight as the board is 3/4-inch plus three layers of fabric.

Remember to take a look at how to load a quilt on a 2-Rail Roller Hand Quilting Frame. It is hard to find complete directions for loading a 2rail quilting frame so you might want to print the PDF mini-book and save in your reference library.

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